07_08_09.JPGTomorrow is the last full day of my vacation with Son #2 and #3.  

I knew this vacation would be "different" .... since it was our first one without Jim.  But I really had no clue as to how very different it would be.

It has been difficult, to say the least.  I expected waves ..... but I didn't expect quite so many.

I expected tough times, but I did not expect something huge ...... I no longer have a "filter" between me and the kids.

When we took trips Jim and the boys stayed in one room and the girls and I stayed in another.  So Jim always had more time with the boys and he made sure they stayed in line and treated the females with as much respect as he could make them muster.  

He was also by my side and we were in everything together.  Us against them, when needed.  Now it's them against me.  There is no filter to help buffer me from the complaints of boredom or of unhappiness with certain aspects of the vacation.  I planned it all (as I usually did) and I'm the one who hears the whining now.  Not both of us together, which makes it easier to blow off, but just me.  

There's no one to tell me that I did a good job, that this has been fun ..... that we're in this together.

I miss my buffer, my filter.

I miss him so very much.


So it's been difficult.


On the other hand, I've been able to identify aspects of this vacation that are totally new for us, that we never did with Jim so now they will be traditions for the boys and me, which is good.  They will hold no memories, other than the ones we now make.

And so we will.

Because I'd want that for Jim.

And he wants that for us.


And maybe the next time .... which will be quite a ways off .... I will have someone else come with me to act as a buffer for me ..... because I will expect to be filterless.


I find that it's always better to expect it and be ready for it ..... than to be surprised .... and knocked over by a wave.


So for anyone who has yet to try this part of your life again .... you might want to consider bringing along a filter.

Just in case.

Always be prepared.

A very good motto.


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