I'm leaving with 27 youth and several adults tomorrow for the summer Tour/Mission Trip. I'm excited to be with the group and we have a great schedule lined up. The hardest part is leaving my little boys for nine days. Sleeping on the floor for eight nights comes a distant second for hardest part. (And now that I've made that joke about the hard floor, let me add for my husband who has pointed out three times now that I didn't mention him that, of course, being away means being away from him as well, which has made traveling difficult for me for, in about 2 more weeks, 14 years now.)
I didn't go away very much the first several years of motherhood, three nights at Annual Conference and the occasional continuing education event. But they are nine and almost six, and when I did this last year we got through it okay.
One thing I do is prepare a little gift bag for each day I am gone, mostly small gifts with one or two larger ones. The boys remember this and have been asking me which days they get one, when it starts, and have I gotten everything I need for the bags yet? Zane asked if they got a bag for the day I came home and I said no. "Oh, you are the gift that day," he said. He is smooth.
And last night after an ice cream trip to Izzy's we had a sleepover on the living room floor (as if I won't have enough floor sleeping), me in the middle, Zane and Theo on each side grunting and stealing the blankets, the cats wandering about on top of us, and the dog checking on us each time we moved around too much. Miraculously we did get some sleep.
We may have some fussing yet today, all of us, but I think we're ready. It is strange to live life with this powerful tether -- wherever I am, whatever I am doing, there are these boys (big and small) anchoring me to a particular spot, which is wherever they happen to be.