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Summer Diaries: I Survived a Vacation With Three Kids Under Age 5
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    We’ll never have Paris. No, we’re not that family, the kind that jetsets to fabulous holiday destinations like Iceland, or the Maldives, or Whistler. Heck, we’ll never even have Boracay. We look at Instagram photos of families frolicking in the sea, and we know that will never be us. One day, maybe that’ll be us, too. I sure hope so. But not now, not when our boys are aged 4, 2, and 7 months, and we thank God on our knees if we’re able to get home from doing the groceries, alive with everyone’s fingers and toes intact. Our best summer holiday? Good grief, what a question. That would have to be the one where we survived.

    It was 2013 and our boys were aged 3 and 1 (with the youngest yet to be conceived). Judging from our Facebook feed, half of Manila was in Tokyo, Japan, and we were exactly where we were yesterday: stuck at home. Our maid and our kids’ yaya just left us—one of them had stolen from us—and we weren’t replacing them because of trust issues. My wife was blogging full-time and I was in the middle of writing a novel—that made us both unemployed. When the baby cried, one of us had to attend to him and the other had to make sure that the toddler didn’t burn the house down. Nothing got done. I’m not sure how we ate, but it involved a lot of takeout.

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    That was the best summer with the kids; that was the best summer of my life. It was just the four of us in a tight cocoon, wrapped in a baby haze, at times going insane, but mostly, simply happy. It was difficult and it was glorious. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was beautiful. We all piled into the same bed at night, we changed a lot of diapers, we helped each other, we overcame the hard times, and we laughed more than was our share. We survived.

    Nowadays, people ask us—directly or indirectly—if we’re getting regular jobs and yayas like regular people. Maybe one day, but so far, the answer is no. We’re making ends meet, we’re putting a little aside for tomorrow, and we’re making this cocoon we have last for as long as we can.

    Later on, we had Disneyland. We got the pictures with Mickey and Goofy, the kids went out of their minds, and it was a blast. That was also Halloween, so it doesn’t count. But even if it were summer, it still doesn’t hold a candle to that golden time. Who needs Paris?

    Vince Sales juggles writing for a living and being a husband and dad to his three adorable sons. He is a former editor of a tech magazine and has written for various other glossies.

    This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Smart Parenting magazine. Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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