I wrote this on the plane ride to North Carolina this week.
The day before my flight, I was ready to leave. Lincoln screamed through most of my two hour shift in the daycare, and eventually got so worked up he barfed into his blanket as I held him in my arms. I blinked back the tears that pricked my eyes. I couldn't wait to get home and put Lincoln down for a nap. I knew he needed it as much as I did.
He woke a couple of hours later and we sat on the porch to wait for Aspen to come home from school. He ate a Popsicle and reminded me the mail man would bring his new cars soon. The drama of the morning was mostly forgotten, but I still felt relieved I wouldn't be taking him with me to work the next day.
On my flight, I quickly passed an hour and a half reading a new book. I pulled out my class syllabus and discovered no readings were required for the upcoming week. The pilot mentioned we were 80 miles west of Lincoln, Nebraska, and I missed my babies.
Maybe missing them isn't the right description. Mostly, I worry about not returning to them. If I didn't make it back, would they know how much I loved them? Would they have memories of me? Would they resent me for leaving them and not coming back?
My girl with the freckles across her face. My boy who relishes a naked run through the house yelling "WIGGLE MY BOOTY!"
Comfort comes from knowing they're with their dad. He will develop different relationships with them in my absence. They'll watch too much YouTube, eat out too often, stay up too late, and go too long without bathing.
Before I left, Lincoln insisted I would get on another plane and come back to him. My baby, who hasn't been without me a single day in over a year (and he doesn't remember those nights we spent apart). I don't want to let him down.
Regardless of my anxiety, I'm happy to take this trip for my younger brother. He was my first baby nearly 30 years ago, and now I get to spend a few days cradling his third child in my arms.
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