Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Leaving the kids behind....

Kids are great. 

We are especially fond of our own kids. Three beautiful blessings that we adore and consider a great blessing to be their parents. They are endearing, funny, sweet and at incredibly fun stages of life.

But, you know what else is great?

Taking a vacation without them.

There were numerous times where I thought about how much fun Landon, Tate and Heath would have had with different components of our flight and cruise. The boys have never flown before.  I can just imagine how their little faces would light up with wonder and excitement, and possibly a bit of fear, as they took off in an airplane. There were lots of activities on the cruise for kids. The boys would have had a blast! And we would have had so much fun experiencing all of that with them.

But, man, there were way more times where I thought how grateful I was to be able to go without them.  To just be with Adam.  To remember who I am as a wife and friend to my husband, instead of the demands of being a mother.

We saw lots of families with their kids. I never once found myself wishing we had brought the boys though.

The parents usually looked tired.  So did the kids.  There were loooooong lines to wait in at times. Lots of stairs to climb and a great distance to get to the other side of the boat.  Fancy dining. Windy and cooler weather a couple of the days.  And naptimes and bedtimes would be difficult in small quarters.

There’s definitely something great about family vacations. They are worth the planning, stress, long car trips, and shortened sleep.  I still remember some family vacations and the excitement of going somewhere and exploring new areas with the family. We hope to make memories like that with our boys also.

But we also know its good for us to take a vacation without them.

Not only is it good for us, but it’s good for them as well.

We show them that our relationship to one another is important and needs to have time invested in it.  That we are not just “mom and dad” to them…..but also “husband and wife” to one another.  
Plus, when all of their grandparents live further away and they do not get to see them on a regular basis, we love that they get to make special memories with them.  We’ll remember our trip. But they’ll remember Grandma and Grandpa coming and taking care of them. And how Grandma likes to feed them cookies. :) 

Leaving the kids behind can be hard.  Its hard not to be plagued with fear of the “what ifs” while you are away.   My mind is a “worst case scenario” expert. But anxiety and fear are not supposed to be a part of our lives if we trust God.  And so I leave them in His more-than-capable hands.

I always find on the way home from trips away from my kids that I become enamored with every single child I come into contact with. Their little faces are so cute. Their voices so sweet.  Their fits and tantrums are even pleasant to encounter. I can hardly wait to get home to my boys. 

I come home a better mom.  Ready to jump back into investing in them and teaching them.  More able to be attentive to them and patient.  Soaking up every moment that I get to be back with them.

I don’t feel guilty for taking a vacation without the kids because I know its good for me. Its good for Adam and I. And it’s good for them. 

Plus, you never get "welcome home" signs from them if you never leave them.