Last Saturday I woke at 5 am to take my kids and their dad to the airport for the "Kesler Vacation." Every year, for the last decade my (ex)husband's family - two brothers, a sister and their respective spouses and their parents - have taken a vacation for a week in July.
In 2000 year we took an Alaskan cruise. I was pregnant with Joe, and sick throughout the trip. It was our first time traveling as a group and we were all getting used to each other. The scenery was beautiful. The ride (to me anyway) was a wreck.
Over the years we met-up at some wonderful places - Whitefish, Montana; Kauai, Hawaii; Kiawa Island, S. Carolina; The Delaware Beaches; San Diego, California .... With each vacation the family grew. Children were born, cousins were created, relationships between in-laws were forged. Watching the children grow and play together was beautiful and priceless.
Last year they went to Lake Tahoe. It was the beginning of the end of my marriage and I decided to stay home. This year, they are at Lake Lur in North Carolina. They are telling me that it's beautiful and they are having a wonderful time.
While they've been gone I've been keeping myself busy looking for a new house (my lease ends 8/1); cleaning; and cranking on a ton of work projects. I've been extremely productive and pro-active (including finding a home, but that will be a separate blog post).
When I imagine the kids on Lake Lur, with their cousins and grandparents, aunts and uncles and all the love that is surrounding them I feel great joy. They are very lucky to have such a wonderful family. I'm saddened that I will not be able to follow the growth of my (ex) nieces and nephews who I still love. It is one of the lesser-known, lesser-spoken drawbacks of divorce; a reminder that there are always more people involved and effected than the couple themselves.
So now the week is coming to an end. I retrieve them from the airport the day after tomorrow. I can't wait to see them and hear all their stories and squeeze them and hug them and kiss them all over. :-) I'm very happy that they have this opportunity to spend time with their paternal family; but I'm overjoyed to have them home.