TGS: Vacation Time

The Grape Sisters: Vacation Time

Rania was crying. Her parents were leaving for vacation in Hawaii today and she wasn’t happy about it.  She couldn’t understand why they would leave her sister, brother and her at home!  The last time her parents went on a long vacation without the children, Rania was too young to remember, so this was something new and scary to her. 

While her mom finished packing her suitcase, Rania walked into the bedroom with tears rolling down her cheeks.  

“I don’t want you to go.  Can’t I come, too?”  cried Rania.

 “Rania, we’ve talked about this.  You’ll have a great time with your Aunt,” her mom said.

“But who is going to make me breakfast?  Who is going to tuck me in and read me a story before bed?” cried Rania.  “What if I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep?”

Her mom sighed, “Your Aunt can do all of those things.  Your dad and I are going to be away for eight days so why don’t you go pick out 8 books to read at bedtime and place them on your night stand?  Then make sure you’ve got your bunny and your blankie tucked into your bed and ready for snuggling later.” 


Wiping tears from her cheeks, Rania moped out of the room and into hers to pick out the books.  She picked 8 and then 2 more just in case she could convince her Aunt to read more than one on a couple of nights. 

She picked bunny out from under the covers and blankie off the floor and tucked them between her pillows. 

Then she went downstairs to see her parents off.  Her dad put the suitcases in the car and hugged her sister and brother.  Her dad picked her up and said, “Rania, you’re going to have a great time with your Aunt.  We’ll miss you but we’ll be back before you know it!” 

She couldn’t help the tears from falling again.  She just didn’t want them to go.  She held onto his leg as long as she could before he got into the car. 

Her mom came over and knelt down to pick her up.  “My love, you’re going to have a lot of fun.  Auntie has a lot of fun activities planned.  I love you and I’ll call you tomorrow.”  She handed her over to her Aunt and got into the car, too. 

Rania, her Aunt, brother and sister stood there waving good-bye until the car was out of sight.

Then all of a sudden Auntie asked, “Whose up for a game of soccer?”  Her sister and brother’s hands went up but Rania joined in reluctantly eyes still red from crying.      


To her surprise, the next eight days were full of fun activities.   After school each day, Auntie had all sorts of fun planned.

They painted pottery.

They played cards.

 They made paper mache balls and filled them with candy. 

They went out to dinner at a special restaurant.  

They played board games.  Auntie and Rania played as a team.  

One night Rania and Auntie even invited the Grape Sisters over to make ice cream sundaes and watch a movie.      


Rania’s favorite part of Auntie’s visit was that each night Auntie would read a story, sometimes two, and tuck her into bed.  Then they would discuss what the best parts of their day were and say what they were grateful for.

On the last night, Auntie asked Rania what her favorite part of the week had been.  “Ummm, making sundaes with the Grape Sisters was pretty fun!” she said.   “But the best part was hanging out with you.” 

“You did just fine without your mom and dad, didn’t you?” said Auntie. 

“Yes, I guess I did,” smiled Rania.  “I missed them but I had so much fun with you it was like we were on a vacation of our own!”

“A vacation in our own house!” Rania laughed. 

Auntie smiled, “I’m happy you had a good time.  Maybe next time you can come stay at my house for a few days and we can have a mini vacation there!” 

“Yah, that sounds like a good idea,” agreed Rania. 


The next day when her parents came home, Rania ran into their arms. 

“Mommy, mommy!  Daddy, you’re home!” 

“Did you have a good time?” they asked. 

“Yes, I had a really good time playing with Auntie.  We had a vacation, too!” 

Her mom and dad laughed.  “That’s great,” her mom said. “Sometimes it’s good to have time apart.” 

Auntie hugged them all good-bye and headed home.    

In the living room, her parents gathered the kids.  We brought home some gifts for each of you! They handed her brother and sister mementoes from Hawaii and then it was Rania’s turn.  She opened the bag and took out 5 necklaces of plastic flowers and 5 grass skirts. 

“What are these?” she asked. 

“These are traditional items native Hawaiians wear during Luaus.  The necklaces are called leis and in Hawaii they are made out of real flowers.  There is one for you and each of the Grape Sisters!” her mom said. 

“What is a Luau?” continued Rania. 

“A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian BBQ usually done on the beach at sunset,” said her dad.  There is lots of food, dance and music.  We brought back a book so we can learn more about them.   Then we’ll pick a date and have a Luau in the backyard with your friends and their families.  We also brought you a DVD so you and the grape sisters can learn traditional style Hawaiian dances and put on a little show at the Luau! What do you think?”

“Can I try mine on right now?” Rania asked. 

“Of course!” her mom exclaimed.   She tried on the lei and the skirt and her dad turned on the DVD so she could begin to practice.   “The Grape Sisters are going to love this! I’m going to show them tomorrow! Thanks mom and dad!”       

That night as her dad tucked her into bed and prepared to leave the room, Rania said, “We have to say what we’re grateful for.”  

“Oh, is this something Auntie did with you?” asked her dad. 

“Yes, we say something good that happened in the day and we say something we’re grateful for.  I go first.  Something good is that I got good marks on my homework at school today.  Something I’m grateful for is you and mommy coming home!” said Rania.  

Her dad smiled back at her, “ok, my turn. Something good that happened today was coming home to you and your brother and sister.  Something I’m grateful for, well, I’m thankful for two things.  I’m grateful for your mom and me having a wonderful trip together and I’m thankful you had a great time with your Aunt!”   

Back of the Book Questions:

Have your parents ever gone on vacation for a night or a weekend or a week and you were really sad to see them go?

Do you have a favorite babysitter that comes up with fun activities?

Do you have any bedtime rituals? Like taking a bath, singing a special song, saying your prayers, saying what your grateful for or reading books? 

If not, would you like a bedtime ritual? What would you like to do each night before bed?