Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Snatching Grandchildren -- One at a Time

When my husband and I had young children and were desperate for a break, we could never turn to my parents to babysit.  True, they lived two hours away so it wasn't as if they could just pop on over. But that was about their only excuse.  They had the time and the energy. But babysitting was not their thing.
Much as we yearned for their help from time to time, in one major way,  they made up for it.  When each of their grandchildren turned 10, they took them on a ski trip for a week. The child  would miss a week of school, since their spring break  never landed in  mid march, when the snow was still good and the weather mild.  That's when my parents liked to ski.
More important than the good table manners they learned, more important than the excitement of seeing new places,. More important than nailing ski techniques that would endure a lifetime,  the experience created an indelible bond between each child and Grandma Connie and Grandpa George.
And so, my husband and I decided we would keep the tradition.

We are in the midst  of a ski week with our eldest grandchild, even sharing a hotel room with little privacy. And it is everything we had imagined: a curious, exuberant child, enjoying adventure and happy to be sharing it with us.
Missing is the parental dynamic, one reason George and Connie took the grandchildren -- without us, the parents.
Add in the absence of sibling rivalry -- because there is no sibling there --and you have the makings of a really wonderful vacation.  He wants an extra dessert? Fine with us.  Doesn't want to write in a journal -- his homework --  Oh, well!  We can bend rules in ways that parents can't.
Also, we can foster independence. He's not tied to our umbilical cord. So he's got his own room key.  And if he doesn't eat much breakfast, that will be his problem, not ours.
Such are the joys of grandparenting!  My parents had it all worked out.
A week, of course, will be enough.


Becca said...

We were so lucky to have grandparents that took us on these wonderful European ski vacations, and we are so lucky that our children have such wonderful parents that are continuing the tradition! xoxo, Becca

Linda P. said...

A great tradition to continue.