What we wish we knew about sending our kids away.
We joke about being kid-free for the summer, letting loose, partying like it’s 1999.
Whooping it up, staying up late, sleeping in, reading, writing and relaxing sounds pretty much like heaven right?
We never expected it to feel like this.
Well, here is something I don’t ever think I would have admitted in public before…
I really miss my family when they are not around.
My kids, fresh off an 8 month adventure around the world and often living in the same room for weeks at a time, were offered a chance to go visit their grandparents in Manitoba. They jumped at the opportunity. Hell, it involves a swimming pool, salads that are made of jello and whipped cream, and cousins who love to play. This planned adventure was to encompass 6 weeks, to work timing wise for an upcoming wedding in the Peg. We are now at week 3 and I miss them tonnes. I miss my daughter, who is now into making weird faces and having contests over who looks strangest in FaceTime videos, and my son, who gives me virtual hugs and kisses all the time while telling me how to defeat the big boss in Sonic. Damn you Eggman!
I miss my sister and her kin. We would get together every few weekends or so for a lunch or a night at the cottage, and just laugh about how stupid we were as children and truthfully as adults as well. But she has a boy to kiss, and a job, and her family is all over the place, so I don’t get that chance lately and I miss it. Don’t tell her please, I don’t think I could stand the rebuke.
I miss my wife, who just left me alone for 3 days after being with me constantly for the past 9 months. She is smiley, dancey, and gets louder when given red wine, and she is all mine. I love her, and surprisingly I miss her too. I should be watching kung fu movies, eating food that makes me fart, and generally forgoing body conditioning and washing, not writing a post pining for her. Don’t tell her this either, or there will be no living with her now.
I miss my nieces and nephews, who I know think I am the funnest uncle ever, a F’uncle, if you will. They love my puns and bad jokes and cooking and weird beer selection. I know they do, I don’t even have to ask…
Finally, I miss my mom, too. She was away for a trip, now returned and heading up to join me for a few days of her sharing how, if I corrected just a few little things, would be just sprightly and perfect in every way. And, truth be told, I am excited to hear of my minor shortcomings and lack of ability to call often enough to know if she had fallen and was unable to get up. God, don’t tell her that, I couldn’t even…
Now, missing is one thing, but letting that time go to waste is another. So if you’ll excuse me, it’s spicy chilli time, Dance of the Green Dragon Style killer monks, and a really nice scotch to wash it down into the quiet night…
When we talked through the idea of having the kids spent most of the summer with my family, it sounded like a dream. We could get a ton of projects done at the cottage, we could sort out our life here, we could get SH*T done yo.
Great in theory. Not as good in practice.
On one hand, we are crossing our things off our GIANT To-Do list like its going out of style. We are having a ton of fun. The two of us kayaking, talking, going fishing and working together really is lovely. The weekends bringing deep, hilarious and special connections with dearest friends.
But here is the kicker.
After spending SO much time in as close a proximity as we can with each other (280+ days 24/7), I really learned to enjoy our kids. Yes, of course I have and always will love them.
But being together like that allowed us to get to know them. Intrinsically. We became a unit. We could feel each other’s energy before we even spoke. We found compassion to be one of the greatest values on the trip and pushed each other past our comfort zones on dozens of occasions.
I really really LIKE them.
Even if they weren’t our kids, I would still really enjoy hanging around with them.
And I miss the hell out of them.
For us, it is crucial that they build relationships with our family without us around. In order to develop and foster strong bonds between them, we knew we needed to let go to allow them to grow as people.
Our wedding invitation started with “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”.
Who knew we would be say the same years later when talking about our kids?