My wife and I had the house entirely to ourselves this past long weekend. It was the first time all the kids had been away and both of us had been at home for a whole weekend in – well, I can't remember how long.
The oldest two kids went with all their bigger cousins to my mom's place on Manitoulin Island for her hopefully annual Nana Camp, a weekend of camping in her backyard, swimming at the beach just down the road, making crafts, and generally goofing off. They made pinatas. They played board games. They didn't have campfires because of the fire ban, but they did make s'mores in the oven. They were gone the whole weekend.
My youngest went with my mother-in-law to her trailer. They fished (he caught four, which is four more than I've seen anybody catch in the oversized pond they call a lake). They went down to the airfield to watch the WWII era planes do their practice runs. They swam. They paddle-boated. They mini-golfed. They were gone the whole weekend.
It was wonderful. Even my homestay student spent the weekend at his girlfriend's place. The silence was almost absolute. My wife and I stayed up late and watched a movie. We made love without locks on our doors. We slept in. We went to the market. We dropped by a friend's place. We went out for dinner. We read on the porch. In other words, we had the best kind of vacation – where everyone goes away and else leaves you at home.
Don't get me wrong. I love my kids. And I love to spend time with them. But a family needs time away from itself occasionally. We need space to rejuvenate, recoup our energy. We need to miss each other a bit sometimes.
And let me tell you, I could stand to miss my kids for a whole weekend every summer.