A letter to my children on the occasion of their partial abandonment

Dear Ayla and Judson,

IMG_3459I dressed you in “resort wear” today as a pathetic attempt at subliminally messaging you that we were going on vacation. And by “we” I mean me and Daddy. You are staying here.

You might feel a little scared or sad when you wake up in the morning and we’re not here, but your Grandma is here and she will take perfect care of you.

I’m writing this because I’m a little sad and scared too. Even though I’m very excited to be going to a place on my bucket list to celebrate 10 years of marriage, this is the first time I’ve left both of you. So basically, my heart is splitting in half, times two. (I was not a math whiz, don’t think about it too hard.)

I think about if the worst happens and for some awful reason we don’t make it back, what would I want you to know. About us, about me, about the world. So much, my loves, I can’t write it all here. I will, however, hit the highlights.

You are so loved. Not just by us, but by your vast extended family and friends far and near. We hit the jackpot with a tribe (we actually built it intentionally with a lot of time and effort, but you’ll learn about that soon enough) and they are here for you now and always. You are cherished for who you are, exactly as you are.

You are on loan. Our time with you was always meant to be temporary. Some day you’ll go out into the big world, you’ll start families of your own, you’ll be something to someone else. Right now you are our babies, but they say that in a flash these little years are gone. God gave you to us for the here and now, I soak it in knowing you’re actually His and His plans for you are good.

You work for what’s worth it to you. One of the reasons Daddy and I are going on this trip without you is because we value our marriage and each other, even more than we love you.(gasp!) It’s important to us to have our priorities in the right order. We can’t take care of you the way you need us to if our relationship isn’t functioning as it was designed to. We work hard on our marriage because we are both expert sinners and novice forgivers. We want to set the best example we can for you both of what it looks like to love and serve others like Christ serves us. You will hear people say that the best things in life are free, but that’s not the truth. The best things in life will cost you your life, but they will be absolutely worth it.

I have so much more to tell you, but this is where I’ll close for now. I can’t wait to hug and kiss you again, to hear your stories of the great adventures you will have with Grandma. Until then, to borrow a phrase from e.e. cummings, “I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart.”