Dear E and Z,
Yes, we went away for a long weekend, leaving you with your grandparents. We know this was a little hard for you.
Wait. Is that a new wagon for you girls to share? And is that Grampa - you know, just-had-radiation-and-two-bouts-pneumonia-Grampa- pulling you on a walk to town?
Though you missed us, We're glad you were in good hands. Gramma and Grampa came and so did your great aunt and some friends filled in and....
Okay, you got presents and vistors and lots of fun - we obviously don't need to apologize for going away. But perhaps we can explain needing the time away.
Our friends got married, you see.
And the wedding was far away, in California. The plane trip and subsequent drive were long. The days were filled with things kids aren't too fond of but adults ARE.
We spent hours listening to nothing but the sound of the plane/car/hotel heater/each other's breath. We silently watched our friends get married with tears in our eyes and all our attention on the same thing at the same time. We danced till the wee hours and woke when it was already light out, to nothing but the sounds of distant birds.
All of this was brilliant and needed.
We stopped at random restaurants with excellent carnitas tacos. (ie. not really your kind of lunch.)
We took quiet, slow walks on lovely beaches. Cold, windy, foggy beaches (ie. NOT YOUR KIND OF BEACHES.)
We followed our whim and our pace and our interests. We had four days with barely any schedule. No whining. No wakeup calls. No conversations with each other that started with "Here's my list of things we need to talk about."
It was odd, even unsettling at times. We were together for seven years before becoming parents but it's almost like we forget what it's like, being together just the two of us for this long, talking without interruption, focusing on only each other. We needed time and space to remember what it felt like, how to talk to each other like this.
Our love and devotion for you is never in doubt. Our love for each other is never in doubt either but it does get overshadowed at times, lost in the shuffle. Sometimes the needs, the attention, the relentless pace of life with little kids, even beloved little kids, too easily creates an exhaustion, a space between us.
I'm telling you all this because I want you to know something: We love each other, you, our whole family, so much. So much that we sometimes need to go away by ourselves.
One day, we hope you have children with a loving partner. Not only because we want grandchildren (someday, after college and at least a few years of not knowing what you're doing and muddling through to deeper understanding of who you are). Not only because it will bring you an understanding of why we are so crazy about you we are (crazy in every sense of the word). But mostly because we plan to give to you just what has been given to us. A weekend away, as often as you need, to stay connected, to remember what it's like to be just the two of you.
But no, we don't think we'd have the bravery to dye Easter eggs with your kids while you're gone. Your Gramma and Grampa are a rare breed.
Your Clueless But Hopeful Mama and Daddy