I got the call from my sister about two weeks ago. Would I be able to fly up to their house for Family & Friends Day at my nephew’s elementary school? My nephew has recently joined track and he thought it would be really cool if his ex semi-professional athlete uncle were there for him to show off.
My immediate reaction was no. I looked in the mirror and only saw the shadow of a top age-group athlete. I looked at my to-do list and only saw a never-ending list of things to accomplish by as soon as possible. I looked at my other half and only saw the look of fear in his eyes at the thought of being alone with our three rather rambunctious rascals.
But then I reconsidered. Our youngest son Dustin is turning 16-months old this coming week, and he and I have never been separated for more than an hour or so while I am out for a run or a swim. Our other two sons, Devin and Dylan, are both 6-years olds. Except for a four day trip to Fiji that I won and their two Dads enjoyed alone as their “honeymoon” when they were infants (we left them with the grandparents – one kid per pair of grandparents), they have not spent any time on this earth without their Daddy.
My husband travels a lot for work (all over the country) or for his MBA class (in Indiana), while Daddy is solo at home 24/7, sometimes for up to close to a week. So why not let him experience that joy? I would make things easier for him by putting out sets of clothes for school, giving plenty of instructions, and enlisting the help of our friend/surrogate for the entire duration of my trip. It would be a Thursday night through Sunday night, and she happens to be off work on Fridays through Sunday!
So I approached my better half, and to my pleasant surprise he was supportive in a nervous kind of way. My sister and nephews were over-the-moon excited. And I could barely contain myself, although I took great care not to show it in front of the boys. I began to daydream about sleeping in without the alarm of a crying baby waking me up, taking a shower without wondering if a toddler wax being pummeled to death in the next room, and spending quality time with my nephews (10 and 6) who were growing up way too fast.
The time came for my trip, and for the first half of it I was enjoying it immensely. It was great to see my sister and brother-in-law, my nephews, their basketball games, my parents (who recently moved from Arizona to live near my sister), and my ex-classmate from Physical Therapy school that lives near my sister
But I found myself daydreaming and wondering what the boys were up to. I would peruse their pictures on my iPhone and start tearing up. And I began to long for my partner of almost 10 years. I hadn’t anticipated just how much I would miss him too. My cup was overflowing, or whatever the expression was. I was anxious to get home.
I got some text pictures from my family, and did talk via Face Time, but I was happy to get on the plane to return to Santa Monica. I would be taking a taxi directly to our favorite massage place to start our date night (which was delayed for one day due to my absence), and I would be seeing the boys the next morning when I would wake them up for school and get to hear them beg to stay in bed for just one more minute. And life will be in full swing again, just the way I love it.