I Go With You?

From Friday Mom – Erin:
My husband and I have been fortunate over the past three years to get to take a few child-free trips. This is due, in large part, to the generosity of Rory’s grandparents (my parents), who have graciously agreed to watch Rory—and now both Rory and Charlotte—in our absence. This weekend, we are traveling to Texas for the wedding of my husband’s best friend (a mutual friend of ours from college and the best man from our own wedding).

On prior occasions, Rory was too young to truly appreciate our absence. He was only nine months old the first time we were gone for an extended period. We left him again at around fourteen months for a brief overnight. We were gone briefly when Charlotte was born, as well, though it was for three nights, and he still saw at least one of us during the day each of the days we were gone.

I’ve had my share of business travel this summer. Those trips are disturbing to the overall routine, but with Daddy around, there has been some degree of consistency. Charlotte is pleasantly oblivious, and, frankly, too laid-back to care.

Rory, in contrast, knows something is up. This week was the first time Rory showed signs of truly comprehending what it means for mommy and daddy to be away. My work travel had prepared him reasonably well to understand what it meant for grown-ups to be gone and for his grandparents to be around. But when I explained that we would be going on a trip without him, I was met with resistance.

We planted the seeds over the weekend, letting him know that his grandparents would be coming to play with him. I looked him in the eye on Wednesday morning, reminded him that his grandparents would be coming to stay for a few days, and that they would be taking him to school each day and playing with him each night. I explained that mommy and daddy would be taking an airplane on a trip to celebrate his “uncle’s” wedding.

“I go with you?” He asked, with equal parts confusion and excitement.

“No, sweetheart. Only mommy and daddy are going. But it will only be for a few nights, and we’ll be back on Sunday to play with you and tuck you in. And you’ll have ALL weekend to play with your grandparents.”

“You go on a trip? Without Rory?”

“Yes, sweetheart.”

“OK mommy.”

I could tell he was disappointed, but we moved right on to our breakfast that morning without too much protest. We talked about it periodically that day, as well as the morning of our departure. There was some continued resistance and frustration with the idea. But, in the end, he agreed to wear his listening ears and be a big helper for his grandparents. I am sure everyone will be a-ok and have a wonderful time, even if there are some emotional outbursts through it all. He’s a very perceptive kid, and his ability to vocalize his thoughts only further reaffirms that fact. We’ll be certain to shower him with praise upon our return for being such a big boy, and I’m sure there will be lots of hugs and kisses, too.

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