South Africa: Far from My Kids

I have been away from my three boys for five days now. It is the longest we have been apart, and there are still six days before I see them back home in Colorado.

When three giraffes run alongside our Land Rover, I wish they were here. They would love that. Or the baby baboon riding on its mother’s back. Or the herd of elephants playing in the water. Two tons of animal swimming gracefully, nearly disappearing under the water’s surface. A male supervises the water fight from the land. They would love racing around in the darkness searching for lions while dodging giant spider webs.

We will have to come back one day so they can experience what it feels like to finally discover where the rhino has been hiding for three days.

I hear their voices on the phone. I know my five year old is going to look taller after eleven days. I hear how much my ten year old misses his parents. I wonder if my nine year old is still misbehaving at school. Or if the talk we had before I left was enough.

I tell them about how close we were to the lions, and feel the urge to cry. Is it in the retelling of the drama of that moment? Or that I wish they’d experienced it with me?

The leopard remains in hiding, maybe saving himself for discovery by three boys on our return.