My family is planning a very exciting trip starting this weekend – a drive up the coast, a week in beautiful Prince Edward Island with Grandma and Papa, some beach time, some lobsters, some shell collecting and bird watching. Then finally a leisurely drive back home.
There’s only one thing holding me back from being excited about it:
I’m not going.
I’m heartbroken to think that Nate and the girls are leaving for nearly two weeks without me. That I have to stay behind and do the responsible thing and work, now that work has finally gotten busy again.
Friends have advised me, “Well you just shouldn’t let him.” Or scolded, “I can’t believe you’re allowing it.” But then I think of all the working dads who stay behind while their wives tote the kids to the grandparents for a week. That’s just what you do when you’re the family’s primary earner and it’s the right thing to do.
The only thing is, I’m not a dad. I’m a mom.
Every day, I will wonder whether they’re warm and have enough books and are taking baths often enough. I’ll wonder whether Thalia is finally getting some sleep. I’ll wonder whether Grandma is sneaking Thalia cookies when Daddy isn’t looking, or what Sage’s expression is the first time she touches a crab. I’ll wonder whether they’ll ask for me when they’re being tucked into bed.
Home alone, I’ll find a favorite toy or blanket left behind and grapple with whether I should mail it up there. I’ll order in sushi in front of the TV and try to imagine just what they’re doing at that exact moment. Whether they miss me. Whether they’re thinking about me. How they’ll react to me when they get home. Will Sage need to warm up to me? Will she cling to Daddy? Will she squeal and run right past me to the dog?
Every night I’ll go to sleep trying to convince myself that it’s nice to have the bed to myself or to stay on the computer until midnight or to sleep in past 6. But really, it will be a tough sell to myself.
I’m trying to make the best of it, reminding myself that it’s NYC for God’s sake. I can see movies and enjoy drinks with friends and have that time to clean my closet that I’ve been threatening to do if only the kids weren’t demanding my attention every time I open the damn door. I can spend a wonderful pre-birthday dinner with my dad and visit my single mom friend who could probably use the girlie time.
But the apartment will be so very quiet and Thalia’s scent will be slowly fading from the pillowcases on the bed.