You are the creator and caretaker of fantasies.
The children know this; they cling to the bottom of your feet like wet grass, wanting to go where you go. You take them to England, Austria, Neverland. Everyone is expected to bring something unique but equal. No one is left out unless they choose to leave.
I miss you while you’re gone. I begin to feel like Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap. Do I have a sister, or is it all split screen gimmickry? How much longer can we be separated and be complete? When is our next late night phone call?
At the end of the journey, you and the children produce an animated scrapbook. We, the family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, gather around and laugh, stare, gasp, sigh. We didn’t know it would be like this. We didn’t. Why did we doubt your loyalty, or sanity? You’ve been somewhere. You’ve become something. And we missed it again. Or maybe we just saw the best moments.