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.

(Eating Starbucks cake-pops as a “good-bye treat”.  Okay, perhaps there is still a wee bit of guilt about leaving.)