Yesterday, I told my daughter a lie. She was acting up at bedtime and that's when it happened. I told her, “this is not how I want our time together to be after I've been away from you all day and I missed you.”
Truth #1: Not how I want to spend our time together
Miss Thing was exhausted. The day was spent with her grandparents (i.e., overindulged) and included a swim lesson. It's a lot for her little four year old self, no matter how sassy and independent she might be.
She was at critical mass--the point where all she could do was fight the sleep descending upon her, chasing the adrenaline dragon in hopes of stealing more awake time. Wiggly and nonsensical and babble-y and insensitive.
All I wanted was a calm, heartwarming bedtime snuggle. Clearly, I ask too much.
Truth #2: After I have been away from you all day
I had spent the day in wine country. Being a goddamned grown up, FFS. Not that I'm not being a grown up when I'm filling in for the role of Mom, but, y’know, doing grown-up only things. Drinking wine and eating a meal at my leisure. Going to the bathroom uninterrupted. Because suddenly, out of the clear blue nowhere, I turned 40 this week. The fuck all is this about?!
Lie: I missed you
I remember the early years of being a mom, when being near these excised little human pieces of me was the only way I could feel whole. Being apart from them was almost more than my heart could bear. It's a wonder I only got one speeding ticket while I was still working, seeing as I became possessed by some lead-pawed mama bear when it was time to slide down the dinosaur each day. Must. Get. Home. To. Babies. Like a freaking siren's call.
And now? Now they're always there. Two proverbial monkeys on my back (sometimes quite literally).
It's not as though I didn't think about my kids while I was reveling in my grown-up-ed-ness (and old agedness) over unoaked Chardonnay. But when I soberingly found my way back to them, I instead found I hadn't been away from them long enough.
To miss them, that is.
Of course the little voice in my head echoes the lamentations of all the “seasoned moms” you ever meet, warning: “Enjoy this time. They grow up so fast.”
But what about absence making the heart grow fonder? I mean, there's some absolute truth in that. At least from where I'm stranding.