a little letting go

A few weeks ago, my mom called to ask if she could take the Bee away on vacation with her for five days in mid-July. Two of my brothers will be there (one of whom is very close to the Bee, the other one is her beloved uncle who she never sees), along with one sister-in-law & one cousin. Landisdad and I have been debating the concept for quite a while, and we’ve finally decided to let her go along.

It’s a hard decision to make, because the Bee is still only five, and five days is a long time to be away from home and parents when you’re five. In fact, while there have been plenty of times that one of us has been away from her, at this point, she’s only ever spent one night without a parent–the night her little brother was born. My mom lives far away, though, and this is a chance for her to spend a long time with her granddaughter, which she wouldn’t get otherwise.

So internet, I’m looking for advice. When was the first time you let your kids stay away from home, with a relative or otherwise? What did you do to ease the experience for both of you? What advice do you have for a mom who’s about to take this major parenting step?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited for everyone, and I’m excited, too, that we will be able to lavish some extra attention on the Potato (although I know he’ll miss his sister, too). But I am worried, and I guess I want some reassurance. So please, if you let your kid go away for the weekend with your mom, and he/she broke a leg or something, don’t tell me that. I don’t need extra stuff to worry about, I have a very active imagination. In fact, I don’t know how I’ll sleep the whole time she’s gone.

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July 11, 2005. growing up.

11 Comments

  1. Amy replied:

    Oh I know how you feel! Jay was five when we finally caved in and let my dad and stepmom take him out of town for 4 days. Jay had a great time and never once missed home. I, on the other hand, was a basketcase the entire time he was gone!

    We tried to make it a little easier on Jay by taking him to the store and picking things out for his trip. It really got him excited and he didnt mind being away! He got to buy snacks and a new toothbrush, things like that. Now, I wish someone would take him for a couple days! LOL

  2. Tiffany replied:

    Awww sweetie. I can’t imagine. My dd is 5 too… Mine wouldn’t like to be without me ( I sound vain, right!!) but she cries when I go to walk the dog for 20 minutes in the morning!!! Still… i’m thinking now, she adores her “Garrie” (grannie) and I do tend to get pushed over whenever they see one another. ‘ Course, Garrie lives in England and I am NOT sending her there!!! Still, I totally TOTALLY hear you. I’d be a wreck too. She will probably have a ball. HEY! I read a neat idea for when kiddies go away ( like to camp..) take a photo of the family all together and print it onto ..erm…brain fart…that paper you can iron onto fabric…tranfer paper?!?!? … then you transfer the image onto a pillow case and put it on her pillow she takes with her!! That way at night she can snuggle you close!!! Isn’t that cute!?!?!

    Tiffany 🙂

    (who has been absent for a while, sorry!!)

  3. Green replied:

    I don’t have kids, but before I was three I know that my parent’s friends came and stayed with my brother and me for a few days while they went away on a business trip. It wasn’t a big deal. Maybe I cried or not. I think the important thing is to reassure the kid that they’ll see their parents soon, and they’re having lots of fun while they’re away from their parents. Talk with her each night, casually tell her you miss her, but act super excited about all the fun stuff she’s getting to do. If she misses you she can look at a pic of you from home that she takes with her, call you, draw you a picture, etc. It’ll be fine, and you’ll all be stronger after it’s over.

  4. Kate replied:

    Well I can’t say that we’ve let Anna stay away from us more than a night (the night her sister was born). But when I was younger, I got to spend a few nights away from my parents here and there with my grandparents and I loved it. Since my grandmother past away, I’ve been wishing I had gotten to spend more alone time with her.

  5. Suzi replied:

    My daughter went on a long weekend with my dad when she was four. They went to a cabin and had all sort of winter fun, and those are some of her very fondest memories. That heart-cut-out-of-your-chest feeling will go away as soon as she comes back. Good luck!

  6. Tiffany replied:

    Nice to be back..!!! I’ll be away for a few days again.. going to Laura Ingalls country to Plum Creek… anyway, let me know how the pillow case turns out!! 🙂

    T 🙂

  7. Mama Mouse replied:

    I guess I seem to be on the other side of this. My boys … both now in their 30’s … spent a lot of time with their grandmother and they started out very young … before they were one.

    It was never a problem … they loved it … she loved it and I loved it. They came to think of her as their second mother.

    In my opinion by not letting children stay with their grandparents for more than a night or two at a time … they are missing out on a LOT of what is important! Children crave and need the time with them … and so do the grandparents!

    Children are very resilient … pictures are good to send along and phone calls too perhaps .. at least till you determine that they are ok.

    But if you start YOUNG enough there isn’t that problem.

    Children need and deserve to spend time with grandparents.

    BTW … LOVE your site! Its VERY eye appealing!]

  8. Metrodad replied:

    Don’t have any concrete advice to give since my girl is only 8 months old. But as much as I would love to get a little 5-day minivacation, I can’t imagine being away from her for so long. Forget her! What about ME? I think I’d miss her too much. We’ve got a wedding to go to in about 4 months and we’re contemplating leaving her with my parents. It’s a tough decision. I’m getting that first taste of “letting go”. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can do it. Maybe when she turns 18!

  9. Leggy replied:

    The Cutie Pie has spent many weekends away with his grandparents, and most recently 5 days while we were in Italy. His first weekend was when he was 7 months old. In some ways, its easier when they are younger because they don’t really care who feeds them and changes them as long as it gets done.

    I feel for you though- I’m sort of in the same boat in that I don’t really want The Cutie Pie to spend weekends away anymore but since we’ve established this precedent, its hard to say no.

    Good luck!

  10. jessica replied:

    Unfortunately, having raised my son separately from his father, he has gone to visit him quite a few times without me – even as a small toddler. Now, even at 14, he spends half the summer with his dad two and a half hours away. It hurts me a lot because my son doesn’t want to go – never has. It’s never gotten easier for him…..or me.

    I’m certain the Bee will have a wonderful time – you’ll have to have her recount it to you and then post it for us.

  11. landismom replied:

    Hmm, a little shopping always makes me feel better before a trip–thanks for the suggestion!

    Tiff, welcome back. That is a great idea, and I actually have some iron-on paper in the craft closet somewhere. I am totally doing that tomorrow.

    Kate, thanks for stopping by.
    Thanks for the reassurance, Green & Suzi. I am definitely sending along pictures, so she can look at us while she’s away.
    Mama Mouse–thanks for the perspective. I agree that it’s important for kids to spend a lot of time with their grandparents–it’s just hard for me to let go. Thanks for the compliment, too!

    MD & Leggy–yeah, I am feeling the same way. Hell no you can’t take my kid away for five days! and yet she will go, and I will let her, and things will be fine. Another milestone passes by…

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