And seriously, it's not right (oh, I'm so damn witty...).
Yesterday, my two little girls packed their little red suitcases with stuffed animals, books, card games and costume jewellery; I packed their "real" suitcase with trousers and socks and knickers and pyjamas and T-shirts, all possibly slightly damp from the tears dripping off the end of my nose. Then, at 2.15, D arrived and took them away.
They've gone to Paris to stay with my ex-MIL and won't be back till next Thursday.
I know this has happened before, and I know I've taken them places too. I know it's been 2 years now that we've been doing holidays like this. But it doesn't get any easier, it doesn't feel any more normal yet.
When they left, I burst into tears, bereft at being left behind. It's not that I want to spend a week at my ex-MIL's in Paris (hell no). It's not that I want to spend a week with D (hell no-to-the-power-of-a-million). It's not even that the girls and I have such fun together (mostly, we don't). It's just that it's not right that we have to spend time apart (me and them, or (begrudgingly, I'll admit) him and them). We were a family, we did things together and those things were better. At least, they were better until that time they weren't. Which, coincidentally, was during a similar trip to Paris, exactly 2 years ago. The holiday from hell, actually.
Now, there's always someone left behind. And although I have to take advantage of this time and get a shit-ton of work done (you have NO IDEA how many words I have to translate right now), this crappy situation doesn't make me happy. In fact, it makes me miserable.
They haven't even been gone for 24 hours yet, and I miss them terribly already.
I know it's pathetic. I know millions of families live like this, and millions of others regularly send their kids away on holiday to grandparents or camps, or whatever. But we didn't do that. We were a together-family. And now we're not.
Heavens, how it hurts! Still. So much. So very, very much.