Thursday, March 31, 2011

Store? London? Same difference

I'm pretty sure my kids think I'm at the store. 

On the Friday I left for London, I was ready for a dramatic good-bye.  I had been preparing for this moment.  Would they throw themselves on me, taking hold of each leg and an arm to prevent me from leaving?  Would their tears make me rip up my paperless e-ticket, throw my arms around them and tearfully admit that I'll never leave them?

After all, the trip was a big deal for our family.  Mommy was taking a two week vacation.  How would everyone deal with the fallout from this ground-breaking event?  We are a team.  We plan our days around each other.  And while I was gallivanting around London, I just knew their little hearts would be broken, feel abandoned...where was Mommy to tuck them in at night?  Where was mommy to read a story?  Where was mommy?

I was relieved when I left that morning because they were so strong.  They gave me enthusiastic hugs, wet kisses, and shouted loud "I love yous" while I was driving away.  As the car turned a corner I marvelled at the strength and resilience of children while I broke down and cried like a baby. 

But I knew the phone calls would be tough.  I got on the phone with my youngest who has been attached to my hip since he was a baby.  I steeled myself to sound strong and remind him of how much fun he was having with Mika and Pop. 

"Hiiiiiii Mommmmmy!!"

"Hi, baby boy.  I miss you.  I love you soo much." I'm sure this was difficult for him. 

"Hiiii Mommmmmy!!"

"Hi, buddy.  I really miss you.  Are you having a good time with Mika and Pop?"  I shouldn't have asked a question that would only remind him of my absence. 

"Hiii Mommmmy!!!"

"Hi back.  I miss you so much, little man."

"Where are you, Mommy?"

Here it is.  Answer with a strong mommy voice.  "I'm in London bud, remember?" 

There was a short pause.  Poor guy.


Oh, okay.  That went better than expected.  It's not like I want him to be sad. It's good that he can be flexible.  This means good parenting, right?

Yesterday, we got on Skype and video called each other.  Their sweet faces drove home the reality of how far away I am.

My oldest gives me a list of the things she's done since arriving at Mika and Pops.  "That's great, honey. I'm so happy you're having a good time."

"We are mommy, we really are.  And today we are going swimming!!"

Knowing how often I have to change our plans for some reason or another I say gently, "That sounds like fun, but remember that sometimes plans can change."

She smiles and says knowingly, "Well, Mommy.  Mika's plans never change."

She's not wrong.  Mika has a knack for sticking to a plan.  I, on the other hand, do change our plans around a lot.  But it sounded like she missed me and my crazy plan-changing habit, right?

My baby girl gets on the video call and we chat for a bit.  This separation would be challenging for her as lately she always breaks down in tears when her daddy leaves for a business trip.

So I focus on the positive bit about coming home soon and say, "I love you and can't wait to see you in a few days, honey!"

"Sure, mommy.  Or maybe we can just Skpe.  So, Skype ya later!!"

Perhaps it's not the kids who have been most affected by my absence.   It's me.  I miss my role more than my role misses me.  Because what I do best is not making great breakfasts, helping with homework, making beds or even reading a story.  What I do best, what Max does best, is to love our kids.  They are assured in our love.  So that when we cannot be right by their sides, they are more than okay.  They are happy and having fun. 

So even though I am thousands of miles away, to them it just feels like I went to the store. 



  1. That is SO right Melissa! Your kids are assured of your love... always. What a fabulous thing to know; you guys are great parents! GREAT job!!! It makes it SO much easier being away from them too. This is only a minuscule of their life, and soon they'll have their precious mommy back, and saying face-to-face, "HIIIIII MOOOOOMMMMY!!!" OH the joy!! Hugs to you!

  2. WOW! What a great blog!!!! Such great insight... I know I would feel the same way! One day you'll have to let them read this - they'll love it!!! Love you sweet friend! Come home safely!!! We miss you!!!

  3. Aw, I'm sure they're sad at times, just not ALL the time. which is exactly the right amount. Enjoy your time away!

  4. So sweet, I love this! You guys are amazing parents and it's so great that you can get away and all is good!!! But, on that note, I miss you, so come home!!!!! Enjoy the rest of your time away, praying for save travels!

  5. Love is all you need... okay that was cheesy!!! : ) My kids always think I'm at a meeting whenever I leave. You are so so right about everything you said. They sure miss you, but they know you love them more then anything in the world and that is enough for them! Hope you had a blast! Can't wait to hear the stories!

  6. I totally know how you feel. I went to Switzerland last year alone and I was sure that my son would be devastated and i'm not sure he noticed I was gone (he was 2). But when I got home he told me how much he missed me and I'm glad he got to alone time with his dad. I hope you had a great time. I'm really enjoying your blog and for that I'm awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award. To find out more info go here