Family life

Why I like to miss my kids

After an enjoyable child-free trip, Tracy is ready to embrace the upcoming summer months with her daughters.

By Tracy Chappell
Why I like to miss my kids

The beautiful pool at Lago Mar Resort.

We’ve just returned from our beautiful adults-only holiday. We were a group of 14 — my girlfriends and our partners, which was a departure for our usual girls-only get-togethers. It was nice to have the boys along, and it gave us the best of both holidays — lots of friend time, but some couple time too. It was an amazing way to kick off this year since we're all turning 40.
Finding a time and a place for this to happen was, as you can imagine, not the easiest endeavor. I think we discussed this holiday for about a year and a half — at different times we were pondering trips to Las Vegas, Bahamas, New Orleans and Myrtle Beach — and I’m so grateful to my friends who took the reins and made it happen.
In the end, we found ourselves in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at a resort called Lago Mar. As soon as I walked in the doors, I got this old Hollywood vibe from the floors and the drapery and the furniture and the fixtures. In this world of high-rises and mass-production, it had such personality. I immediately turned to my friend and told her that it felt like a haunted hotel. I mean that in the most delicious way. Scenes from The Shining kept popping into my head (not the bloody ones), and the one bellhop looked like he’d been there for all of the resort’s 50 years of business. The staff was over-the-top helpful, in a we-served-Bugsy-Siegel kind of way. I was fascinated.
It was everything I wanted: A warm lagoon-like pool to swim in and lounge beside… until we decided to walk a few steps over to the beautiful ocean to ride the waves and lounge under an umbrella on the sand. The weather was picture-perfect, the beds comfy, the company wonderful. I drank margueritas. I got halfway through a book that I’m loving called The Forgotten Garden, and that was really the extent of my intellectual efforts for three days. Oh, and to decide on eggs or pancakes for breakfast. I ate way too much. 
There were kids there, and the resort actually had some kid-friendly amenities (a playground and mini golf), but while it was cute watching them frolic on the beach and search for seashells, I was happy that child-minding was not on our agenda for the weekend.
We tried to Facetime with the girls while they were at Grandma and Grandpa’s, but the reception was patchy. We did get a few seconds of connection to see their adorable faces squealing their excitement over their weekend fun, which included rock collecting at the park and beach, the creation of their own rain sticks, running through the sprinkler, very late nights (according to Anna) and a lot of ice cream. When they ran up the driveway to meet us, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to hear the word “Mommy!” and have their arms wrapped around me again. My parents, and my sisters and their kids, all took advantage of the long weekend to be together and it sounds like they all had an amazing time. My mom not only kept the girls busy and smiling, but did their laundry so I wouldn’t have to. Icing on a very big cake. Thanks Mom.
The best thing about leaving my kids is, always, coming back to them. I know how lucky we are to have the opportunity to do this, and to be able to leave Anna and Avery with people who adore spending time with them. And now it seems that summer is here, and we all feel refreshed, relaxed and ready to embrace every moment of the beautiful months ahead. Hello summer!

Do you ever holiday without your kids? Tweet me @T_Chappell.

This article was originally published on May 22, 2013

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