It has been a really long time since I blogged. Truth be told, life got in the way. But I hope, I am able to remedy that now onwards and start posting more frequently.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since my last post. Ads turned 10, an exciting milestone! Fifth grade, and the school workload increased quite a bit, catching us a wee bit unprepared in the initial months (daily homework - really????). Y moved to a new school and to Grade One, again a big transition for her. I turned forty, a milestone that I managed to exploit to the hilt :)
S was travelling to Greece for his company's annual conference so we decided that we would celebrate my 40th by holidaying in Greece and Paris. The timing of of our trip also tied up nicely with my organization's annual conference, which I was scheduled to fly to the US for, so we decided we would spend a couple of weeks in Europe, and then I would fly to the US and S would return to India.
We decided not to take the kids because, apart from the expense, right now, we have the huge luxury of having my parents babysit them, something I am grateful for every day. I had a fairly tough time planning the itinerary and organizing our travel in the midst of work, but of course it was all very new and exciting doing it!
I recently reread one of my favourite parenting books - French Children don't throw food - and was struck again by how much of a French mom I am :) I've always been pretty strict with my kids and very conscious that they and I are separate beings, and we don't need to be joined at the hip all the time. Even when we did not have the support system that we have now, I used to take time off to spend an evening with friends, or go out on my own while S took charge of the kids. When Y was as young as a year and a half, I have left her and Ads with S at his parents home while I spent a couple of days with my parents and other family. And I have never been hesitant to ask for help. The first time that S and I took off on our own was 3 years ago when we took a few days off to go to Himachal to celebrate our anniversary. This year, we spent a weekend in Mudigere for our anniversary and our Europe trip was the third time we were out without the kids.
I think it's important for moms (dads too) to make time for themselves and for each other. I've felt strongly for some years that the husband and wife need to be a strong cohesive unit. The kids will leave home at 18 and never look back but if you haven't invested in your relationship with your spouse, then what do you have but an empty nest to look forward to? I know from experience that every relationship, especially and ironically, the closest ones, tend to become very transactional and matter-of-fact with the passage of time. To NOT take each other for granted is hard!
So while I may not again (for some time atleast), take off on a two week holiday with S, I know we will both make the effort to take a week off every year with the help and kindness of our parents. Having an uninterrupted conversation over coffee, not having to referee unceasing arguments and fights, forgetting to be responsible and grown-up and discovering our goofy and silly selves again, was a priceless experience. I think I dropped a couple of years off my age right there :)