On Their Own

July 1, 2011

As I write this, my 3 year old daughter has been gone to her grandparents for a visit for all of 24 hours and we miss her so much already! My son tried to put on a brave face but he admitted he missed her “a little” — which is why he wanted to call her. My nanny told me she was pretending my daughter was at school because she missed her so much. My husband remarked on how quiet our apartment was, because while my son sits and reads some books, my daughter is always singing, dancing and chatting. Which is why it takes her over an hour to eat breakfast. Every day. And I miss cuddling with her and laughing at her silly jokes. But even though we all miss her, independence is a good thing. (She, by the way, was so excited to go, she told everyone — our doormen, her friends — that she was leaving.)

So whether it’s grandparents’ house, camp or a sleepover at a friend’s, separation can bolster your child in ways being by your side never can. Of course, you need to gauge what feels right for you and your child. I wasn’t going to send Addison for another year, but she insisted she was ready. My parents live by the beach and so she was excited about the rides on the boardwalk and the ocean. There is plenty for her to do. She was ready.

Though you will send them with a list of instructions, being on their own lets them speak for themselves and make choices, both good and bad ones. It forces them to express themselves to others, rather than rely on you to be their voice to the world. Little by little, it prepares them for a time when they will go off into the world, without the familiar day-to-day orbit of their family. And deny it or not, that day will come.

For my daughter, a visit to the grandparents alone means she’s the center of attention, and as the second born, how often does that happen? She doesn’t have her older brother to bother her, and she can indulge in ways we never let her. (TV when she wakes up! Popsicles after dinner!) Bottom line, it’s a good time — who can argue with that? But we still miss her.

Good Deals

Flex Mussels has an unbeatable happy hour deal every weekday from 5:30 to 7:30: bottomless mussels and a beer for $20! We checked it out this week and I can vouch that it’s a genuine deal. They don’t hassle you — you just need to sit at the bar or at the counter by the bar…Restaurant Week is coming up starting July 11th so make your reservations now! Click here for a list of participating restaurants…Everyone is trying to get rid of their summer merchandise — The Gap and Banana Republic are almost giving stuff away this weekend; Loft has everything 40% off, and Vince has things 60% off. So if you need something, now would be the time!

Single of the Week

Here’s Ken:

The good news: there are reports that President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen may step down. The bad news: this fall, he’ll be taking over for Regis. But let’s not judge “Live With Ali Abdullah and Kelly” just yet. All it takes is some fantastic guests, fabulous outfits and a jaunty, cozy theme song like this week’s single by Beirut, and ABC’s got another daytime hit in the making.

Etc.

Next week is July 4th and we’ll be on vacation, which means Family Favs will be off, too. Hope you have a wonderful long holiday weekend with your friends and family and I look forward to sharing more when I return!

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