Gimme a Ticket for an Airplane
It’s an annual occurrence: the little ones in my household leave the home and go visit their grandparents. It would be easy to say that this is something new, that we’ve started doing this so I could work over the summer, both for my day job and the occasional freelance gig that I do. In fact, this year I’m going out of town for a few days and then have a massive journalism conference that I am attending, so the kids being in the loving care of their grandparents is a comfort.
But this trip isn’t something that’s come as a result of loss or grief or even work. This trip is something we’ve done for years. Even in the years prior to my wife, Andrea, passing away. For the record, she passed just over three years ago and our lives have been a flash-bang of activity and change ever since.
My two daughters used to visit their grandparents every year. My wife hated it. It’s a funny thing to be a parent and then wish that you had some time to yourself because you have to be careful what you wish for. I used to ask for this all the time. But it doesn’t take long once the house is deadly quiet for you to start wondering what your kids are up to if it’s that quiet. My wife would last a couple weeks and then beg me to find tickets to fly the kids home.
This year, though, I’m stuffed full of work. Not unlike the first year, when my kids left for their grandparents’ house right after their Mom passed, I have a ton of work. Some of it’s self-imposed and some of it is just the job that I do.
That doesn’t make dropping the kids off at the airport is an easy task.
My sons were nervous. That much was evident, even in the few weeks leading up to the trip. They were still in school, in fact, and they were nervous. What is the trip like? When do we get there? What if our sister doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do? What if the boys don’t behave?
I bought books for my middle daughter and new games for the Nintendo systems for my boys and they had new things for their plane ride.
I needed the help of my oldest daughter for some work so she’s staying a couple weeks. We spent the rest of the day, after my kids jumped on their plane, walking San Francisco and eating dinner together.
The reality is the kids won’t know how much time they’ll have to spend with their grandparents. Time marches on for all of us, after all, so this is a valuable trip. Where my middle child has complained, near incessantly, about not getting to see her friends I reminded her that she wouldn’t get to see them if she stayed. She’d be babysitting. If that’s the case, then she still wouldn’t get to see her friends. I wouldn’t allow that since if I was a parent I wouldn’t want my kid visiting someone unsupervised.
No . . . instead, I’m going to visit once this summer, and their sister is going out after she’s done working on my project . . . and at the end of the day we’ll all get to spend some time with the one thing that’s most important: family.
Still . . . doesn’t help the fact that this house is just eerily quiet today. But I’ll have to get used to that, considering that in just a few years . . . this will be every day in my house as the kids get older and head off to live their own lives.