My oldest daughter has been in North Carolina visiting her grandparents for several weeks now and will be there for most of the summer. She decided this year she wanted to go and get a summer job there, but I think she mostly wanted to help out her grandmother a bit since her grandfather has Alzheimer’s. I knew I’d miss having her gone so long, especially since she’ll be leaving for college once summer is over. But I’m proud of her for choosing to spend her summer that way, and I’m glad my kids have a close connection to their grandparents. When they were younger, they used to spend part of their summer with my parents as well. My youngest will also be gone most of July, first on a mission’s trip to Canada and several western states and then on to her grandparents. And this weekend she’s been gone helping out with a fundraiser for the missions trip. It’s a garage sale at a friend’s house on the other side of town (her friend is also going on the trip). She could have come home in the evenings, but of course it’s more fun to stay over. So when it came time to come home, she’d text and ask if she could just stay. And knowing she needed to be back early the next morning, it did make some sense. But tonight I teased her about ditching me again for the third night in a row. She apologized, but I told her I was kidding. In reality, I’m proud of her as well. She’s doing her part to raise money for her trip, and as usual, she’s not complaining about it. So once again, tonight I’m thankful for the fact that I have some pretty special kids.