Thursday, April 14, 2011

home & away

I'm going away for the weekend. Without my kids. For the second time this month.

After this weekend, I will have spent more nights [four] away from my kids than I had previously [three] in Cate's almost four years of life. Not that I'm keeping track. But I do think about it because it's hard for me.

I want to put a disclaimer in here, now, that I realize every family, every mom, every kid is different. People have different needs. People have different ways of coping. People have different responsibilities and are blessed in different ways. So what I'm going to say about me may have absolutely nothing to do with you.

And that's OK. We'll still be friends.

I like to check on my kids before I go to bed. I've done it nearly every night for the 47 months Cate has been in our family. And I've done it for the almost 17 months Ben has been here. I plan to keep doing it for a long time.

Likewise, I like the couple hours Greg and I have without kids most evenings. We watch TV and movies. We play Words with Friends or whatever two-person game is our current addiction. Sometimes we have things to talk about. Sometimes he works and I fold laundry. But it's a break from answering questions, changing diapers, filling a sippy cup with soy milk, explaining what we're going to do next, reassembling a toy, reminding Ben not to climb there or stick his hand in the toilet, and asking Cate to remember Ben is smaller than she is.

The evenings on the couch with my husband are my time to be refreshed as a mom. Of course, I squeeze in time to read on the porch swing while they're napping, texting and Facebooking my friends from the convenience of my iPhone, or meeting a friend and her kids for lunch during the day. Those are times of refreshment as well.

And every now and then I get to do something fun with just Greg. Like go to the Final Four. Or a baseball game. Or an amusement park. Maybe even dinner and a movie. And those times are sweet. And they're good for my kids too because they need to know their Daddy and I love each other and value our marriage.

But I never want leaving my kids to be easy. I never want to want to leave them. I want to always want to be home.

With Greg.

With my kids.

Because this is where God called me to be, and it's the hardest, most unpredictable, most rewarding place I've ever been.

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