On Sunday afternoon, Mike and I did the inconceivable: we drove 1.5 hours, unloaded two large footlockers and a cooler of pre-made, allergy-retarding food, and said goodbye to our two oldest kids.
And after our hugs* and "I'll miss you"'s, I about sprinted to the car. It was as if my feet had been replaced by wings. They, literally, were moving at a speed that is usually reserved for marathon winners.
The only thing that slowed me down? Mike.
His speed had nothing to do with his recent sciatic nerve flare-up. Or the fact that he recently hit the big 4-0. It had everything to do with his concern.
It's not as if we were dropping them off at "Purgatory Training Camp" or "Full Refund if Your Kid Gets Lost" or "Camp Friday the 13th". No, this is a solid Christian camp with years of experience.
But that didn't stop Daddy from worrying. Will they have fun? Will they find a good friend to bond with? Will they be homesick?
So, while he's being nominated for "DADDY OF THE YEAR", I'm running and calling, backward over my shoulder "They'll be fine. They'll make friends. LET'S GO!!"
See, as I was packing a weeks worth of three squares a day, I realized that we would be able to eat wherever we wanted, without fear of allergies, for an entire week. And, if I wanted to have a dessert or chicken or something full of blue dye, I could do it.
It wasn't until we were about 20 miles down the road, after I asked Mike where he wanted to eat dinner, that he made the connection. Up to that point, he hadn't realized our new-found freedom.
Once his brain embraced this information, he was giddy.
The Babe and I barely escaped whiplash once his foot caught up with his brain, after it had processed that we could eat Italian, Mexican, or Homestyle without a second thought.
This totally confirms that old phrase: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
But, I have to update and augment that ditty just a bit. It actually should read: The way to start your vacation with a man is to remind him of all the crap he can eat once the kids are safely tucked away.
Sad but true.
*We are so past the kisses now. I'm lucky to sneak one on the cheek at bedtime.