I think Jess summed things up nicely when she e-mailed me near the end of our trip to Japan with the words, “Your apartment misses you.”
She could tell because:
The kitchen light started to burn out and was flickering like a strobe light. Abby said it was like living in a horror show.
The bathroom door became so hard to open that they finally taped it so it wouldn’t actually latch.
There was an ant infestation.
The key got stuck in the front door and they couldn’t get it out for half an hour.
But other than that, things were fine. (I will note that a pipe under the kitchen sink sprung a small leak after we got home, so not everything fell apart on their watch.)
We were expecting Elsa to freak out, especially when we were able to FaceTime with them, but she didn’t. And, in fact, it seemed like the kids adjusted really well to being parented by their aunts (and uncles or uncle and “uncle,” depending on how you classify Abby’s friend James).
My sister-in-law, Brittany, was a total champ and rode Simon in to school on the bike every morning. And Jess did her duty in picking him up in the afternoons. And Abby made sure they both got a thorough tour of the city’s best stuff, including front row seats to Wicked (which they got in the lottery).
All in all, I think we can safely say we won’t worry about our kids too much if we ever leave them for an extended period of time. So many good caretakers to choose from. And it doesn’t hurt that those kids are champs, too.