There is nothing more exciting than summer vacation. For months you see it as a mirage, the light at the end of the tunnel, the reward for your hard work during the long dark winter – and you can’t wait for it to come. As it gets closer, you start counting the weeks, the days, the minutes, while dreaming about how you are going to lay in the sun, enjoy some piece and quite and just relax. Ah… relax! How amazing it will be. And then, at last, the first day of summer vacation is upon you. At last, some piece and quiet. And then your kids jump onto the bed.
Oh, you’re hungry? Of course, I’ll make something for you. You want to go outside? Sure, let’s do that. Ah… what a lovely weather… wait, don’t run away! DON’T RUN AWAY!!! Wow, I’m clearly out of shape, a 100 meter sprint to prevent my kid from running in front of a car and I’m beat! What! You need a new diaper? Again! Oh well then, let’s change it. Amazing how bowel movements of the kids seem to increase while on holiday. Wow, is it already time for eating again?!
You’re getting my point here, right? While summer vacation with the family is lovely and refreshing and a much needed change from the everyday life – it’s also packed with activities and chores. A summer vacation with kids provides a wonderful opportunity to spend a lot of quality time together – but it’s also a time filled with action, commotion and tasks that need to be attended to. It’s not easy. It is definitely not easier if the kids have some sort of disability, such as autism. Either way, a summer vacation with kids (especially if they are young and/or disabled) does not leave much room for relaxation. It’s hard work. Really hard. Oh and did I mention that it was hard? :)
It is not uncommon that at the end of the summer vacation, you can’t wait to get back into the normal routines, to take the kids to kindergarten, to go to work, enjoy interacting with other people on a professional level, picking up the kids at the end of the day, eating dinner, putting the kids to sleep, having the night off to do whatever you please. Yes… as dull and homogenous as the normal routine can seem, it’s also comforting.
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This has not been the best summer in terms of weather here in Denmark. They’re calling it the coldest summer in years – that is until last weekend. The weather has been amazing in the past week. It’s been really hot and sunny – with high levels of humidity – and naturally, everyone is loving it. People are rushing outside, to the beach, ripping their clothes of in an attempt to consume as much vitamin D as humanly possible. Except for me. I’ve been stuck inside, sweaty and sticky, longing to be outside. The not so great weather suited me perfectly but I guess, that’s what I get for writing my master thesis during the summertime.
Since my husband is also working on his thesis, we have not been able to take any summer vacation. Fortunately, it was possible to keep the boys in the kindergarten during the main weeks of summer vacations but instead, the preschool teachers encouraged us to give the boys time off after we are done with the papers. In my case, that is in approximately two weeks and for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working around the clock in order to finish before that deadline. Since my husband is not scheduled to hand his paper in as early as I am, he has been taking care of the boys, providing me the opportunity to really focus on the thesis. This means that when I will finally be done, we will be swapping roles and he will be in 100% study priority. Coincidentally, that is also the only time it will be possible to take the boys on summer vacation before we have to start preparing for the move back to Iceland.
So… this means that summer vacation is going to be me and the boys – enjoying life together. I’m looking forward to it quite a lot. Obviously, I can’t wait to be finished with my thesis. Just having that burden of my shoulders is going to be a great relief. And I’ve been seeing so little of my boys lately that I can’t wait to have all the time in the world to hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, read with them, play with them, go on trips with them, go to the beach with them, indulge in an ice-cream or two with them. Ah… it’s going to be amazing. But… I’m also dreading it. A lot. I know that at the end of each day I am going to be exhausted. And I really really feel that I need some time off to just… relax. And I’m sure that when the vacation is over, I’m going to feel relieved and regretful at the same time. I guess it’s the paradox of summer vacation.
Do you relate or is it just me? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.
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