“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.
We 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.
I 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.