My parents, whom I adore, and would continue to adore even if they weren't about to do this, are taking my children from me next week. They'll have the kids until the end of July. (If you're not keeping up with the math, that means the kids will be out of our house for 3 1/2 weeks.)
We've been doing this for a couple of years, now, but this is definitely the longest they've been gone.
In 2004, my in-laws kept the kids for four days when I was quarantined after taking the thyroid-killing dose of radioactive iodine.
In 2005, we sold and bought a house, but there was a three-week fly in the vaseline. The buyer of the old house wanted to take possession on May 31, but the new house wouldn't be ready until late June. Fortunately, a friend of mine was moving out of his apartment a month before his lease was up, and he really loved the idea of splitting the rent. The only imperfect thing about that plan was that his apartment was a small one-bedroom. With almost all our earthly possessions in storage, we moved in, creating a kids' paradise of wall-to-wall bed (one queen next to one double) in the bedroom. My mom quickly ascertained that this was not going to end well, and, with the desire to keep her daughter's sanity and felony-conviction-free status intact, as well as the desire to protect her grandchildren from being slain by stressed-out parents, she offered to pick them up and play with them for a few weeks.
By 2006, Craig and I had gotten used to this break in our summer. A time to watch whatever we wanted on TV at any time, the freedom to go to the movies and see anything that wasn't rated G, the flexibility to eat dinner at 10 p.m. if we wanted or to run to the neighborhood bar to play trivia (on a school night!). My parents offered an increase to 2 1/2 weeks and upped the ante, adding a few days of church camp to the deal. LANYARDS! Sweet! My in-laws got into the fun last year, too, taking the kids for a week. So yeah, that's 3 1/2 weeks of kid-free living.
So it's getting to be that time again. This year, the kids will have the BEST! SUMMER! EVER! which, thus far, is slated to include the following attractions:
- wedding in West Virginia (the kids' second cousin, whom they've never met)
- trip to Colonial Jamestown
- trip to Busch Gardens
- hanging out with my parents (which, in my opinion, is a great way to spend time)
- a full week of camp
- more hanging out with the folks
- traveling to Chicago, where I'll attend BlogHer and then...
- trip to Six Flags
- train ride home
Thank goodness school starts in mid-August. That only leaves them two weeks after their trip ends.