Leaving on a Jet Plane

“I don’t even like when you go to the grocery store,” my husband mourned to me last night.
We are that couple. We don’t like to be apart for a few hours, much less overnight. Quite simply, he’s my favorite person.
So you can imagine the goodbye at the airport today with him and my two favorite little people. It was brutal. I walked away five times — and my son and daughter chased me five times.

sochi whole familyWe made quite a scene, the four of us. My red headed little girl was wailing, and my son was asking why it has to be so long.
I will be gone almost a month, covering the Olympics in Sochi for 11 Alive News. I’m very lucky to go. But that didn’t stop me from being weak in the  knees and sick to my stomach as I watched them walk away a final time.
I am a Jekyll and Hyde kind of mother. I have actually said, “The next person who touches me is getting a timeout!” Just this week I said, “I am no longer answering to the  name Mommy.” And I meant it. And I didn’t. For maybe 15 seconds.
Young children can suffocate you with  demands that are endless and often ridiculous(my son asked if he could jump off the roof of the house into the two inches of snow this week, and cried when I said no).
They are masterful at wearing you down, at turning you into a hair-trigger-snapping-shrew who spits out lines like,  “Everyone stop talking! There is no talking anymore in this house!” And, “Why do we ALL have to come in the bathroom when Mommy pees?” And, “The next person who touches anyone is going to bed!”
They challenge your life lessons. When my husband told our son that smoking was the worst thing you could do to your body, he earnestly responded, “What about jumping off a cliff?”
They change your fantasy life. They reduce it. My dream escape is now one in which no one touches me or asks me for anything.
But the second they’re in bed, I miss them. My husband and I will retell stories from the day, enjoying them more in hindsight than when they actually happened. In the replay we can pause, dissect, and laugh at them(which we couldn’t do at the time).
So, as I’m waiting to board the NBC charter that will take me to Sochi, my children are angels on earth and I would give anything to be with them. And I know that when I get home, before we pull into the driveway, I will have broken up no fewer than three fights and someone(usually red) will be close to a timeout.

sochi mom with kidsI hope that when my kids get older, they will understand that the Mommy who cried so hard in the airport because she didn’t want to leave them, is the same Mommy who likes working hard for our family by telling stories, whether they’re in Atlanta or Sochi, Russia.
Covering the Olympics will be amazing. Missing my husband and kids the next month will be awful.
The Motherhood tug of war will never end, but I gotta say, this was the toughest round yet.
On to Sochi. See you from there.

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13 comments on “Leaving on a Jet Plane
  1. Lea-Anne says:

    This all is very relatable- except the part where take off to Russia. I too have said, “I’m no longer answering to Mommy!” Now I miss the days when they called me Mommy. I’ve also fantasized about no one touching me. My favorite part of this is where you and Kenny retell the stories of the day and enjoy them more in hindsight. I so get that. Safe travels to you. I’ll miss you! xoxo

  2. Kim Schulman says:

    Love this. Love you. Absolutely can’t wait to see you reporting LIVE from Sochi! Be safe and have fun!

  3. Jean says:

    You wouldn’t be a good mommy if you did not feel the way you do. Have a wonderful trip, be looking for your reports on the broadcasts. Make it fun and memorable – a once in a lifetime trip I would think!!

  4. Jill says:

    All of you are in my thoughts, and prayers. Love, love, love ….

  5. Erin says:

    Enjoy it. I know you will miss them but they are/will be proud of their Mommy! Keep us up-to-date and be safe. xo

  6. Terry Terrell says:

    Your storytelling gift just keeps on giving. Reading about your mini-challenges as a mother score just as high on the enjoyability index as anything you might end up writing write about the most profound of Olympics events.

  7. Will Partenheimer says:

    I agree with Terry! Your stories are wonderful and I look forward to them. Safe travels!

  8. Ellen crooke says:

    Oh sweet Jaye. Safe travels and I pray your experience is so fun and rich at the Olympics you survive missing your beautiful family. We all miss you already and can’t wait to see your reports. Hang in there.

  9. David says:

    Like my other half said once in exasperation, “I’m really starting to understand why some species eat their young.” And then you love them more each day and can’t imagine how empty your life would be without them. Thanks for sharing your soul with us!

  10. Dawn Stark says:

    Be safe Jaye! Look forward to your writing and reporting!

  11. Kirstin says:

    I’m new to your blog and could really identify with this post–thanks for sharing. I too have a small ginger-snap girl and an der son.

  12. Carol Sherman says:

    Loved your story and hope to see you reporting from Russia! Hoping to see you reporting. Loved the pics too! Aunt Carol

  13. Marsha says:

    Omg Jennifer I am feeling the pain for you, safe travels!!!!

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