It's happening as you read this: Bay families flying the coop these school holidays for skiing or warmer climates. Think Ruapehu, Queenstown, Rarotonga, Bali …

Earlier this week I put my kids on a plane for their first solo trip to America. They'll visit family and friends without me for the first time. At ages 15 and 13, they say they're ready. Miss 15 has detailed schedules, plus itineraries, travel insurance certificate, phone numbers ... and togs, because it's hot over there.

I'm staying behind to work and luxuriate in a clean home. And not cook. Yes to eggs on

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