It seems like a good idea, leaving them in Masterton, up until the time you have to go home by yourself.
Sure, having the house to yourself for a week is something to look forward to during the non-stop activity that is your family. Imagine the peace and quiet, the freedom to not always be concerned about someone else. The self-indulgence of it all, your only worry is getting out of bed in the morning and going to work.
But then as you hug the youngest good-bye and she brushes your cheek with what could (surely not!) be the shadow of a kiss; and the oldest bursts into tears at the train station, her mother barely restraining her from joining you in the train compartment, you realise that maybe in this week there will be some things missed.
And finally arriving in the front door the house does seem colder, and filled with hard echoes, and you leave lights on right throughout and turn the TV up just a fraction too loud in an unconscious effort to simulate a full house, and you wonder if it really was a good idea after all. You could commute from Masterton you know, just for this week.
But it is easier this way. You think.