My parents got to drop us off with relatives for weeks in the summer. We don’t get to.

And for the crime of remembering what my parents got to have in the 1980s without being considered bad parents, I’m reliably and chronically informed that I’m just too mean and hoity toity, princessy, blah blah blah to understand that it’s bad and wrong to want what my parents got to have. That I’m a rotten mother, wife and woman for wanting to be able to have my kids spend summer with some relatives for a week or three.

Oh, and that anyway, we’re not totally broke all the time, why don’t we just peel a few hundys off our stack and have them in camp instead? Well, sorry, I don’t have 3-5k a week lying around for full time sleepaway camp. Because we’re middle class hick proles, not college educated ones.

I am tired, and I am especially tired of the conservative, right wing, “Christian” thing (admittedly American, mostly, but then I live here) of acting like anything outside the nuclear family is bad, including extended family relations.  It’s yet another “not just the internet” thing.  

My kids can’t have what I had because in my family tree, the kids who picked huckleberries and haws with me grew up into adults who are too far flung to park our collective 10-20-30 children with a set of older relatives because not being far flung pretty much led to jail or welfare-level living.  It’s not quite what happened with my husband’s people, but there are some similarities.  Functional family formation meant no ability to drop off kids with relatives for weeks in the summer. 

Doesn’t help that suspiciously many of the older relatives work…almost entirely limited to spring and summers, the exception being sometimes over Christmas break.  And we’ve even in the course of life as married parents run into grandparents of that age who cheerily dropped their own kids off decades ago and now are conveniently unavailable to pay the blessings forward.  

You’re so vain you think this is about you and that personal anecdote you told me in that place that time about the thing.

3 thoughts on “My parents got to drop us off with relatives for weeks in the summer. We don’t get to.

  1. I used to go to church camp for a week every summer… it wasn’t much, even by “back then” standards. It was cheap enough one year I went to BFF’s church camp with her too. Gracious, those Methodists are wild! Boys and girls at the same tables! Movies! -swoons-

    My grandfolks lived near so I spent every Friday night over there for years, and a weekend for my folks’ anniversary. I went to visit other relatives once or twice, but very rarely – we were far flung in the 80s.

    On the other hand, DH and I are trying to figure out how to leave our 17yo with our 21yo for a few days… because we have literally never gone anywhere without them ever. At least as a couple. :p

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On the other hand, for the last two summers my mother-in-law has kept my 8-year-old son …. and I kinda wish I hadn’t agreed to it. On paper it’s nice, but in practice I suffer from depression (or something) when he’s gone. I don’t want to work, I don’t want to do anything I enjoy – I just want to lay in bed and stare at the wall. So I spend my summers doing the bare minimum of what I need to do to justify my professional existence, and not much else. I become so much more productive and industrious when my son is back, even though I have the added “hassle” of working around his schedule and taking care of him.


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