My Family Is Going on Summer Vacation -- Without Me!

Being a Mom 7

I didn't grow up in a summer vacation house.

Wait. Back up. Let me rephrase: I didn't have a summer house, either, although THAT would have been pretty rad.

(Truth be told, my friends who HAD summer houses were all infested with bugs and smelled vaguely of mildew.)

So I didn't have a summer house. I also didn't have a summer VACATION household. I mean, my parents were never all, "HEY KIDS, IT'S SUMMER BREAK! YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? FAMILY VACATION!"

Not once did my parents say, "LET'S GATHER 'ROUND THE CAMPFIRE AND SING US SOME DEPRESSING ANTI-WAR SONGS!" Although, to be fair, I learned my fair share of horribly depressing anti-war songs WITHOUT the campfire, thankyouverymuch.

Similarly, no one ever suggested that we "GEAR UP AND MEET IN THE FAMILY ROADSTER FOR A NICE ROAD TRIP!"

I can't say I blame them.

I'm a late-in-life-OOPS baby, my brother a full 10 years my senior, so I can only imagine the horror of a surly teen + his baby sister in the car. It'd have been one of those news stories you see where a family -- out of nowhere -- drives off a cliff to meet their tragic demise. If Illinois had cliffs to drive off, of course. A bridge doesn't have the same WOW factor.


We never took summer vacations. It was always too hot. Too boring. Too stupid. Too touristy. Too ... something.

While my friends toured exotic places like the Ozarks and Delaware, summer for a Young Aunt Becky was something like this:

"You up? Good."

(throws a piece of toast in my direction)

"Out you go!"

I'd be ushered out the door as my mother locked it behind me, left to my own devices. I could take this moment and whine about how horrible this was, but frankly, that would be a lie. I was a free-range kid and I loved it. Ghost in the Graveyard, Foxy Boxing, lemonade stands (where no one bought a damn thing), American Gladiators, we made up all KINDS of games.

Even without musty trailers and traveling through the Boonies, we had a good damn time. We were free range kids and we loved it. These were the days before the fear of kidnapping and/or sexual abuse was a big concern for parents -- we simply went about our day, back at home by the time darkness fell.

When I married my husband, The Daver, he shared stories of summer road-trips gone by. Loading up the ol' station wagon with bibles and Game Boys, and hitting the open road. In listening to him describe it, I can't say that I felt I missed out on anything in particular.

And for the past five years, taking a road trip or any sort of vacation with the family has been more or less out of the question. Two of the three of my children would express their displeasure at being contained in their car seats by screaming loudly as my brain thudded against my skull.

Finally, though, my youngest is a mature three, my oldest is nearing 11, and it's time. For a family freaking vacation.

Or, at least, that's what my husband claims they're doing (they could be off playing penny slots in Vegas for all I know). Yeah, that's right -- there's a summer vacation trip and I'm not going with.

Why? I can hear you yell through the computer at me, where I very calmly return, "I have pneumonia or some other exotic disease that doesn't need to be spread."

I admit, I'm a wee bit sad that I'm missing out on a glorious trip up to scenic Wisconsin, but not so much that I'm willing to bring my piles of medical gear with me in order to go.

Ah well. There's always next year.


back to school, behavior, summer break, summer survival


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zandh... zandhmom2

My family loves our summer vacations. I try to pick a different state each year (hoping to do all 50) and we like to plan it out as a family.  I'm hoping to make great memories with my kids that we can all look back and reminisce about.  Luckily, both of my kids are great travelers. I have driven 17 hrs to WI & MN, 14 hrs to FL (twice) and hours upon hours to GA, OH, NC,SC, IL, PA,NJ, NY and a few others. We drive at night and with the tv in the minivan, my kids just watch tv until they fall asleep and usually by time they wake up, we are almost there. I don't know what you're medical situation is but maybe you could handle to weekend trip near by so you and your family can share memories of that.

jessi... jessicasmom1

my family loves our summer vacations too .. we travel from PA to FL. every year 

lstri... lstrickland

We go to the lake for 11 days every year and do a weekend trout fishing in August.

Its all just a few hours away but we love it.

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Denes Gubacsi

I read on that family vacation time tends to synch with school vacation time for most families, but every once in a while, that setup becomes just a little too limiting. Whether you want to take your kids on the trip of a lifetime or you're looking to attend a far-flung family reunion, sometimes you want to go for longer than the one or two weeks that school breaks allow.

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Marce Castle

The very words "summer vacation" stir images of carefree fun in the sun or a travel to canada getaway, but without the right planning-a warm-weather escape can fall well short of its high expectations. When it comes to traveling companions beyond your immediate family, make sure you're truly compatible with any prospective travel mates before hitting the road.

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