It’s often said that the best part about traveling is coming home. If you’re returning to your kids, this feeling is magnified.
My husband and I recently returned from a trip that was longer and farther than we’ve ever been. Thanks to frequent flyer miles, I had the opportunity to tag along with my husband and visit the other side of the world.
Our kids were in good hands, as we’re lucky enough to have two sets of grandparents willing and able to take care of them. Of course we left 19 pages of detailed information in case our 14- and 11-year-old tried to claim they had no chores or had a later bedtime.
Saying good-bye was hard, and hearing from our son how much he missed us was harder. He had more difficulty this time for some reason, though it was only a few days longer than a European trip we took three years ago. Maybe it was the distance or his age, but whatever it was, I can relate. I still remember how homesick I felt when my parents went on their trips; even though I was home, my heart was with them.
The difference is back then, of course, there wasn’t the technology that exists today: No FaceTime, email, or text. And because of my deafness, I couldn’t talk to my parents on the phone either. All we received was a postcard, which naturally arrived after they got back.
As difficult as this separation between parents and children is, the break is important. Our kids–who have no desire to go to overnight camp–learn how to be without us while spending quality time with their grandparents. And we get to focus on our relationship and travel while we’re physically able. It’s a win-win-win. We come back recharged and our kids appreciate us more.
As I write this on the second day of our return, the novelty has yet to wear off. My daughter let me hug her twice yesterday (which is a big deal for this affection-averse teenager), and my son is still reveling in our presence. Of course, we returned just before spring break and they quickly got sick of me.
When’s the next trip?