Before I even tackle the questions posted in the happy hour, what would be a vacation. To me, a period of suspension of work, study or other activities. It is usually used for a rest, recreation, or travel and of course a holiday.
Law courts and legislature set a side time from normal activities this regular feature is also a holiday.
So is freedom or release from duty business or activity.
So what are we talking about, a vacation with kids does sound like an oxymoron. When people go on vacation, they shed their home skins and think they can be a new person, and they call this a holiday.
It is definitely bad for maternal image to say vacation with kids is an oxymoron, though between you and me, i am not one of those mothers who take motherhood seriously, I do let my kids experiment and rough it out.
In the eyes of child there are no seven wonders in the world, there are seven million and that adds magic to my vacation. A fortnight ago, though it was not my vacation, my brother got his seven year old for avacation. All I did was to take him on the local goan transport called the “Ferry” this is not your standard tourist experience, but to my seven year old nephew it was an adventure, he had so many questions to ask the passengers, and they indulged him with answers.
Years back, it was the magic of the tandoor that claimed my six year old daughter’s attention and not the much hyped Taj, she was absolutely fascinated by the way the road side tandoor worked, the elderly dabbewallah let her pat a tandoor and placed it in the furnace for her, he then let her pick it out with hook. He didn’t charge us for it, he said the wonder in the child’s eye was his payment.
As to how I would ensure that my kids have the best time so that I would have a great time too – lets face it, every person needs to take one day away. A day in which we consciously separate the past from the future, jobs, family, employers and friends every one exist one day without any of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they can exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for we need to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us—so I do what my mother did, send them to my mother.
Those vacations that we take as family, I learnt from my mother and her mother before her micromanaging does not work, the two greatest gifts I can give my kids are roots and wings, let them explore and discover through the holiday. Routes and destinations must be discovered through the journey, if we wish to travel new lands—the key to success lies an the creative activity of making new maps. To me the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience the every day things, as it for the first time. To be in a position in which nothing is so familiar that is taken for granted.
This adds a sense of adventure, just look at the kind of books that kids devour, they are all books that deal with dealing with the unknown, as we travel I let them guess the “story” the place says, the kind of everyday life that people lead. A little bunging jumping or parasailing that adds the risk element. A book, or walk in the museum that allows a little introspection.
Whatever at the end of the day it is their call. I accompany them with a book in my hand, if I am up to it I join them if not, I am around with my book, we create a space of being individually together.
Believe me I never carried baby food, or toys, except for bare minimum. The only concession I made was diapers, both for the kids and now for the senior citizens.