As you may or may not know my oldest child has gone to her father's house all week. They are doing their traditional first week of July mayhem; water parks, amusement parks, the 4th of July parade, the having-no-chores-to-do week. This, of course, is the week I look forward to and dread all in one. I know I'll miss her, and it's not so much the missing her part that gets to me since it's been 10 years she's been doing this, but it's the whole feeling of "she's totally never going to want to come home because dad's house has no rules and no toddler messing with her stuff so he's clearly the cooler parent" type thing.
Whatever, I brush it off with jokes of "now who will do my chores" or "at least I won't have to listen to her and her brother fight" and things that hide my sadness. I've filled my week so far with numerous things that would have been going on regardless of if she was here or not; work, toddler tantrums, house cleaning (or pretending to make it look not like an episode of Hoarders), gym time, you know, what I simply call Life. Well, while doing my paperwork for work this afternoon the phone rang. It was my girl, and she was calling to say hi, how are you and I've been doing super cool things with dad that you and I don't do and I don't miss you one bit because this is so awesome not being home. Okay, okay, so she really didn't say that, but she WAS calling to say hello which was very sweet (although I'm sure she remembered the guilt trip I a little bit meant to lay on her before she left about how she never calls me). She was also calling me because she needed something from me. YAY, even on vacation MOM IS NEEDED!!!
While working I saw her pull up in the driveway and she got out of the car in her two pigtail braids, and I tried not to cry, no sniffle, no tear, no sob -- just a catch in my throat. I hid around the corner and surprised her and grabbed her for a big hug, again, trying not to cry for fear she'd go running from the house never to want to return. She then proceeded to take off her flip flops and measure up to see if she had grown taller than me in the five days she's been absent. I can proudly say I STILL have one inch on her although I make no promises to be able to hold onto the title of Taller Than My 11-year-old Daughter much longer.
She asked to see her brother who is sleeping. I grabbed the opportunity and told her to come back after her skateboarding lesson tonight when he would be awake and she could see him and hug him and talk to him. Score one for mommy's quick thinking. I grabbed another few minutes of big girl time. It means a lot to me. I kid about what a pain in the ass she is in her pre-teen way, but I know what an amazing person she is. I guess sometimes it just takes a little bit of that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" type of shit to pull your head out of your ass -- or at least mine. It apparently applies to every person you love. I'm clearly not that heartless of a mother after all as I sit here and wipe away the tears thinking about how much I really do miss her, and I hope that all my rantings don't result in years of therapy for her later on in life. I am her mother, and I hope one day she will call me her friend as well.
*cheers my friends*
You can also find me at Confessions of a Truu Mom