After four years of piloting our family into the uncharted waters of trio, then quartet, the beloved and I have come to realize how critical time away is. With two such dependent dependents, we are like camels. We go for days and days on a wee dram of what we used to utterly bathe in: time enough. Time enough to smooth out the wrinkles of misunderstanding, time enough to re-member ourselves and each other. The stuff relationships are built on.
Now that there’s not time enough, time away is critical. Not just to re-member our relationship to one another as a duo, but to discover and nurture our evolving familiness, above and beyond that which we see emerging out of the daily stresses attendant to earning an income and raising kids at the same time.
As with everyone, upon our return home from vacation, our backed-up, put-off work rushes back in (notice the skimpy number of posts this week?). And the kids’ days become filled again with other people’s care as well as ours.
Try as we might to lament this, though, and as familiar as that impulse might be, we can’t sustain the notion that they suffer for it. Because over and over again, upon return from our time away, we’ve had the opportunity to see how much the kiddles love-love-LOVE the other people in their lives who help us care for them.
Over the course of the past week, we’ve witnessed three enthusiastic greetings of the three main caregiver folk in their lives (outside the immediate family of their downstairs auntie & uncle): Ana came (yay!), then AnnZ (yay!), and a young woman best described as the Diaphanous Wood Nymph (yay!). Each time, their voices at the door triggered a mini-stampede, followed by a zesty group hug.
It’s a wonderful reminder that there are more celestial bodies in our childrens’ solar systems than us (just as there’s more in each of our lives than our parenthoods). They may need a sun (or two), and a moon (or two), but they need so much more than we two can give them. We see that in the way they thrive with others. Other planets, asteroids, comets, meteoroids, interplanetary dust! Bring ’em on! Together, we’ve got all the time in the world.