The Hardest Part Of Going Home

It’s coming. The dreaded moment.

After all of the smiles and cousins and ice cream cones and Fruit by the Foot.

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After all of the new memories made swimming every day and jumping on the trampoline.

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After getting slaughtered trying to play Uno with the kids.

After all of the aunt and uncle and grandma and grandpa hugs and kisses and snuggles.

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After all of the excited greetings of family members we have loved all our lives, and those we just met and never knew we had.

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After your husband mans the pinata station like a champ without making it on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

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After your uncle never disappoints with his favorite signature picture pose.

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After driving by some of your favorite childhood hangouts that are now boarded up and abandoned.

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After all of the ice cream drips down the chin, and grass stuck onto wet sprinkler feet.

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After living room camping on a stormy night.

After all of the hearty cousin laughs and squeals of joy. And all of the squabbling in between.

It’s the hardest, gut-wrenching part that nearly talks me out of even vacationing with family in my little hometown every time.

The goodbye.

We haven’t had it just yet. But in a few hours, we will somehow fit everything we brought back into suitcases and duffle bags and load up in the car.

Tears will well up in our eyes and we will fight to hold them in.

We will make nervous small talk about things that we won’t remember that don’t matter as we try not to focus on the big letdown that’s about to happen.

We have done it before but it never gets easier. It’s so hard when you have the gift of rekindling family relationships and then have to find a way to sustain them over hundreds of miles.

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I love social media, but you just can’t beat face to face.

So I sit here and gather my thoughts as the whole house sleeps, and try to figure out how to say goodbye. Again.

Thanks for the memories la familia, we’ll be coming back again one day soon.

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