[We Are What He Calls Us to return next Thursday.]
I know the second the nanny arrives, around 7:28, I have to dart out the door. Big meeting today at the new job. I’ve already put my gray suit on. I’m praying I can get my kisses and hugs in without getting covered in oatmeal and berries. I wake the eldest, who is remarkably still sleeping at 7:10, so that I can have a little time to hug on him knowing he’ll be upset if I leave before he wakes. She arrives, I rattle off a couple of scheduling notes, and grab my travel mug of coffee which Bray has graciously brewed since I woke up 15 minutes late and I haven’t had time to go buy more K-cups. We don’t function in our house without coffee.
The weekend was such a blessing. All five of us home without a thing on the calendar. We bummed around Saturday morning. Ran errands. Napped. Played outside almost all day because it was a glorious February day. Those days are rare but so precious. I was elated. Great first week of work. Great weekend with my wonderful family. Low key. Relaxed. No e-mailing or conferencing calling – just being (my work Blackberry’s arrival was delayed so I had no access to business all weekend long).
But I know that those times make Mondays and Tuesdays harder. The kids don’t want me to leave. Remarkably, it’s harder to leave now than it ever was that first year. I doled out hugs and kisses and ran for the door, hoping to catch the traffic report in case I had to redirect my route. The eldest was the first to burst into tears. I could see him from the glass back door in the kitchen crying for another kiss. I told him to come, hurry, we’d give more kisses. And so he came, lips puckered, kisses given in rapid succession. This left the baby bereft. He also needed kisses. So I told him, trying not to count the seconds in my head and praying for light traffic (ha!), to come too. He also gave big kisses, one right after the other. The little lady, willing to accept kisses when given, didn’t need the second round and she focused on finishing her oatmeal. I knelt down with my boys. Told them I would be home for dinner tonight. Said how I would miss them so much but they would have a fun day.
I know I’m not cut out to stay at home full time. I know that the kisses turn to kicks after nap time. I know that I sometimes climb the walls on Sunday night because I haven’t showered or had one adult conversation. But that doesn’t make the decision on days like today any less hard. It doesn’t make it any less of a struggle. It doesn’t push away the guilt that says, they are only three for a few more months, you don’t want to miss a minute of it. Even the kicks.
I am so crazy about these three little people. I love the new words they use every day. I had to explain what stupefy meant to the baby this morning and that it was unrelated to the bad word, “stupid.” I love that they have such huge hearts and love on each other, and me, more than they fight. I love that they are learning their manners and they remember to say yes ma’am and thank you now. But as I buy them shoes one size larger and tick off another inch on their growth chart, I watch the baby fade further in the distance and the child emerge. I know these days of begging for kisses are numbered, and I hate to leave. I look in their eyes and share with them how special they are. How God has blessed our family by sharing them with us. I remind them that I love them all the way to the moon and back. But then I leave. And I’m gone for at least 10 hours today and every day. And I fight that on days like today.