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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Leaving Gift

Apart from the fact that I'm still nervous about leaving my kids for a week to head to New York with Hubby, and I'm lying awake at night stressing about all the things I need to do before we go (must purchase a new thermometer, get rid of clothing from the kids' drawers that don't fit anymore etc) there is something else that concerns me about our upcoming holiday.

Saying goodbye to the kids. 

The morning we leave will be a school morning. That means the nine-year-old and seven-year-old will be due at school around the time we need to depart home.

Every time I think of hugging my boys goodbye, and watching them walk down the road to school - then waving goodbye to the four-year-old as we climb in to the taxi - I get this ache in my chest, a lump forms in my throat and tears spring to my eyes. The nine-year-old actually asked last Sunday night, "Can you not go?" 


Last Saturday night though, Hubby and I met a couple who had taken a trip to New York a couple of years ago. When I mentioned my concern over the goodbyes, the wife told me about The Leaving Gift they organised for their two children. 

The Leaving Gift is a present that is promised to the kids on your departure. The idea is to hide the gift, then when you leave, the child is allowed to go and search the house for it. She explained that her kids were so excited about searching for their gifts (the grandparent looking after them did the whole 'you're getting warmer...getting warmer....now you're hot!' thing), she and her husband were practically shoved out the door by them and sent on their merry way to the airport. There were no tears. 

Wow. Bribery works wonders, huh?

I mentioned the idea of The Leaving Gift to my boys on Sunday night. They were tres excited. I think I'll plan to leave just before school so they have some time to hunt for it, and then they can spend the day thinking about getting home to their new toy, rather than worrying about Hubby and I flying half way around the world. And I won't have to torture myself watching them walk away down to school without me.

Perhaps our departure won't be so sad after all? Not for our boys, anyway. *sob*

Do you have any tips for making goodbyes easier when leaving your kids? 



Being Me said...

Awww Jody. That is a great idea! I have no better suggestions xoxo

Maxabella said...

It's a lovely idea. Although I just love it, I was a bit torn on reading about it.

It's ONE WEEK, Jodie. ONE. In a lifetime of wonderful togetherness, it don't add up to much at all. I think it's good for our children to learn that they can cope just fine without mum and dad for a little while. I think it's a wonderful thing to learn at just about the ages that your children are right now, in fact.

Don't make a bigger deal out of it than it has to be... you will all be FINE. And even if you're not, you will still be fine.


Kellie said...

It's a fantastic idea! And I do agree with Bron, it's only a tiny bit of time you and hubby get to yourselves, so you need to enjoy it. It will probably be a long time before you get this time again.

And it's NEW FREAKING YORK! If you change your mind, do you think your husband would mind me coming with? I wouldn't get in the way, promise!

Miss Pink said...

I like this idea!
Don't feel guilty. Save the guilt for when you get home. Honestly, you're not missing much, and your kids, they will be fine. I promise you!No guilt allowed!

wendy uplate said...

That's a lovely idea! I felt your pain when I read the first bit but then when I got to the gift part I thought that would do the trick for my kids - I will definitely have to keep it mind if ever get the chance to fly to NY any time soon (not likely!) Enjoy your trip Jody!

Mum on the Run said...

Now, that is a cracker idea!
Must remember for future.
Must remember for future.
Must remember for future.

Yeeeoowww - New York!!!

Thea said...

OMG, where have I been? Oh yeah...working! I totally missed this!!! When are you leaving. I'd feel exactly the same. In fact I got a lump in my throat and an ache in my chest for you!
But what a fabulous idea, the leaving gift. Must.remember.that!

Have a wonderful time away, you lucky lucky thing. xx