It was a killer weekend . . . the third in a row . . . where sleep was not the norm and exhaustion was. But it’s a good tired, all three of the weekends were. First was Abbi’s New York trip. Second, the fundraising gig that had weeks of rehearsals. Then this last weekend . . . when I flew in and out of Omaha in order to pick up my remaining children.
It’s been harder than I thought, this summer, being without my kids. It was a worthwhile thing to have them at their grandparents’ in Nebraska for the summer. As much as I know Abbi finds it hard to be away from her friends and the kids don’t get to have their separate play room or whatever it is kids complain about – mostly being “bored” beyond belief I know they benefited from being there. There was a ton of property around my folks’ house, so they had time and energy they could burn off. They had my and my brothers’ bikes so they could ride bikes all day. They played their own version of badminton. They saw amazing lightning storms and enjoyed the quiet life where cicadas screeched during the day and broke the wives tale that it’s “six weeks until frost.” That’s a hard thing to swallow when it’s 102 degrees outside.
It’s also fun, even though I flew in and flew out with the three of them, to every five minutes find a little person next to me with his or her arms around my waist giving me a hug. In the middle of the night after tucking them in to hear the little footprints behind me and feel a kiss on the back of my shoulder. The hard part over the weekend was hearing Noah, one of the twins, crying in the middle of the night, around 2am. When I got to him he had tears on his eyes and he wrapped his arms around my neck.
“I had a bad dream,” he whimpered.
“About what, monkey?”
“I dreamed I was in a hallway and was all alone and I couldn’t find you!”
I rubbed the top of his head and assured him he’d never be alone, he would always have someone with him, not be alone in any kind of hallway. He calmed down, and I stayed sitting next to him until he fell asleep again. I know there’s likely some reason for it, but my line to him was one I’d used to all my kids when they had dreams – good or bad. A doctor I had years ago in another state had told me that dreams were simply your brain’s way of dealing with the events of your day. Now, does this mean there’s no deeper meaning to the dream? No – it could easily mean a lot more and maybe there’s something in there for Noah to contend with.
But at the end of the day I’m home and so are they. I know that I get the comment a lot from people that “you could use a good break.” They’re not wrong, it’s tiring to care for four kids. I don’t pretend it’s not. But still, I have only this school year and my oldest, my Abbi, leaves for college. She’s just a few years from the age I was when I met her mother and my life changed completely. Part of me is excited for what she’s about to begin. Part of me is sad and wishes he had more time.
But that’s the life we live. I just need to be more aware of my life and remember that I need to make the most of the time I have left. . . time with them, with my folks, my family . . . all of it.
But for now . . . we’re all home.