Mr. T and his super-cool shades that he has been wearing everywhere.
The truth is, everything was fine while I was gone. In a way, I knew it would be or else I wouldn't have left. To some extent I let others opinions on leaving the kids for 2 weeks and my own fears of flying/traveling feed into it and it made me over stressed about leaving. But really, it was fine.
Peter is with the kids a lot anyway so it wasn't like they had a completely new parent taking care of them. They had school, gymnastics, library and rest time just like always and Peter has a job that does not pile up while he is gone for 2 weeks. It all worked out OK. And all the parents I talked to who were so aghast over me leaving them for that long had younger kids that I do and yes, I would be more appalled about leaving a 2 year old. But Mr. T is almost 5, and Miss E is 6 - old enough to deal with mom being away for a few weeks.
And as for me, (this is going to be the oddest part), I didn't miss them that much. Don't get me wrong, I did miss them but nothing I was doing would have been fun for them. At no point did I think "gosh, I wish the kids were here to walk 12 miles over cobblestones and look at paintings for hours in an art museum, then tour a few churches and finish it off with a 10pm dinner of clams." They would have hated it. There is literally not one part of the trip that the kids would have liked. Peter would have loved it, but other than that, it was the perfect trip to take on my own. Sure, I was homesick and I missed cuddling and being there with them but overall, it was much less of a big deal than I thought it would be.
Every day I was gone, Peter very sweetly sent me an e-mail with pictures of what they were doing and Miss E sent me a few e-mails on her own. I took pictures with my ipod and sent them home when I had internet so they could picture where I was and we talked on the phone a few times. I think those daily e-mails made it better since I knew they were happy and doing fun things.
Despite the fact that they were fine and I was fine and none of us occurred any damage from the separation, it did feel good to load everyone in the mini-van this morning, drop Miss E off at school, say hi to her teacher, take Mr. T to the coffee shop, the garden store and to get the groceries and then home to meet Miss E's bus. This afternoon we ate lunch, had rest time and played/worked in the yard. It felt like putting on a pair of favorite comfy old pajamas. The routine. I love it. I'm happy with it and I'm glad to be back to it. But I'm also glad I left it for a few weeks.
*First 2 posts on Spain are up - check out posts dated May 3 & 4