Without the kids.
The rain is pounding on the windshield as the wipers vigorously try to make the way clear for me to see. Grace is in the seat behind the passengers side of our mini van. We are talking away about what’s happening at school and what her best friend will think of her hair being straight….
I pull up in front of the school, ready for her to hop out. She isn’t leaning forward to give me a little kiss before she opens the van door. I look back and she’s in tears.
Mike and I are leaving in a couple of days for London and I know that she’s already thinking about it and how much she’s going to miss us. She’s thinking about not being able to hug me everyday and how I won’t be there when she gets home from school. My heart breaks a little bit for her.
We talk for a few minutes. The late bell rings as we sit with the rain plop, plopping on the top of the van. I say something silly that’s funny only between the two of us. It breaks her from her sadness long enough to help her regain her composure and be ready to walk into the school.
I give her a hug and a kiss. She jumps out of the van and swiftly walks to the front door of the school.
As I watch her I know that I need to do something to make the distance feel less distant while we are gone.
Are you leaving on an extended trip soon without your kids?
Here are some little things we’ve done while we’ve been away:
I put notes in my kids’ lunches everyday. Before we left I wrote teach of the kids notes for everyday that we are gone for Mike’s mom/my mom to put in their lunches.
The day before we left I sent a box full of hearts through the mail. In it was a note that said: Put these hearts around the house so that when you see them you’ll know that we love you and are thinking of you.
At other times, when we’ve left for shorter trips, I’ve put hearts around the house in lots of different places to surprise the kids when they open up a cereal box, the shower curtain, the refrigerator, etc.
Every time we go to a place where we can purchase postcards we buy one for each of the kids and send them off so that they can get mail from up while we are gone (and probably a few days after we get back).
A couple of nights a week I post pictures to Emmett’s private messages on Facebook. I include a little note about what we discovered through out the day with each of the photos. It’s a great way to take the kids on our adventure with us. It makes them feel like they are getting the personal tour at the same time.
This is the first time we’ve been away from our kids this long. We’ve gone away for a few nights quite a few times but in 16 years we’ve never left our kids for 2 weeks. Doing some things to help them with the distance has been fun. I also like that they’ve gotten a bit of a travel log from us while we’ve been gone.
What do you do for your kids when you leave them behind to go on a little adventure with your spouse?