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Guilt: When the “Staycation” Lacks Luster

When I took my children to the community playground yesterday, I felt sort of guilty that they weren’t on some fabulous trip for their school vacation. I thought about us parents who were there on the swings, and what our situations were that made us “stay home” this vacation (aside from vaccines). Was it money? Co-parenting schedules with divorce? Work responsibilities? All of the above?

I thought back to my childhood when I remember being on the “staycation” in Cleveland during spring break, because my parents both worked, and my mom also got her Ph.D. at night. We went to the Museum of Natural History, and we toured Cleveland. We went to the mall, had some meals out (Burger King and Wendy’s were a treat), and I watched TV . I went back to school pale as Casper, while others had a marked sunburn (this was when it was cool to burn in the ’80s). I recall feeling less privileged, which is funny, since I was in a private school (read: privileged) and really want for nothing.

Yesterday, after the playground, my kids and I walked to get ice cream, and I took them to the store for a toy. She got a Rapunzel doll, and he got a Kit Kat and bandages, so he could pretend to be wounded while playing war outside when we got home.

The kids picked these

It was a super nice day together, and I know they had fun, but I still felt sort of bad we were “home.”

I know I should not.

Truth is, I asked them: would you want to go somewhere later in the week?

She said, “I don’t like Florida.” (She only says this because of alligator fears)

Yikes

He shook his head, “no.”

I wonder if they really meant that. I know time together is what counts…

But I couldn’t help wonder if they were trying to make me feel better.