Article by Wendy Mccance
This summer has been rather unique so far. My oldest daughter went to Washington D.C. with her grandmother and a cousin for a week. They visited the White House, the Smithsonian, the Lincoln Memorial and just about every other important historical place you can name. It was a fabulous trip for her.
My younger daughter who is in her middle school years is currently in Canada with a close friend and her family. She was invited to go to her friend’s summer home for a weekend. I just heard from her and she is having an incredible time.
It got me thinking about how quickly the kids are growing up. I never pictured that the kids would be taking off on some amazing trips without me in tow. What struck me was that I really got a glimpse of what kind of kids I have.
There’s nothing like a vacation away from your parents to test your ability to thrive on your own. I had wondered if the kids would be homesick. Would they remember to be polite and helpful towards those they were travelling with. Maybe they would be bored and unimpressed with the great vacation they had been able to go on.
What I’m finding out is that the way the kids act, and feel when they are far from their parents is such a good indicator of what kind of people they are developing into. When my oldest daughter came back from Washington D.C., she seemed more grown up and sophisticated. She had truly appreciated the opportunity to take such a great trip. Her grandmother was so impressed with her manners and her interest in all that they had seen.
It was eye-opening for my daughter to see those incredible historical sites. She was also in awe over the difference in the people she encountered. She said that people were so nice and really went out of their way whenever they were lost and looking for their next site to visit. She loved the metro as she has never rode one before. The easy access of the metro to get you around the town was so cool to her. She had a chance to meet some relatives while she was there. It struck her that the cousins she met and who were all around her age seemed so aware of the history that surrounded them. They had conversations about politics and what the current state of the nation was. She came back wanting to know more about the world. She had done an inventory of what her life was like and what she wanted to improve on. It was fascinating to see the impact that trip had on her.
My youngest daughter will be back in the states tonight. We have texted a few times and she is having a blast. It was wonderful to see the excitement in those words she typed to me. I can’t wait to hear her stories and see what type of impact the trip had on her.
So the kids are growing up. As far as I can tell, they are growing into respectful, polished individuals. I am so proud of the way they handle themselves when their own parents aren’t around. It’s been exciting to hear their stories and see how their lives are changing from these wonderful experiences. Taking a vacation without parents is an experience I’m glad my children have had.
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