I don’t know if it makes me a good mom or a bad mom that I didn’t cry when I walked up the hill to leave Bella & Nik for a month. Maybe it makes me a delusional mom. Or remarkably well-adjusted. (not that one.) I’ve done this before- twice. The pain lives in my chest still, and even now…and it will stay until I see them run toward me for a world-altering hug in four weeks. But for now? I’m ok. Because they? Are more than ok.
My mom & I set out at 7am on what we were sure would be a stressful 9hr trip north. We were right about the timing part- my daughters are obsessed with public washrooms. #urinaledition is apparently inherited- but my Ladies? Amazeballs travellers. Trapped in a van with no air conditioning and one DVD player with Toopy & Binoo on a loop, and NO ONE CRIED. They were polite, they were mostly quiet, we had probably 3 minutes total of whining and some of that was from me. I’m going to brag like crazy about this because I’m 100% certain I have used up all my good travelling karma anyway considering the trip back with one lonely Maë left and we only stopped once and she never whined even once. Dudes! She’s 2.5yrs old. Whining is her THING. And she’s never alone. And she didn’t whine even one time in 8hours!!!! You guys!!!!!!! I WANT TO BE IN MY HOT VAN ALL THE DAMN TIME. <- exaggeration, but you know. I mean, my mom surely has a knot in her neck from playing with a slinky and fetching abandoned My Little Ponies. (Myy mom. All star Nanna. Selflessly still momming me while I attempt to mother my own three. I’m not sure what it takes to win a Pulitzer Prize, but I’m nominating her anyway. Thanks Mom!) And Dexter? Also a rockstar traveller, though he whined a lot more than the kids:) He also has learned to pee in strange places, which was a pretty steep learning curve for my boy who will only ever ever pee in his own yard.
If you’ve never been to a cottage on a lake for a vacation- however short- I must encourage you to go. Whitney, and Hay Lake, grow deeper & deeper in my heart every time I go. The place is stunningly gorgeous, trees & water & peace as far as the eye can see, and the pace really is slower and more deliberate. We were only up there for 38hrs but the environment insists that you relax and that’s just what we did. My in-laws were terrific hosts and had just enough planned to keep us occupied, but we never felt busy. My mom & I even got to sit & drink a beer in peace and chat on the deck for awhile. Glorious.
We visited with some friends I hadn’t seen in far too long (Jarred!) and even Dexter got to meet some new friends. We swam at the sand bar, each of the three girls caught fish (Bella & Nika caught fish on their own. I’m not exaggerating. Caught, reeled & pulled into the boat. It’s a sight to see, and their pride is even better!), they played in the sand & took a trip into town with Pa to get ice cream…just because Bella mentioned she wanted it. “Town” is a half hour away.
I think most of the reason I don’t worry about them, or get sad that they’re away, is because I know without hesitation that they are getting incredible care up there. They are spoiled, no doubt. But there are rules, there are routines, there are expectations they must adhere to from Pa & Grammie. It’s as much a vacation as a learning experience for them, only it’s the fun kind so they never realize their brains are growing.
I will miss them, hard. I will go through periods of begging for them to call & ask to come home…because I’ll never suggest it myself. I want them up there for them, I want them back here for me. Guess who wins?
They already called me last night.
They did more swimming. They drove the boat. Nik drove the truck.
They told me they loved me.
And they do.
And I do.