My dreams were horrifying last night. They made no sense and were about saying goodbye to people I love. Forever.

It doesn’t take a Freudian expert to interpret that I am having a little anxiety about leaving my loved ones for a week. And they feel the same way. Last night, the three kiddos piled into my bed, ostensibly to sleep alongside me on our last night together for a week.

That didn’t last, of course. This one didn’t want to sleep beside that one, and before we knew it, the clock struck 10 o’clock and everyone would turn into pumpkins if we didn’t get them to sleep fast.

I heard a repetitive chorus of I’m going to miss you, Mommy, and my heart bled to hear it. I feel the same way. Every moment I am away from my precious babies hurts just a little.

And yet, I love the thrill of travel. The exhilaration of going to new places, having adventures, stepping outside of my life for a time to experience the world.

I am so excited to go on this trip.

And so sad to not be with my kids.

This article in the Atlantic struck me as so precious because the experiences of our lives are what sustain us, thrill us, and build us. Not the stuff we buy or cling to or toss or forget about.

Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions…maximal good to society and personal happiness comes from pursuing not happiness but meaning.”

So last night, in the darkness of my bedroom, the tender sweet bodies of my children beside me, that experience sustains me. Eliana’s silky hair, Shaya’s lean legs intertwined with mine, Asher’s full, gripping hug, as if we couldn’t let each other go. Those are the life-sustaining experiences of my life.

And today. Today, my husband and I are so excited with anticipation for the two plane rides ahead, one to New York, to wait around the airport for a few hours, until we board the bigger, fuller plane to Tel Aviv. I haven’t been in seven years, he has never been to Israel, and we have never traveled this far or for this many days just the two of us.

So many experiences. So many moments to treasure. So many memories in the making. Words said and not said. Fleeting texts stateside to stay connected to my babies, while we drink in the super sunshine and clear air of the Holy Land.

I just can’t wait. And I’m incredibly happy to do so.

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