It's hard to believe that three weeks of Christmas vacation have come and gone, and that this evening I'll take Claire, Caleb and Haley to Krakow where they'll spend the night and leave early in the morning to return to their lives in Chicago.
As always, my mama heart doesn't know what to feel about that. I love having my kids (adult ones now!) at home, yet I love that they're growing, maturing and learning so much in their lives across the ocean.
So we take a few last pictures to savor the memory of having had these weeks together: talking, praying, laughing, shopping, walking, drinking coffee and tea together, sitting by the fireplace to keep warm, smiling over the cuteness of our dog (something Claire and I seem to do on a regular basis!).
While I'll get to see Claire, and our other kids, sometime in February when Dave and I are in the States for JV board meeting, there's nothing quite like having them at home, sharing life in person. I'll miss that until Caleb and Haley are back here for an internship with JV in May, and Claire comes home again in July.
I feel the tug on my heart as I look at her picture that I took this afternoon, and still hear her sweet voice downstairs as she spends a few last minutes with friends before we leave for the airport. I like my kids!
But I guess that's the blessing in feeling sadness. They are such dear, important, precious people to me and I love any time that we spend together. And feel the loss when we're apart.
We'll all adjust to our separate lives again. We always do. But for this moment, I feel the lump in my throat and the tears hovering at having to say goodbye soon.