Written by Anita Davison
How many times have you been asked recently, “What are your plans for the summer?”?
We are fast approaching our second (full) summer in the city and for the first time I don’t find it a completely strange question to be asked. In Sydney, especially living on the Northern Beaches, summer time didn’t really involve going anywhere. With such a lovely climate, gorgeous beaches and so many outdoor activities at our front door, going ‘away’ for the summer wasn’t a priority and a ‘stay-cation’ was usually on the cards.
Now we live in the concrete jungle that is New York City, and having spent one and a half summers staying local, I have more appreciation for the mass exodus that occurs. The tourists & summer crowds, the oppressive heat, long sweltering nights caused by the heat oozing from the concrete we are surrounded by and hot smelly subways are more than enough reasons to escape. Plus the fact that I now have 3 months (eeek!!!) of school holidays to work around, this year I am joining the exodus!
This year I am flying out of the U.S. and heading to my birthplace, Slovenia. My family migrated to Australia when I was 11 months old to give me (and later my younger brother) a better life. After 33 years in Australia and me leaving for NYC, taking the grandchildren along with us (I couldn’t really leave them behind, could I?!), my parents decided to pack up and move back home last year. This has provided a wonderful opportunity for me to start a tradition with my kids and take them to Europe for the summer whilst spending quality time with my entire family. Something I probably couldn’t have done from Australia.
Teaching my kids about their heritage, teaching them a second language and spending time with their extended family will be such a treat. I remember having so much fun when I did go back for visits, although it rarely fell over the summertime for me!
I don’t leave until mid July, so the kids will be home for 6 weeks before we fly out. The next often asked question is “Have you booked summer camp?”. This question gives me a little shiver down my spine; again foreign territory! This is my first year having to even think about it and it seems such a daunting task to find a suitable one and actually book a spot.
Have you gone through the process? I’d love to hear from anyone willing to share their experiences with finding and booking summer camps for their kids.
Australian Mums & Dads in NY
You will notice that our group name has changed. After recent discussions with a number of members, I brought it up at our last committee meeting that it was time for the group name to change.
Firstly, it’s not just the dads transferring to NYC with their jobs. There are many mums whose career has brought them over leaving dad in the trenches with the kids during the day. And don’t forget those families where everyone is working and co-parenting! We also have many members with kids who are no longer ‘bubs’ and want to make sure everyone feels welcome and included.
In honor of Father’s Day this month (Sunday, June 21), we are changing our group name to Australian Mums & Dads in NY. At the next drinks evening, I hope we will have both mums AND dads along!