Since we needed some time after dinner to make room in our tummies for dessert, we walked around the mall for a bit.
To end our date night, we hit up Frost where we gave the girls each a little necklace to remind them of us while we're away. Pretty sure we should have waited until after the ice cream to give them their necklaces as they were not phased in the least despite the fact that I got all teary while Charlee opened hers. When there's a big bowl of gelato in front of you and you are between the ages of 3 and 6, there's not a lot that's a good enough distraction to warrant much attention. Later in the evening, however, the necklaces become a hit as Charlee reminded me, "We always wanted necklaces like Mommy's. You remember that?"
I didn't get a picture of the necklaces on the girls, but here they are:
So, I have the larger heart and each of the girl's has the smaller one that fits inside mine. So perfect. This is actually the same necklace I gave to Kate before she left to return to Ukraine. Our promise to her that she would, regardless of what happened, always be a part of our hearts, our family.
Charlee was quick to ask, "Does Max have a necklace too?"
"No, honey. I'm not sure he'd like a heart necklace. He has a watch instead."
"That's good because he's a boy and boys don't wear hearts."
Man was that hard to do. Hard mostly because they have no idea. They are clueless as to what this mean, how long we will be gone, how their lives are going to forever change. Saying goodbye to them was so difficult. Not because any of us were in tears, but because it was so simple to them. Kind of like, "See ya later, Mom and Dad."
Their ignorance is somewhat of a saving grace, however, because it means for a while they will be okay. For a while this will just feel like a vacation to them which makes it much easier on Grandma and Grandpa, too, for a time.
One thing Charlee and I worked on before we left was putting dates on a calendar.
Charlee is our planner, always wanting to know what's coming next so she can be prepared. It can be frustrating at times, but on the other hand I can completely relate. So, I thought it would be a good idea to get her a calendar so she can tangibly see things, especially things that she can look forward to while we're gone. Things like the Father Dance that Grandpa is escorting her to since Daddy is away. And birthday parties and play dates and half days at school. You know, the important things in a 6 year old's life. She definitely got into making the calendar. I was anticipating putting dates on it only for the months of March and April, but she quickly moved on to add the birthdays of everyone we could think of.
So, I think everyone is ready...as ready as can be. Just need to finish some last minute packing and hopefully get in a couple hours of sleep.