I don’t travel often for my job. In fact, it is a rare thing for me to leave the kids behind for anything. However, once in a blue moon, I am able to do just that. In fact, I am going out of town this week. I know that I am leaving my kids in the more-than-capable hands of my husband. Yet, he is not me. He has his way of doing things. They are not usually my way of doing things, though. And, yes, I will admit that his way does work. The kids are happy. But I worry anyway.
And I make lists. Many, many lists. I make lists with the schedule. I make lists with phone numbers. I make lists about the lists to make sure everyone knows where to find the lists. This family is more than prepared when I leave town than they are when I am at home.
It is silly for me to worry, really. The teenagers barely notice I am gone except when it comes to food or the lack thereof. It is my daughter that always gives me a catch in my throat when I have to leave. She is great about it. She barely misses a beat when it comes to my leaving. Yet I am a mess.
I can only assume it comes down to loving what I do when it comes to motherhood. Every day is different. Every day is a challenge. Yet, every day ends with hugs, kisses and snuggling as we read together and settle down for the night. I am beginning to believe this has almost become more my routine than hers. I love the sweet smell of her clean hair as we snuggle and talk about the day. I love to watch her as she tells me about the new things in her life that are fun and exciting and still so fresh to her. It is the time of day when I can relax and find my own inner peace.
When I told my children I was going out of town, one teenager barely nodded an acknowledgement. The other teenager just asked how long I was going to be gone and if he could still go to a friend’s house after school. My daughter hugged me tight and said she would take care of Daddy.
So if they are all fine, why do I get a pit in my stomach when I leave?
If you ask me about it after I have actually left home, I will tell you that I am so thankful for the break. I will tell you how much fun it is to be a grown-up and actually have conversations without interruption. I will tell you that I can sleep in a big bed all alone and watch whatever I want to on the television and eat whenever and whatever I want to. It is at that point you will have to remind me why leaving seemed so hard.
I know. I make little sense when it comes to the way I feel about motherhood and my kids. But then again, what about motherhood really does make sense when you lead with your heart?
Oh, and for the record, my husband laughs each time I go through this. He knows full well I am going to have the time of my life every time I am blessed to be sent out of town.
Do you want to know a secret? He is right!