Tim and I recently returned from a ten day trip to North Carolina. He participated in a national high school rugby tournament as a referee. Even though it was chilly and damp, he had a great time and I loved watching him referee!
We were then off to the beach. We met up with my parents had a week of wonderful weather and enjoyed some nice dinners out together.
It was really nice to get away, but I can’t help but think that the guilt parents feel for childless vacations is magnified when in situations with partial custody. Last year when we went to the beach on our delayed honeymoon, Ana put on her most shocked face and literally stamped her foot at the news that we would do something so fun without her. This year she was still indignant, but more understanding. (Promises of presents helped immensely.)
Not only was she more understanding, but she even sent us notes to open once we arrived. SO. SWEET. I received strict instructions to open mine first.
“Dear Molly how are you! I am haveing fun here I miss you alote!!! Tell Daddy he can see his card next. Tell Mimi and Poppy (what the grandkids call my parents) how are they! Love, Ana.” It is paired with a drawing of me and Mimi relaxing with our books on the beach.
Tim’s card was just as sweet.
“Dear Daddy, are you and Poppy going to colf! PS have fun I miss you very much. Have fun!!! Love, Ana” And then you have her photo of Daddy and Poppy, D & P, playing “colf”.
It was so precious to have these notes from her while we were separated for so long.
When she bounded into our house the following Monday, she was proudly bearing this welcome home sign she created:
If you have received one of her thank you notes or been the recipient of one of her drawings, it likely has a heart with her and your first initials. Here, A D M for Ana, Daddy, and Molly. I also love how she writes things for which she shares a common passion with us: Star Wars for Tim and Disney for me.
Undoubtedly parents of all children love those moments when their kids show unbridled affection and love. But these kids don’t have to love me, I’m still a reasonably new person in their young lives. So it just swells my heart to see the evidence that she has grown to love me and has chosen to let me in to her heart.
Please never lose this. I love it, especially Molly and Mimi reading on the beach!
Ana and Joseph love you because they know how much you love them. And you have taught them to write notes of thanks and of welcoming. Children learn what they observe – and they observe the love you have for Tim and for them. You are gift in their lives and in ours.