Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Night Away

There was a time, not so long ago, that I traveled a lot. I would beg my bosses to let me travel. I'd go on any and every trip. That was how you met the clients, that was how you saw the world (NYC), that's how you ate in some of the world's greatest restaurants (think Per Se), slept in some really nice hotels. Ah, that was the life.

Well, it's not my life anymore.

In about half an hour my dear friend, Barb, will come to pick me up. We will drive up to Raleigh to stay the night. Tonight we will scream and sing and sway side to side as we listen to Tim McGraw in concert. So why am I so.....what's the word?....uneasy? I've been feeling anxious for days.

I know you won't believe that I (yes, it's me, Audrey) am saying this but I don't want to leave my baby girl. Yes, that's right, not even for one silly little night. I feel like someone is trying to rip my sweet little heart right out of my chest. It seems excruciating when I think about how much I will miss her. I have gone from traveling about 30-40% of the time and not thinking twice about it to breaking down in tears for being gone one night. What has happened to me? Where in the world did my very ambitious, determined and downright stubborn free spirit run off to? Did she desert me?

No, I am not concerned that my husband won't do a good job. He is incredible. I think it's good for both of them to have some time alone. In fact, he is out right this moment, in the 95 degree weather (at 11:47 AM), taking her on a picnic. With the dogs. He's crazy. But the beauty is that he is willing to do things with her that I simply won't be bothered with. It's beautiful and memorable. On the way there, she told him, "I'm so happy we're going".

This is also the little girl who sat in her car seat about an hour and a half ago and told me that she would cry later because she's going to miss me so much. Hello, can you hear my heart crushing? She also asked me if I would cry because I miss her. Um, hello, yes, of course dear. But I was a good mom and I told her that I wouldn't. I also told her:

- I will only be gone a little over 24 hours.
- It's good to spend time alone with your friends from time to time.
- In life you have to make time to nurture your own spirit.
- Always make time to listen to good music. It's good for your soul.
- I may leave but I will always, always, always, always, always come back.
- I like when you and Daddy have alone time. It's so very sweet and it warms my heart.
- Mom was smoking crack when she agreed to go out of town to this concert.

Just making sure you were still paying attention. I didn't really say that last one.

I was obviously trying to make myself feel better. I'm sure I lost her attention at that second bullet point. So Alain pulled out of the drive (with my entire life - furry puppies and all - tucked away in that box of steel) and I could hear her screaming, "Bye, Mommy. I'll miss you, Mommy", all the way down the street. As soon as they turned the corner, I went inside, stood in the shower and cried.

Sophie, if you read this one day long in the future, please know that I have heartstrings so long that they could take me to the outer reaches of the universe and back twenty gazillion times. Even in 24 hours, I will miss you more than you're capable of realizing (until maybe one day you have a baby of your own). I take trips with my friends alone sometimes because it's good for me and I know it's good for you. I want for you to see a mother who carves out little bits of time to keep in touch with her inner self (the side that has nothing to do with being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, employee, etc.). May you also always strive to be vibrant, complex, interesting, passionate about things, a good friend, adventurous (even in little ways). I will leave shortly and have a great time with my friend (it's not worth being apart if I don't enjoy myself) and I will come back an even greater mother......I will cuddle you tomorrow until you can hardly breathe....and our bond will be even stronger than it already is. I love you, Goose.

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