It’s hard to adequately capture a week in brotherhood… when you’re not with the brothers in question during that week.
I left the boys with my parents on Sunday afternoon last week so I could head off to Chicago with my husband as I had to work the (best) conference (ever). I ran to and fro, spoke three times, typed and read and typed some more until my eyes crossed, met new friends, hugged old friends, shared moments, ran a bunch, worked even more, spent time with my handsome husband, and generally had the time of my life. On Saturday, the sting of missing their little beings coursed through my being; I keenly felt their absence as I stood overlooking the city in the swanky hotel room.
I missed their laughter, the way they don’t hold back when it comes to belly laughs. I missed the way they climb up and around and over and on top of and under and beside and almost through me, just to be nearer to me, the nearest. I missed the, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mama, mama, mama, mama!” “What?!?!” “I love you.” I missed their never-ending eyelashes. I missed kissing their noses, their cheeks, their lips. I missed chasing them through the yard, through the house, through our lives.
And then I was needed somewhere else to do something else that pays the bills, that completes me in a totally different way. I didn’t have time to come up for air, until suddenly, on Sunday evening, they piled out of their grandparents’ car and jumped into my arms. I smelled their hair as I pulled them in close. I breathed in the scent of sunshine and tear-free berry shampoo and… them. Throughout the evening, they hugged me more than average; they kissed and offered up sentiments of love. They told me they missed me, and I told them I missed them too. They loved on me and I loved on them; my mommy heart happy and content.
I won’t ever apologize to my kids for working hard to provide a life for our family. But I will let them know that I miss them immensely when I am not surrounded by their presence. I will bring home firefighter shirts from the Chicago airport that I didn’t even step foot in but awesome friends pick up so little boys’ eyes will light up with unadulterated glee. I will hug and love and kiss and repeat my love 18 billion times in hopes that someday — someday when I’m not here anymore — they know that fact in the very core of their beings.
I will sit on the deck and eat Popsicles as the sun dips behind the tree line as they tell me every story, every second of time that passed while we were apart. I will close my eyes and thank the heavens that they have each other, that I have them, that we have this family of ours, that I have this super full life full of work and challenges and friends and love and happiness and freedom and peace and family and all the things.