This has been on my mind the last few years but hit hard this year especially.
I would like to apologise to my teens for NEVER being able to take them away on a nice summer holiday like most parents, somewhere in the sunshine abroad.
They are now 17 and almost 15 years old, and I found the holidays much easier in a way when they were younger. We had days in the park with friends, beach days, garden days with friends and we have done a few years camping in the UK which we have all enjoyed.
Our only ‘proper’ family holidays were courtesy of my Mum who for 2 years running in ’07 and ’08 took us all away to Florida to do all the Disney parks and attractions and we all loved those holidays and still talk about them now, as they are normally a ‘once in a lifetime’ holiday that a lot of people never get to do, so in that respect we were extremely fortunate that my Mum footed the bill both times.
Before I was diagnosed with long term illness 6 years ago , I was self employed as a Driving Instructor with a healthy part time business that I was hoping to expand when the boys went to secondary school. However, having to give up work obviously has taken it’s toll financially and so things like holidays etc are not even on our radar. For this I feel personally responsible, as my OH works hard and brings in a decent wage however, on top of a mortgage and normal bills teenagers can be expensive when they eat you out of house and home, outgrow clothes etc at an alarming rate and obviously keeping them entertained is a LOT more expensive than toddlers.
So here goes:
* I am sorry we have never been able to send you on one of the great secondary school holidays that your friends have gone on.
* I am sorry that we cannot afford to take you abroad even camping as everything adds up and obviously when you are in another country you actually want to have some money to eat out and go to the sights.
* I am sorry that days out at home can be few and far between and generally not over exciting for a teenager- especially as there is so much to do in London (on our doorstep) for your age group but is just too expensive.
* I am sorry you don’t get the opportunities that all your friends seem to have going away for weekends here and there during the year.
I can only apologise to them profusely and wish away a few years until my OH’s retirement were we have already said we WILL go abroad wherever they want to go with their partners, if they have one, and like my Mum did WE will foot the bill and hopefully have a great time- that’s if they even want to come away with us!
I can only imagine what it will be like for them as they return to school with all their mates talking about where they have been and what they have done, and for my two when they are asked to say very little probably.
It is not how I envisaged my life to be like when they were this age, I imagined being able to treat them, pay them decent pocket money and take them on a holiday each year like normal families do. Although they are extremely understanding about the money side of things and it has made them careful with their money too ( at Christmas and birthday’s) I hope they never get to the point where they resent us for them missing out.