Summer is the time when the weather gets hotter, the air-condition runs day and night and the mosquitoes feast on our exposed flesh. The time of the year when we relax, unwind and fill our batteries –or at least desperately try to– for the upcoming winter.

July is officially here and it’s the heart of the summer. Alongside with the seventh month came our plans for vacations; near or far, on a budget or not, each and every one of us dreams of sipping cocktails on a beach with crystal clear waters. We pack our bags, suitcases, camping gear or save up for a fancy hotel. Whatever the case, summer would not be summer without vacation.

Most of the time we plan our vacation around our loved ones; a partner, a kid, some friends. People we want to spend more time with. Sadly, especially for younger ages, that circle of people does not include our parents. Parents, who most likely spend all year working without breaks so they could take some time off during the summer to see us. Our parents, who saved up every last penny they could manage to come visit us wherever we are.

And what do we do in return? We ditch them.

I understand that no one really feels like an independent adult when they’re spending vacation with their parents. It sounds weird and most of the time they want to pay for us, cover all our expenses and shower us with gifts and luxuries we wouldn’t normally buy for ourselves. We don’t want to be a burden and, to be honest, telling people you’re going to spend the summer with your parents doesn’t sound too good. It gives off the impression of a lazy-ass kid who, instead of making his own plans and managing his own money, prefers to let his parents do the work.

The reality is far from that. Our parents, whatever their age, will always miss us. Even if we live in the same house, even if they see us on a daily basis, the day-to-day interaction isn’t the same as spending some time together in a relaxing place. The pressure from everyday life, the stress from work or school and the constant friction of living together creates tension between us. We need the time away to calm down and rekindle our relationship with them. And what better time to do it than summer?

We’re all free from whatever we’re doing during winter. Parents are the best listeners for their kid because they’re always interested in what you have to say. It’s easy to talk to them under a starry sky on the beach, effortlessly confiding in them all the troubles you had to carry on our shoulders the year that passed.

Of course, we need to keep in mind that our parents are old – or at least, older than us. They won’t always be here, looming in the background and patiently waiting for us to squeeze them into our schedule. We need to create memories while there’s still time.

Spending a bit of our summer vacation together is a great opportunity to gather moments we can cherish; take pictures, create family jokes and stories our kids would love to hear about their grandparents. Yes, they can be annoying, pushy, constantly nagging us about the simplest tasks. And yeah, our moms will still chase us around the beach with sunscreen in their hands and our dads will still constantly ask us to go that fishing trip with them even though we never catch anything; but that’s a parent’s magic.

They will keep doing the same little protective things regardless of our age. Instead of letting their little quirks push us away we should use them as a bond to bring us closer.

A parent’s love is unconditional. They don’t ask for much; just a bit of our time. So this summer maybe you should consider sacrificing a bit of wild partying for a couple quiet moments with your folks. And who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it more than camping with your friends. You just have to give it a go.

Author: Matina Tsouma

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