What’s Wrong With Me?
12th February 2016
Whenever I go somewhere without my kids I find myself continually checking my handbag. I have this constant sense that something’s missing. I continually audit myself: phone? wallet? keys? yep. And then I do a mental check of where my kids are at: Big one at school, will catch the bus in half an hour. Little one at a friend’s house – I really should pick up a thank you gift.
My recent trip to Brisbane for my super exciting radio interview with Richard Fidler (ooh la la!) had me feeling completely unnerved but for a few reasons you may not expect.
I missed my kids.
I wanted them there. I needed their innane chatter, their ongoing commentary and their tedious observations. My kids constant chatter has become part of my life – a kind of reliable static that grounds me and has become part of my own inner chatter.
I missed their wild squeals (that I would normally shoosh) as the plane took off.
I missed their embarrassing questions about people on the train. “Why does that man have one leg?”
I missed their soothing noises before my interview. “You’ll be right Mummy and afterwards can we get an ice cream?”
And I missed other things too. I missed being able to share the excitement with them. I missed pointing out the pretty things on Brisbane’s SouthBank. I missed that the people I met in Brisbane didn’t get to meet my kids.
I missed their little feet. Weird I know it – but I love their feet. I love watching how they grow – how this one has feet like me and that one has feet like her dad. I love the tiniest toe and the shape of the biggest toenail.
I missed their energy and found myself drinking coffee to give myself an edge.
I missed their ability to thrust me into the present moment by stopping to notice their shadow or an army of ants.
I missed the warm floppiness of their morning cuddles.
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the time away. I loved just having myself to worry about. I loved not having to talk someone through every single moment of the airport experience. I loved the little drinky I had while I waited at Gate 7 in Canberra Airport and I loved that for twenty-four hours I was the special guest and things were actually all about me!
It just surprised me is all, how much I missed them. I spend so much time trying to gain some time away from them, but when all is said and done – they are a part of me. And I can’t escape that.
I wonder if they missed you as much? What awaited on your return?
I had a camping trip without my nearly adult teen this weekend. It was his first time flying solo, batching it-ever. I’d only ever left him once, and that was last year when I had my first ever solo getaway without hubby and kids. This weekend I somehow survived on as little as five hours sleep. . My sub-conscious working overtime, out of phone service, while hosting a camping party of teenage girls. No way of communicating with him.
On my return, he asked if we could do that more often. He had the time of his life with all that freedom and independence. Thankfully he was still in one piece, as was the house and cars. Love his honesty. Didn’t miss us at all. My soul son has grown up. My job is done.
Thanks Lou! So nice to see a comment from you here. I am fascinated with the differences between parenting little ones compared to parenting teens. Parents of teenagers always tell me: they still need you, just in different ways I love that idea of “my job is done” and the being done involves trust in your own work and a certain relinquishing of duty. We must give them wings, push them and watch them fly.
In separate news I came home to: a pile of sausages (seriously – how many did he think the girls would eat), a pile of school notes that needed reading/ signing/ returning and a pile of washing. Sort of took the glow off my “celebrity feeling”.