Friday, February 05, 2010

Aftermath

My suitcase is heavy. It sits, crouched in my room, next to the closet. I haven't had the nerve to unpack it yet. It looms, pregnant with unrealized dreams, frustrations and what could have been. I try to ignore it. I don't do a very good job. Every time I walk into the room, there it is.

Sixteen days. Seems like a lifetime ago. That's when I kissed plump cheeks goodbye, squeezed sticky hands with admonishments to "be good", and climbed into my father-in-law's car to drive to the airport with my husband. I had high hopes, but didn't really know what to expect. We hadn't been away together for any length of time since the children were born. We were ready.

And it was wonderful. Awesome, even. We drove down the coast of New Zealand, stopping wherever our hearts lead us. We had no agenda, and no qualms about enjoying the company of one another. Memories were made that will last a lifetime. That's the problem.

I had to come home. And I can't see home the same anymore. I have never allowed myself to consider what life would have been like without my children. It is what it is, is my motto, why push it? But for sixteen glorious days, I was not a mother. I was just…me. With him. And it was wonderful. My heart was full. No tethering to others' needs or whims. I was free. It couldn't last, and it didn't.

I had thirteen hours en route to LAX to forget that bliss; to morph back into a mother who puts her children first again. But those shoes aren't fitting very well. I am aware that makes me an awful, selfish person. And it is why my suitcase is heavy. It is a constant reminder of what I had. And unpacking it means I will ferret it away into a closet, forgetting what it was like to live from it for weeks. Unpacking would be putting to rest the adventurer and the free spirit I was two weeks ago. And I am just not ready to do that.

And the guilt? The guilt is palpable. I can taste it on my tongue, metallic and bitter, like I need to brush my teeth. I want to be that mother again, but I don't know how. I almost wish I had never gone, because now? Now I am back. And I know what I am missing, every minute, of every day.

My suitcase is heavy, but not as heavy as my heart.

T, who hopes I will get over this

4 sent chocolate:

Spot said...

Aw, T. I have been there. Re-entry into real life after vacation is always hard. Harder still when you had some time without the constant drain on your time. We all get selfish sometimes. Try not to be too hard on yourself. You'll fall in love with your kids all over again and wonder why you ever felt this way. Pinky swear.

♥Spot

Heather Babes said...

I'm with Spot on this. And I'm not saying it just to make you feel better either. That's just not my personality.

It's the truth. Once a year, on my birthday, I go away for 24 hours. One year, I made it a week. During that week, I was completely out of touch. Of course, folks *could* get ahold of me in case of crisis. BUT there weren't any, thank goodness. And I had a most wonderful, delicious time of my life. For 168 hours, I was NOT a mom and no one had demands on me. It was glorious!

And then I came home. And it took more than 168 hours to get back into the mode of mom again, well, feeling like a mom again anyway. I went through the motions if not the emotions it took.

And then, like Spot said, every day my children made me smile or did something that frustrated and/or amused me and before I knew it... I was back full time. And it was because of that trip, that I was able to refreshingly address my children's needs, etc. from a whole new perspective that had confounded me before.

Look for the positives, they're there :)

gracemauzy said...

I don't think you should unpack- Hold onto that part to of you- And go hug the sticky finger kids- cause they do grow up- And they leave you- And it comes real fast-
The guilt is only as real as you make it- If you let it eat you up then it will- Think of it this way- do you know how many women would have had a REAL hard time being with their husband with nothing to do but be together? Look at all the magazines- everyone has something about how to get a better relationship going-
The real problem you have is the morning of the end of bliss- so don't end it- keep it in your very soul- let it live in you every moment- and then you cn be the mommy you love to be, and still love to be with out them.

Its really OK to love being with out them- It means you are a real and wonderful person.

Tony Letts said...

everyone needs me time

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