The end of summer vacation

Well, kids, I’m not sure if you’re going to remember this August a few years from now (well, Choo Choo, I’ll be impressed if you remember today, tomorrow), but this has been a fantastic month. It’s been a long month, filled with lots of laughs, almost every single meal spent together, four provinces, several hotel rooms, and more than a few pools.

But tomorrow is the first weekday after Labour Day (which is today), and it means that we must part again. In a few years, it will mean you have to go to school. For me, it means going back to work.

In a way, they’re pretty similar…

When Mommy and I sort of figured out this deal almost a year ago, the original goal was for me to take a month off shortly after Choo Choo was born. But the dates were moved as other events seemed to align with our desires. Hence our trip to Winnipeg, and our most recent week at Fairmont Hot Springs. It’s meant a lot of time for me to be with you, to do things, to watch you grow, to hold you when you’re sad and to applaud you at the things you’ve learned.

When I tucked you into bed tonight, Monkey, I told you that I had to go back to work tomorrow, that I wouldn’t be with you every day anymore. I saw the look of profound sadness on your face. Not the sadness of when you fall down, or when you don’t get your way (which is often, I might add), but the realisation that I won’t always be there.

I think that was a painful moment for both of us. You looked at me, and said quietly, “I love you, daddy”, and then you kissed me. It’s a moment I hope to remember for as long as I live. Not because of the pain, but for the spontaneous emotion — real emotion. I will miss being with you all day, Monkey. I hope you know that.

Of course, this also means I’m going to miss more milestones with you, Choo Choo. Mommy had hoped today that you would start rolling on your own. Sadly, it didn’t come to pass. But it will, and likely when I’m not around. Your first tooth is coming in. You’re going to be sitting up on your own. Your first word. And the odds are against me that I’ll be around for your first steps. I hope I will see these things, but I have to accept that I’ll learn of them from Mommy.

The entire month with you, dear wife, has been a gift I won’t soon forget, for it may be a long time until we can experience something like this again. I hope I have lived up to whatever dreams or notions you had for this time off, that it turned out — at least in some way — like you had envisioned.

Sleep well, my darlings three. And know that I love you all, and miss you each minute I’m not with you.