Every so often my wonderful sister-in-law, let's call her the One Who Lives in Minnesota, wrangles up all of our kids and takes them all to Oklahoma for a week or more at a time. The first time she did this we only had the Girl, who was just about to turn 1. I can still picture the two of them driving away on the chilly March morning. The Wife, who was about 6 months pregnant with the Boy, was as stoic and steely-eyed as I had ever seen her. I, on the other hand, was blubbering like a fool as my dear sweet baby rode off into the distance without us for the first time in her short life. If I recall correctly, I blubbered like that for most of that day, and woke up blubbering slightly the next day, as well. Gradually I got over being ultra-emotional that week, and was able to rejoin society in a somewhat normal way, even becoming fairly productive as we attempted to get our honey-do list down to just a few pages.
Since that first time, the One Who Lives in Minnesota has taken our kids on these kinds of road trips often, at least two or three times every year, and each time my blubbering has diminished considerably. In fact, they all headed off on a trip in the wee hours of this past Sunday morning, and instead of blubbering as they drove off, I gave a short wave and then stumbled back to bed, where I had no problem falling asleep even before my head hit the pillow. It was nice!
So, I apparently have gotten over the problem of blubbering like a baby when the kids leave, but the Wife and I still haven't entirely figured out how to maximize our free time while they're gone. This time our honey-do list was Old Testament-like, and it seems as though we are only going to be able to cross off a few verses from Genesis. We weren't delusional enough to think we'd get all the way through the end of Malachi, but we had hoped we'd at least get through Proverbs or maybe even Song of Solomon. A week without kids is quickly filled with lamentations, I tell you what.
So, our week at home without kids is quickly coming to an end, but our honey-do list is not. Maybe one of these years the One Who Lives in Minnesota will take them all to Oklahoma for the entire summer, so the Wife and I can actually get some stuff accomplished. Although an entire summer is a long time to be without the kids, and it would be difficult to get much done when I'm busy blubbering...