From now until Thanksgiving the minions and I are holding the fort down while my husband is exploring the Far East. Well, maybe not the entire country, but the Eastern coast and Shanghai area. J's job is one where he works with engineers and suppliers who are based in China. He is on his annual trip across the Pacific.
We've spent the previous couple weeks getting the minions ready for the trip. We've made paper chains to count the number of sleeps until Dad comes home (13 as of today, Friday, Nov. 13). The kids cut and taped/glued them together. When I-minion finished his chain he commented on its length. "This is really long, that means Dad is going to be gone a long time." He started to cry. "There is water coming out of my eyes and I can't stop it."
The kids have been asking a lot of questions about China and where it is in relationship to where we live. After lunch on Sunday J broke out my globe circa 1918 (a antique store find more than a decade ago). Normally it sits on my cabinet in my dining room looking scholarly.
J pointed out where we live, and how far away China is and pointed out some of the different cities they'll be visiting.
Last time J was in China the kids were just about ready to turn 2. This time they know what's going on. Multiple times a day I hear: "I'm sad because my dad is gone" or "I miss daddy."
We'll be talking to J via skype a couple times. The kids' stuffed dogs that look like their real dogs are with him in China. I expect checking e-mail regularly with the kids so they can see what type of adventures the puppies have.
This is of course difficult for me, too. J and I are partners in everything in life. J and I split cooking, cleaning and parental duties. I'll be honest when I say it is intimidating to be doing this alone right now. It's also unusual for me to take over some of the duties that J just normally handles -- like loading and unloading the dishwasher and putting the dogs in the kennel in the morning.