Mark and I are taking a little get-away for our 15-year anniversary. I am so looking forward to it. This will be the first trip we’ve had together away from all four kids that doesn’t involve a conference or a television taping. We have nothing scheduled, beyond sitting by a pool, reading a book, and a few other activities we enjoy doing together.
(Tennis! What did you think I meant?)
We waited until a few days prior to tell the kids about our trip, and had a little family meeting about it. The kids could see that we were ready to tell them something serious . . . something big in the scheme of Things That Matter in their world. I started by explaining that we have been married a long time, and that sometimes when mommies and daddies have been married a long time, they need a little time away. . .
And then I saw a weird look come over Jafta’s face, and found myself rushing to tell them that this talk was about us taking a trip. A trip that we want to take together, to celebrate each other and spend time with each other. But for just a flash, I was mindful that conversations start like this every day, where parents call a family meeting and talk about marriage, and the revelation is not a trip, The revelation is about a separation, or papers that have been filed, or daddy’s new apartment.
I know that this is a reality for many families, and I found a little catch in my throat as Jafta looked from me to Mark with concern, and then broke out into a smile as he understood. And really, I guess that’s what this trip is about. As much as I struggle with guilt any time I’m away from the kids, it’s not just for me that I need to prioritize my marriage. It’s for them, too.