I went to DC with my students back in March and was lucky to be able to attend ISTE in San Antonio for work this week. Both trips were fun and relationship-building, but they were also tiring physically and mentally. The most surprising thing to me was how intensely I ached, both times, for Mike and Atticus. That has not generally been my way of being a wife or a mother–I like a careful balance of independence and interdependence, and we have prioritized time together and time apart both as a family of two and now as a family of three. Mike and I schedule weekends away with friends, and both of us need breaks from Atticus sometimes.
Despite lots of practice being apart, I find that I want to be with them now more than ever. Mike is my rock and Atticus is a joy (albeit a stubborn and sometimes ornery one), and I missed them desperately while I was gone. I wanted to be able to share the things I was learning and I wished I was at the pool with them. I wanted to be with Mike for the Supreme Court rulings this week and I missed his cooking. I thought of all the funny things Atticus says, and I hated that I wasn’t there to hear them.
I also should confess that since Mike and Atticus are such a tightly bonded pair, I worried that I would be irrelevant by the time I finally got back. Who needs Mama when you’ve had your Daddy 24 hours a day? To his credit, Mike did not tell me I was being ridiculous. He just promised that Atticus wouldn’t forget me.
My group had a hard time getting back to Greensboro (thanks for nothing, US Airways!), and I didn’t make it to my house until about 3:30am. It had been a long day and I was so tired that my arms and legs were shaking, but I was too wound up from my travels and too excited to be home to get much sleep.
At promptly 6:30am, Atticus came in our room. He walked to my side of the bed, took my hand, and said, “Are you here?” He got up on the bed and snuggled with me for ten full minutes (something that has never been known to happen – he is not a snuggler) while he told me about all of his adventures. We spent the day playing fire truck on his big boy bed, running around the house, reading stories, and eating grilled cheese sandwiches. When I couldn’t quite keep up on account of being so tired, he gave me the stinkeye and said, “Come on, Mama!” And that is what is saving my life this week.
What is saving your life this week?