Putting the "good" in "goodbye"

My children were awful the last day of my parents' visits. The weekend had been too full: too many late nights, too many firecrackers, too much sugar; and they woke up on Monday morning in foul, foul moods. They cried over breakfast, they tantrummed when we went out shopping, they tearfully refused naps, they argued over having leftover birthday cake before lunch. And I was angry with them, for ruining the last few hours with their grandparents, for being so rotten in front of their grandparents, for exposing my own parental fallibility in front of my mom and dad.

I let the girls come with us on the trip to the airport, mainly because I hoped they would fall asleep. Phoebe did; Mallory spent the whole hour trying to talk me into setting up the slip 'n' slide when we got home. When we pulled back into the garage, I was annoyed with her, and I was regretting the late-afternoon nap which would make Phoebe stay up impossibly late once again. And, of course, I was sad that my parents were gone.

Phoebe woke up, looked around, and said, "But where are Grandmom and Granddad?"

"They're on the airplane, sweetie," I said. "They had to go home."

"But when are they coming back?" she asked.

Mallory answered, "Soon, I hope!"

And I smiled, because they had both, finally, at the end of a long day, said exactly what I needed them to say.


Anonymous said...

What I will remember about this trip is that finally Phoebe seemed to realize that we were people whome she wanted to know. I will forget the tantrums, etc.