I am doing something crazy and leaving the earthlings with Paco for three whole days. The last time I took a trip without them was almost four years ago when I came to Manila from Spain. I was on a mission to check out the top three schools for the boys on my list and to look at some houses. It was an amazing trip. In twelve days I managed to attend my best friend’s wedding in Boracay, do the rounds of the three schools and manage to pick the perfect one, see 12 houses and sign the lease to best deal and well have everything close to ready for the rest of the family to move back home.
That was 2009, Gael was three and Aiden was 18 months. Whenever we’d Skype Gael’s face would crumble, he’d throw his face into his hands and break down sobbing. MAMA! MAMA! MAMAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! He reduced me to a blubbering ball of tears and gave me the worst guilt trip ever. The guilt was painful. Even worse than that time my friend gave a dog biscuit to a girl we didn’t like in the seventh grade and we barked at her for months. Aiden, on the other hand, didn’t give a rat’s ass and didn’t really care much about seeing me on the computer. Before this trip the only time I spent the night away from home was to give birth to Aiden. That was only two nights and Gael came to visit every single day.
Soon I’m going on a little break for a few days and I’m leaving the boys with Paco again. Dreading the massive guilt trip I decided to break the news gently and early. I was prepared with bear hugs to soothe away the tears, I love you’s to lift their spirits and promises of lots of paslubongs in case all else false. But they wouldn’t have any of it. No. They were friggin thrilled I was leaving. Yes, thrilled. Thrilled with arms raised up in victory and celebratory cheers. We can make a mess. We can eat ice cream all day. We can sleep on your bed. We can play with Daddy’s iPad. I turned to them and shrugged “Your bet you can!”