Today Jon returns from an 8-day trip to Mexico. And while it might sound crazy to be excited about sending your partner off for an extended trip so you can juggle all of the work and family stuff on your own, I truly was so excited. When Jon first started thinking about the trip several months ago, I told him he had to go. The timing was perfect. It would be amazing. And this week, not only did I love envisioning Jon immersing himself in the language and culture, I also figured he’d convene with some ancient spirits along the way. Pretty awesome.
And while Laurel and I have missed Jon while he’s been gone, I’ve also been struck by my own feelings for Laurel while Jon has been away. And by the remarkably intact state of the house. And the fact that I’m reasonably on top of my work. Part of this I attribute to the new attitude I now hold following my summertime epiphany about work/life balance, but then I think there’s something to be said for having the space and time to be focused on Laurel since it was just the two of us kicking around the house.
What I discovered was that I had within me even more love for Laurel. It might sound a little cliche, but honestly, I didn’t know that was possible.
Here are some things that happened this week:
By virtue of it just being me, Laurel and I spent more time together; we spent a phenomenal amount of time cuddling and reading on the couch.
Laurel talked to Roll. A lot. She also spent a lot of time rubbing my belly. And pointing it out to anyone interested.
There was no fussing or procrastination around household routines, perhaps because there wasn’t an alternate parent to go to. We were early getting ready for school and on time getting to bed.
I decided to let Laurel bunk with me; bedtimes were so easy and she fell asleep instantly, probably due to the comfort of knowing she’d have a sleeping buddy. And I admit it, I loved crawling into bed and finding that warm bread loaf of a little person in there.
I was more easy going about things that I, um, sometimes can be a little perfectionist about. Like piping deviled eggs. Which, incidentally, Laurel totally rocked at.
When Laurel was gone at school during the day, I missed her. I felt so happy when it was time to pick her up at the end of the day.
When we were out and about doing errands, I felt acutely aware of Laurel's smallness and bigness in the world -- how little her hand feels in mine, how big and confident her ideas are.
One night I made Laurel one of her favorite meals and spontaneously, before we were about to dive in, she extended her hands and said, “Let me make a prayer” (admittedly, this was very unusual since we only say grace when we dine with my mother or my in-laws). She squeezed her eyes shut (I couldn’t help peeking) and talked about the things she was thankful for, including “...my mom, who is doing it all on her own right now.” Goodness.
We’re so excited to welcome Jon home today. But a piece of me is also a little wistful that this time alone with Laurel is coming to an end. I want to bottle up our mojo from this week and keep it forever. I never, ever want to forget.