Last Saturday I left the house for a Mom’s day off. I was looking forward to a fancy lunch and some time away from my lovely, high energy kids. Little g is in the stage in her life where the only thing she wants is her mom. So as I got on my snow boots and coat she noticed, screamed and then brought me her own boots. I took her back to the couch, to her dad and handed him the boots to put on. She thought she would be coming with me since she was getting boots on and was content until she saw me walking out the door. Then her cry was loud and persistent.
I went to lunch and enjoyed Sundance’s Author Series where Cheryl Strayed talked about her book Wild. About an hour and half into the experience I started thinking about the kids, how they were doing, and what they were doing. Was g still crying? Two and a half hours passed and the author series ended.
I could’ve raced back home right away. I felt a kind of unspoken pressure that I should be home with the kids. That’s what I’m used to, that’s what I do everyday. But before I did my logical side kicked in. My kids were with Mountain Dad, little g should be asleep for her nap, and if there had been some emergency I would’ve gotten a phone call by now.
“How long did little g cry?” I asked.
“Only thirty minutes or so,” said Mountain Dad. “She would walk over to the door and cry ‘mama’ a few times until I could distract her with a toy or something.”
My heart sank. Thirty minutes? My previous callousness melted away as I imagined my little cherub sobbing for her mother who she assumed had abandoned her forever. Half an hour of heart wrenching sadness is too much for anyone. I felt awful. I know logically that it’s not a bad thing to leave my children for an afternoon and go do something I love, but I still felt a little selfish.
For the next hour Big E and I set about plowing the walkway using two toy front loaders, an excavator and a dump truck.