Summer vacation looms large in a child’s life, pretty much no matter where you grow up or what your summer vacation looks like.
To celebrate the range of wonderful summer experiences out there, the Sassy Mama team will be sharing our own fond summer memories from childhoods spent on five different continents. Look out for a new summertime reflection from the Sassy Mama team every Friday through July and August, mamas! Today: Managing Director Emilie recalls worry-free days spent with her cousins in the South of France.
My brother and I were lucky in that my parents always took us on holidays during the summer break. I have many great memories of trips to Sicily, Tuscany, France, the UK and the United States, however my fondest holiday memories are of a place in the South of France called Cavaillon.
My uncle used to own a house there and would invite family and friends to come and join him for the summer. It was the most wonderful place; it had a pool, a ping pong table, a little garden full of crickets and fireflies, and this enormous room where all the children would sleep. But what made it really special was that my cousins were there, too.
Cavaillon is an eight hour drive from Brussels and to avoid the brutal summer heat (no aircons in the cars back then) we would usually leave in the middle of the night. So off we went in our beloved 1977 red Alfa Romeo Giulietta. All four of us, picnic basket at the ready, and of course no seat belts.
Once there, we were on our own. The adults and the kids were living totally separate lives that would only cross at meals and bath times. With so many kids around there was always something to do, a new game to play, a new record to beat or a new challenge to take on. We would hardly leave the house, only to go to local markets and sometimes for a visit but most of the times we were just busy playing.
Today I try and recreate that experience for my kids when I bring them to Belgium every summer so they get to build their own memories. It’s magical to see their excitement grow year after year. One day I hope they’ll look back and those will also be some of their childhood’s fondest memories.