Thursday, February 28, 2013
This past week my husband and I snuck off for a long weekend at the beach to celebrate our 15th anniversary. It rained the entire time we were there, but it didn’t matter at all. We stayed up late, slept late, ate whenever we wanted and not one time did we have to break up a fight, dig for a school uniform or put a child back in the bed for the hundredth time.
We ate lunch early, went to a movie at 12 o’clock in the afternoon and leisurely shopped. Being at the beach this time of year we were surrounded by snowbirds and I confirmed what I’ve always suspected - I’m going to be an excellent retiree.
I missed my kids, but knew that with my mother, Shuggie, they were in excellent hands. They made cupcakes and went bowling, made cornflake cookies for their favorite babysitter to take back to college, and all piled up in my bed at night to sleep.
We were only gone for four days, but I swear they each aged a year while we were gone. Aubrey looked taller, Emma’s speech was more sophisticated and Sadie’s feet looked two shoe sizes larger. Bedtime on Sunday night was the same fiasco as usual: one upset over homework she may or may not have forgotten, one begging for a snack, another begging to sleep with me.
Zeb unloaded the car and I got what I needed out of my bags but didn’t unpack. I’ll be back on the road this week for speaking engagements and, as excited as I get about hanging out with other moms and talking about parenting, there was a little stab in my heart about leaving my kids again so soon. Even though I’ll only be gone for a few days again, I wondered what would change while I was gone.
I have the best of both worlds as a mother - I work from home which means I get to set my own hours and be available for my kids, almost all of the time. But when I have to leave, it’s always bittersweet. I’m madly in love with my work, but it doesn’t compare to how I feel about seeing the freckles on Aubrey’s nose everyday, hearing Emma cackle as she dances crazily around the kitchen and listening raptly as Sadie, round-eyed, spins her latest yarn about what her “real mom” is doing. So I guess I do have the best of both worlds, because as much as I love my work, even with the travel it includes, I always enjoy coming home the most, even when I do have to keep my bags packed.
(Robin O’Bryant is an author, humorist and speaker. Her latest book is “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.)