The girl and the boy will be leaving tomorrow, and I am starting to get a little sad. They won't be gone long - Aunt Sonie and Grandma Retta are taking them on a week-long trip to Oklahoma to visit cousins and other aunts and uncles. The girl has already been on several of these trips in her three years on this planet, and the boy has joined her at least once or twice. But, I still get sad when they are about to leave.
The first time the girl went on one of these trips without us was two days before her first birthday. Some people thought it was strange that we would willingly not be with her on the very first birthday she would ever celebrate, but we figured it was just a day, we could celebrate it any time, and besides, she was only one. It's not like she would remember it when she got older. I can still see Aunt Sonie driving away from the house with our little girl in the backseat, my wife and I watching them leave, me trying not to let anyone see that I was sobbing uncontrollably. I think that was the first time we both realized who the emotional parent was in our family.
As I mentioned, I am starting to get a little sad again, but I am sure I won't get as sad as I did that first time. Every time it gets easier, just like anything in life. And even during that first trip, although I missed my little girl, it was fun to have a free week in which my wife and I could go and do anything we wanted. By the second day of the week I had forgotten how sad I had been; we got so much work done around the house that I almost wished the girl would stay away a little longer. Don't tell her that, please! This time we'll have the baby with us, so we may not be as productive as before, but it will still be good to have a week away from the older kids. We'll get to work as soon as the sobbing stops.