The Joy of Leaving My Daughter Behind With Her Grandparents
THE JOY OF LEAVING MY DAUGHTER BEHIND WITH HER GRANDPARENTS AND TAKING A VACATION WITH MY HUSBAND
(There, I said it... phew!)
Guilty as charged. I can already sense the judgmental arrows piercing through me. In all honesty, receiving that confirmation voucher, to some luxury accommodation in an exotic destination, is bliss. I am already dreaming of the beach, the pool, the gourmet meals, the expensive wines, (actually, it's beer in my case), the lounging, the afternoon naps (which, I have honestly never taken, in the fear of my parents finding out that I have wasted precious hours of my life sleeping), or simply playing Sudoku on the iPad (to sharpen my brain, but of course). The vision is of pure joy, especially if the scene shifts to the wee hours of any Monday morning... I am convincing my daughter to finish her weekend assignment and not sparing this opportunity to give her a life lesson about how time management is the essence of one’s success, my husband is struggling to print a picture of a blue whale, about which my daughter has apparently managed to convince him that it was his responsibility to begin with, her nanny is struggling to neaten her hair, the driver is calling to say that ‘baby’ is late for school. Yes, the entire household is struggling to get her ready.
BUT.. (yes, there is a but, I am not all stone, thank you), then comes the time to take those suitcases out and that nagging guilt kicks in. What clearly doesn't help is my daughter's "Mumma-I'll-kiss-your-photograph-every-night" or other fellow parents' "We-would-never-leave-our-child-as-these-are-the-few-years-we-have-them-for-ourselves" or the sarcastic "Oh-poor-you, you-must-have-to-do-this-for-work." Well, I am a travel advisor, and part of my work scope is to experience the aforesaid luxury accommodation at that exotic destination, I swear!
The scene now shifts to the drive to the airport. My husband is in his brand new reflectors, a smirk on his face, humming a happy tune, and me, well, with a box of tissues, crying my heart out, till my husband threatens to throw me off the car in disgust. At which point, in my Bollywood influenced style, I tell him that he doesn't know what it is to be a mother!
Well the root cause of this drama is that annoying parental guilt, always creeping up when you are having fun, while lounging on the sun bather, ordering that Mai Tai and you manage to spot some happy (looking) parents playing with their kids. And there you go, instead of savouring your vacation, you spend the evening showing your child's golf videos to random strangers, who are, by the way, almost cursing you for disturbing them and are short of buying you the plane tickets back home.
But, despite all my laments, my husband and I still do this. We smuggle in that vacation here and there. We do it so that our daughter gets to spend quality time with her grandparents!! (ha, who am I kidding?). We do this for us, because miraculously on our return we feel like better parents. Unless of course we land on a Monday morning, in which case that euphoria of accomplished parenting fades away way too soon.
So here we are, driving to the airport, my husband in his yet-another-pair-of-brand-new reflectors, humming his happy tune, and me with my box of tissues, voraciously looking through the school calendar on my phone, to see when the next holiday break is and planning the next vacation, with our daughter of course. Guilty as charged!
Suhasini and Gaurav went on a vacation without their daughter but could not do away with parental pangs altogether. Well, at least Suhasini couldn't!
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