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Growth Spurts: Separation: Anxiety or Just Variety?

I just finished a week of separation from my three children. One went to her first overnight camp, and the other two spent the week with their grandparents. There were mixed emotions during this time, for sure. I mean, I would be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to having a break from mamahood and getting to enjoy just being with my husband (okay, and going to the pool by myself!). But not long after I had dropped them all off at their respective homes for the week, I found myself already missing them.

Our children are such a part of us. Indeed, they have the potential to fill our home with noise and clutter and mess, but they also fill it with love and laughter and fun! And if you’re like me, you sometimes require your children’s influence to help you lighten up and have more fun!

So I missed them last week. Not enough to go pick them up early from camp or anything, but I did miss them. I knew that the time apart was actually really good for us, even though it was difficult to know that my husband and I couldn’t be right there with the kids to offer instruction, discipline, advice, or even praise and encouragement. But it’s good for them to be around, learn from, and have experiences with other people, just as it’s good for my husband and me to have time alone together. We all benefit from it. And even though we might get a little sad because we miss each other (Yes, they said they missed us, too.), that’s actually good and healthy, in my opinion. It’s a good sign that we really love and depend on each other.

At the end of the week (which, honestly, went by really quickly), we had a wonderfully happy reunion! The kids were so glad to see each other! They hugged and kissed and walked hand-in-hand. They swapped stories about their week and told each other how much they missed each other. My eldest even declared that she thought that being away at camp had made her a better sister and daughter.

Yes, it was wonderful. And it lasted all of about an hour. And then we were back to life as usual, but with accents of overtiredness and crankiness.

Hey, you can’t live in Candy Land forever! But it’s all of these moments together that make up family life. It’s sadness and happiness; driving each other crazy and missing each other like crazy; fighting and forgiving; aggravating each other and loving each other; and taking each other for granted but then really, really appreciating each other. And it’s oh, so good! I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


Carrie Bevell Partridge enjoys the variety of family life and actually prefers Jackson, MS, over Candy Land. Visit Carrie’s blogs: and

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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