There's something extremely powerful about the relationship between distance and love. In the past, Chikezie and I always grew stronger when there was distance between us. Maybe that's how you know it's true love? When you can leave someone and still miss them and grow closer to them in that distance.
I've felt this same closeness with friends over the past few years as we've moved from city to city, from state to state. I have probably three or four friends who I keep in contact with, in ways other than social media stalking. Friends who reach out to me when it's been awhile, who call every couple of months to catch up. Distance is truly a test of love.
I was a little apprehensive in the days leading up to our trip to Australia. I was going to be leaving the boys for longer than I'd left them their whole life. It's not a two or three day trip that just as you start to miss them, you're reunited once again and the pains of distance are eased. This was going to be 11 days and about 8000 miles-the farthest I've been from anyone I've loved, let alone two pieces of my heart.
The distance was necessary, we needed our distance from the boys as we were both starting to get a little burnt out. We don't live where grandparents can regularly take the kids so mom and dad can have a break. It's just us. We've been lucky this year to live near two of the boys' aunts for the occasional date night out, but a real break? We've never had one.
We didn't have a honeymoon. We've never taken a long vacation together in the 8 1/2 years we've been together. (oh my gosh, it's been that long?) I really needed to miss my children. I needed to really miss them. Chikezie and I needed to be alone, we needed to have nights out where we didn't have to worry about a babysitter. We needed an adventure.
Throughout the trip, we'd occasionally bring up something the boys did, or how much we missed them and then quickly changed the subject. We didn't call home for check ups, we didn't skype or have any phone conversations- it was a complete cut off. We filled our days with dates. We had 11 days of dates to make up for the three years we've fallen behind. We talked more than we have in a long time, because we weren't too exhausted or stressed to do so. There were moments I was so busy living that I completely forgot about it all.
By the 10th day, I was ready to go home. I missed them more than I've ever missed anyone. I needed nuzzle my nose into their necks and feel their soft skin. I wanted to have our bedtime routine, I needed to hear the word, "mommy" come from their sweet voices. Distance does make the heart grow fonder.