Our children say their goodbyes and give hugs and kisses before running off to their next adventure. They fully believe that any separation is temporary, that their loved ones will be waiting for them always. It's not an act of faith but simply innocence. They are too young to know what we know, that each "goodbye" could be the last. We know that people change. They grow more frail or their minds can't hold us as closely as they have in the past. We know that people die, sometimes after illness and sometimes unexpectedly. Each of our goodbyes here is tinged with sadness because we have recently suffered a loss, because we know that there are people that we may not see again. We want to believe that everyone will be here waiting for us but we have lost our innocence and have been too freshly reminded of our mortality. I watch our children giggling through their last moments with family here and I can't help but envy them ever so slightly because our goodbyes come with tears. Vacations always pass so quickly. We are all missing friends and I, for one, am also missing tacos. What can I say? I really love tacos. We are all tan, some of us more so than others (*cough* Luisa). I may not have the darkest tan but my eyebrows have nearly disappeared. Not because I overplucked them while soused on vinho verde but because the sun has bleached them out. We are as rested as is possible in a family with one very early riser. Tomorrow is our last day and it will be filled with a few last goodbyes, some packing, a few more Pasteis de Belem and one last night of drinking fine Portuguese wine while watching the setting sun. There is never enough time but the time we have had has been good.
We fly out Thursday morning and arrive in Minneapolis late that night. It's hard to believe that this Friday Luisa will be back at work and I'll be home alone with our jetlagged children. If that's not something to look forward to then I don't know what is!