The suitcases are packed, the postcards from me (to be found at bedtime, to remind them of me) have been written and hidden under the pyjamas, the picnic is ready in the fridge. Tomorrow morning, D will turn up, supposedly "between 9 and 10" (ha!) and take my girls, my sweet, sweet girls away from here, far away, all the way to the Loire Valley for a whole week.
My heart aches and tears well up in my eyes way too easily.
We fight all the time, they're bored at home and so far July-with-Maman has been pretty crap, so I totally understand why they're so excited. And I know, once I've been reassured that they've arrived safely and that my god-awful MIL hasn't done anything ridiculous, that I will probably have a pretty good week. But it's still hard. It still tears me apart, this not-going-on-holiday-together thing. I can't bear to think of them so far away.
That said, I do have great plans for this week (they'll be home next Tuesday night). Admittedly, these plans seem to focus heavily on watching-crap-on-TV and eating-crap and sleeping, but plans are plans, after all. I also have work to do and a shitload of tidying, sorting, throwing out, cleaning and rearranging. I will have to force myself to leave the house (I realised this afternoon, when I was out running a few errands, that I hadn't actually left the house since Wednesday...), but I fully intend to make the most of this week.
I'm quite looking forward to being able to get things done without feeling guilty, to being able to listen to whatever music I like, watch whatever I like... I have plans, and I hope to make the most of this time.
But that doesn't mean I don't hate it, hate that it has to be like this, hate that holidays will always be like this from now on.
And nothing will ever stop me having minor panic attacks about the safety of my girls - it's a long drive, bad weather is planned and, whilst D is a good and responsible driver, you can't always guarantee that others are, and that freaks me out.
I won't rest tomorrow till I know they've arrived, then next Tuesday will be the same, until they get home.
I know this is utterly pathetic, that millions of kids go on holiday without their parents every year, but it's not just that they're going on holiday without me. It's the why and how of it all, the pain that I'm still feeling, the anger I'm still feeling towards D and his behaviour, the hatred of my crappy life.