Well, it's that time again. Trevor is leaving for China tomorrow. We have high hopes that this will be his last venture in that general direction, but I'm not holding my breath. His division was bought out by a Russian company, so even if his trips to Shanghai are curtailed, he will still need to travel to Russia. As a matter of fact, he his going there for two weeks at the end of August.
So, today is going to be a rush of preparations and early goodbyes. He took yesterday afternoon off to run some last minute errands (which included buying me this...he so totally loves me!), and pack his suitcase. I'll pick up his last bit of clothing from the cleaners on the way home, and then we will begin the routine.
Of course, the bright side to all this traveling, is that he is really racking up the frequent flyer miles that I'm going to need to go see Courtney in New Zealand! Actually, I'm going to need a few to go to Denver one more time to tell her goodbye, but then the saving really begins in earnest.
As we prepare for his departure, we are surrounded by all the notices and forms necessary for the new school year. It's hard to believe that Grace is going to be in preschool and that Nathan will be in 2nd grade. I watch them playing and notice the sturdiness of their bodies and how tall they have grown. They are both children now, not babies. Neither has even an inkling of the baby fat they once had at the elbows and knees...you know those sweet little folds that linger even after infancy is a thing of the past? Gone are the chubby hands and the chunky, square feet.
They have been replaced with long, lean tanned limbs and strong hands. I can put Nathan's flip flops on. My heel hangs off the back, but I can still put them on. They have ideas of their own that have merit and they show me day by day that they are gaining their independence from Trevor and me. They are bright, imaginative children with a great propensity for love and affection, and I am filled with pride when I look at them.
The funny thing is that I don't really want to go back. I mean, it would be fun and nostalgic to hold them again as babies, but seriously, do I want to be responsible for a human being whose only function is to eat, poop and sleep? I think not. The sleepless nights of feeding, crying and changing diapers. The carefully balanced nap schedule that precludes any notion of leaving the house. The frustrating months when they couldn't quite talk, but did plenty of whining to let us know what they wanted.
And they were, in their own right. Those days had their sweetness as well, but given the choice, I'd rather have my kids the age they are right now. And the truth be told, I hope that I feel this way with each passing year as I see them grow and mature. I want to be content with my memories and the knowledge that I did my best through the power of Christ to raise them to be a Godly man and woman. I don't want to feel like I want to do it all over again...I want to do it right the first time and enjoy my children in the moment.
Of course, we'll see how I feel at the end of these two weeks. I might be briefly longing for the future date of an empty nest just to get a few minutes of peace and quiet!