Fourteen Days...is a long freaking time to be away from your home, your husband, your children.
Okay, my home, my husband...my children.
My children. I have never been away from Big Red for more than four days. I've never been away from Tank for more than seven days. I am on day ten. Four more to go. I am in heavy withdrawl as I write this. It's late at night in this fancy Munich hotel room, but only afternoon at home. What are they doing right now?
Before I left for my European tour, my sister gave me an excellent idea - to leave them a surprise for each day that I was gone. Whew - fourteen days and two boys. I had to pull this together in the last couple of days before I left and ended up finishing this project only hours before my flight.
I used brown paper lunch sacks with something inside, stapled closed. The outside had the day number, the day of the week, the date and their first initial. Some of the days had one bag for both of them or to include their dad. Some days had specific instructions to open in the morning or evening or one of the bags before the other.
I enjoyed putting them together. We also started skyping on this trip. It is EXPONENTIALLY better than a telephone conversation. You get to see each other in real time. Most days they have opened their bags while we are skyping. I didn't make myself a cheat sheet and I was really tired when I finished up, so it is also a surprise to me to see what is in their bags.
The danger of skyping with your kids when you are away from them is this: you cry. I couldn't help it; I was completely weepy on the third day. I just wanted to hold them and ruffle their hair and smell their heads. I know it was hard on them and I feel terrible. It was one of those things that I didn't see coming. It just hit me and I couldn't help it. I've kept it together ever since.
Another VERY cool thing about the skype is that you can take a snapshot of your kids at any time during the conversation...if yours turns out anywhere near as good as mine, it can become your desktop background...(completely unposed, btw. They don't even know you did it!)
Here's some of the things I put in their bags. I didn't want it to be too commercial, but I also didn't have a lot of time to weave scavenger hunt haikus out of sustainably raised hemp.
- unopened carefully selected netflix movie with microwave popcorn for a Saturday afternoon
- I mixed up dry ingredients and provided instructions for them to make pancakes on Sunday morning
- new paints and brushes for them to make me pictures for when I come home
- a card that came from grandma and grandpa in the mail
- on Halloween (day one) light up necklaces for trick or treating
- $5 Fatburger gift cards
- silly bands
- lip balm
- packs of gum
- a book for the little one and instructions to the older one to read it to him
- a Lego game that they could build and play together (and give dad a break!)
More than that, I'm looking forward to two whole days at home with them before I have to leave again for the last trip of the year to Cancun for four days...I am road weary.