I have been sunning myself in Spain the past few days and it was lovely, it seems a lifetime ago since the sun shone on my skin and I had smelt the sea and sand. Of course I missed my children but modern technology meant that I had chats with them daily where we could see each other, Erin was able to show me the pictures she had drawn and even play and chat to me at the same time. Through the wonders of snap chat Dylan kept appearing to show me what they were doing and Chloe and her facebook timeline meant we sent each other messages several times a day. It was much like being at home really – we were not in the same room, I was often in a bar sipping cocktails, but we were still connected. I explained recently why the husband and I myself had chosen to go away without the children and I recommend it. We feel like we had a real break, a time to relax after yet another busy term. Five nights away is a great length of time as we totally relaxed but didn’t feel we had left the children for too long. One of our highlights was actually going to the cinema. Neither of us can remember the last time we had been together, although recognised it must be over five years ago.
One aspect I hadn’t really thought about was what the children’s grandparents would benefit from having them stay, without us lurking in the background. They live away you see, my inlaws, and so they don’t get the chance to do impromptu day trips with the children. They don’t get time to develop and nurture their relationship with their grandchildren without Lee or I being around. As we are there, when the children visit, my lovely inlaws don’t take charge, they wouldn’t see it as their place to. We still parent but in their house. Us leaving the children with them gave them the chance to do what they wanted with the children. Of course that involved late nights and different rules but that is what grandparents are for – even if they grandad bought them McDonalds for lunch and KFC for dinner the same evening! It was his call to do that.
The relationship between grandparents and child is something very special and this week has nurtured that even more. Nanny and Granddad were able to take them places we hadn’t thought of. They spent time with their cousins, again fostering that unique relationship.
So yes Erin probably got closer to the water than I would have encouraged and she may even have got her leggins wet but so what?
They climbed trees and got stuck because they were too big to fit in the three tyres. They had great fun. They still argued but granddad took control of that and it probably blew over much quicker than it does at home. My lovely inlaws got to see them at their best and worst. Although I doubt they saw the absolute worst as children do tend to save that just for mum and dad!
For us it was a win win situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if, as my inlaws waved of us they sighed a huge sigh of relief at finally getting their house back to the quiet and normality they are used to. Finally they would not be tripping over Erin’s toys and having to referee football in the garden but I know they enjoyed having them. We enjoyed Spain and the children gave me huge cuddles when we arrived back. They in return had a break from us and spent that quality time with the other people they love.
Like I said win win.