Seven weeks is a really long time. Seven weeks was a lifetime for Kaitlyn without seeing her big sister Jen.
For the past seven weeks, Kaitlyn has asked to talk to or see Jen almost every night. It wasn’t enough that she would be back in town in January, all the way through her wedding in February. To say that Kaitlyn missed her Jennifer would be an extreme understatement.
Amber and I had hoped to be able to take Kaitlyn on a trip to Cornelius to see Jen and Ethan before the wedding. We knew that her time would be precious, and that she would be pulled in a million different directions once she came home, and Kaitlyn was longing for some alone time with her. We had put the bug in Jen’s ear the last time we saw her that it was a good possibility that we would come for a visit, as long as we could swing that our work schedules. As good fortune would have it, our schedules worked out to where Amber and I were able to take a Friday off.
The hardest part of the plan was not disclosing the trip to Kaitlyn, and we both almost slipped a few times along the way. We did tell Kaitlyn that we had a special surprise for her, and she drove herself mad trying to figure out what the surprise was (there is no reason Amber and I shouldn’t enjoy ourselves!).
So we hopped in the car, and embarked on an eight hour, 460 mile trip to North Carolina, with Kaitlyn still not having a clue as to our destination. In fact, we were about 60 miles out when we finally gave Kaitlyn enough clues for her to figure out where we were going, and her eyes lit up with pure joy when she knew we were about to see Jen.
Once we navigated through some ridiculous traffic and got to our hotel, Kaitlyn could not wait to get to Jen’s place to see her. She didn’t care one bit that Amber and I wanted to relax for a minute or two, she just wanted to be with Jen; if she had known at the time that we were less than a mile away, she might have just walked there herself!
Amber and I try hard every year to make Christmas special for Kaitlyn, and knowing that she was going to feel slightly empty with Jen not there on Christmas Eve broke our hearts, so there was little doubt that we would do everything we could to give her an early Christmas present and take her to see Jen. Knowing how much she loves her “big sister” and best friend made it an easy decision, and Jen has been such an important part of her life from day one (as has her entire family, and we are eternally grateful to them, too) that it was worth enduring the drive and traffic to see Kaitlyn be truly happy and overcome with joy. No matter what under the tree has her name on it next week, her best present was the trip to see Jen.