See, this summer, my kids are very likely going to the UK to spend a chunk of their holiday with their grandparents. Tickets are exorbitant, but Craig's Nan is getting on and we want the kids to get as much time with her as possible, as well as with the rest of his side of the family, so it's worth it to us. Here's the kicker. We're letting them go on their own. Part of the extra fee is to ensure a nonstop flight on one of the airlines that makes special provisions for children traveling alone. Craig and I had thought about going with them for part of the trip, but with the house getting built this summer, it's not practical for us to be gone for more than a few days at a time. Everybody is good with this plan.
Except people who hear what our summer plans are.
If one more person says to me, "Well, I could never let my kids be gone that long, or dare let them travel alone," I swear, somebody is going to lose an eye. It always comes with, "How great for you and them, but I couldn't do it." Implying of course, that I'm somehow faulty for being so lax with my children's safety or not loving my children enough because I can bear to be parted from them for a month.
I mean, really. We are paying an arm and a leg to make this happen in the safest way possible. I have two ultra-responsible children (ages 9 and 7) who have done this trip multiple times. The flight to the UK is an overnighter and they're going to sleep the entire way anyway. Am I worried something might happen? Sure. Of course I am. But I worry when they're out of my immediate sight, no matter what the circumstances. My job as a parent is to teach them responsibility and independence, and to keep them as safe as possible. It doesn't mean coddling them. And the issue of missing them while they're gone? Please. How many parents are half-crazy by the time summer is half over because the kids are constantly underfoot? Do not tell me that I don't love my kids because I'm willing to let them go somewhere - with family, for everybody's good, where they're excited to go - without going with them. I'm still going to talk to them every day. I'll see them on the webcam. I'll miss cuddles and their company, but that'll make me appreciate it all the more when they return. It would be selfish of me to tell them they couldn't go because of the new house.
I understand some kids couldn't do the trip on their own. But the most common comment I'm getting isn't even about the kids' safety. It's the, "How can you stand for them to be gone so long?" comment. Because there must be something wrong with me for even being remotely excited about uninterrupted hours of productivity. Oy.
Okay. Rant over. :)