Laya's parents and her brother came down to stay with us for Rosh Hashana. Her brother had to be back at work Thursday morning, and her parents are leaving on a trip to Israel next week and needed to pack; so as soon as the Yom Tov was over, they had to leave.
We had already put Tikvah and Ahava to bed (they were yawning all through the evening), but once the door was open and Laya's brother started taking out the suitcases, Tikvah came down the stairs, soon followed by Ahava. Tikvah said "Daddy, I'm very sad that they are leaving." I reassured her that it was normal to be sad when people leave. Then she said "I almost feel like I'm going to cry!" (as she said that, her eyes got watery, and her lips started quivering. I gave her a hug, and reassured her, and pointed out that sometimes when our guests leave, mommy (Laya) does cry, so it's OK if you need to cry to let it out. Finally she said "Daddy, it hurts right here, it's hard to swallow" pointing to the lower part of her throat. Ahava, ever the echo of Tikvah, said it hurt her there too. This time Laya swooped in and said that it hurt her there too when people left and she was sad.
I then reminded Tikvah that it's nice when people visit, but at some point every does need to go home to get back to their lives. Otherwise, if we focus so much on how much it hurts when we leave, then no one will want to visit other people, because no one will want to leave. I also assured her that we would see them again.
After that, the kids felt a little better, and went off to bed without too much more of a protest. I went back downstairs. It always amazes me how well Tikvah is able to articulate her feelings. Even if she doesn't know the "adult" words, she can still describe how she's feeling, and even the physical aspects. I never thought about the tightness in the throat, but that happens to me as well. And as I told her, it's always sad when our guests leave, but better to experience that sadness than not have them at all.