Vacationing in Wildwood

We’re half way through our first summer vacation this week in Wildwood. With one grandma, three couples of parents, and eight boys living under one roof, the place can be quite chaotic with activities.

Everyday we wake up around eight or nine, eat breakfast, then bike on the boardwalk—I rollerblade instead. We ride from one end of the boardwalk to the other and stop at the playground for an hour. We hit the arcade until noon before heading back to the rental house.

The adults prepare the food while the boys watch TV or play with each other. The kids have agreed to no digital devices during vacation. I keep my phone in my room so that I don’t pull it out in the living room. Some adults still use their phone in front of the kids. Somehow the rule doesn’t apply to adults. After lunch, some kids take naps, some kids don’t. They watch TV together and eat tons of snacks. I read and take a quick nap before heading to the skatepark. No kids want to join me unless I make Đạo and Đán come along.

Around four or five in the evening we hit the beach, which is the kids’ favorite activities. We played in the water and on the sand until seven in the evening. We head back home to take a bath. We have dinner together and relax until ten or eleven.

That’s pretty much how we spend our vacation days. As long as I have my books, my skates, and my liquors, I am enjoying my time with the big group as well as with myself.

With the exception of Vương, the boys are older now and they can do things for themselves. Especially with the older kids like Đạo and Đán, they can grab their own food or even make their own breakfast. They know how to fry eggs and make instant noodles in the morning. Of course, I can do everything for them, but I want them to be more independent. I don’t want to be the type of parents who do everything for their kids, especially with small tasks they can do themselves. Rising boys in particular, I don’t want them to get used to getting served. Of course, all mothers love their children and they don’t mind making the food and serving their kids. The kids just have to sit their asses on the chair and the food is ready. They don’t even have to do a thing. That’s when we set the wrong expectation. Of course what other parents do for their kids is none of my business, but I keep seeing the cycle repeating in Vietnamese families. Boys and men get served by mothers and wives.

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