I've joke, every year when my kids head off to the grandparents' house for a month, that I begin to miss them about the end of the third week. Well, we're just about there and it's starting to set in. I'm beginning to notice how quiet the house is at night, in the morning and on the weekend. Don't get me wrong... I love my children very much and want them around me as often as possible. I am, however, also enamored with my wife.
Because we had been married such a short time when our children began to arrive, we have not experienced a great deal of that existence that many couple have; that being, freedom to enjoy one another unimpeded by parenting responsibilities. Admittedly, some couple elect to live out this state for too long, later rearing children at an age wherein they're too tired to keep up with them. Other couples live this arrangement far longer than they want to, desiring to have children sooner than they are able. In our case, we may have "attempted" to have our children later, but were unwilling to exercise the only method of birth control proven to have a 100% success rate (i.e. abstinence). Thus it can be argued that we possibly weren't that committed to waiting.
Nevertheless, when we discovered my wife was pregnant with our first child we knew two things: (1) that we were thrilled beyond measure, and (2) we were no longer alone. Thus, ever since we've kept on the lookout for opportunities to be alone for those little breaks here and there. The kids' summer vacation provides just such a break.
Having said that, I am indeed starting to miss the sounds of the boys sparring, my daughter's wit, the endless laughter and the joyful commotion. I enjoy being a father, and that aspect of me goes unexpressed when they're away. My wife and I have one more week to enjoy our time alone in the house, but by next weekend I'll have my nose pressed up against the glass as the kids get off the plane.