You may recall that I spent a short time in New Mexico. You may recall this because that’s all I wrote about for two weeks and you’re sick of hearing about my daughter’s soccer trip and if you never see the words Albuquerque and Hot, it’ll be too soon. Harumph.
I only bring up Kim’s Amazing Desert Adventure yet again, because although I did confess that I left my husband and 3 daughters at home, I don’t think I mentioned that my mom was there with them for the first 2 days. We all thought it would help with the transition, and indeed her cooking and assistance with household chores prevented my husband from being overwhelmed. She then took off for a couple of weeks to gallivant across the ocean, returning to my house just the other day for an extended visit. I picked her up at the airport and brought her home, where she was met with a round of hugs and happy shouts from her four granddaughters who all adore her.
The veddy interesting part—at least to me—occurred the next morning. The twins woke up and got in bed with me, as they have done each morning since I returned home from New Mexico. One stroked my arm. The other clutched me in a bear hug. What’s going on? They were clingier than usual, which until I went on my little trip, was NOT CLINGY AT ALL. And this morning in particular my previously independent and fearless children were acting like I was going to vaporize at any moment. They refused to go downstairs without me, and then proceeded to stick by my side like glue. Although they couldn’t articulate their fear, I think they were worried that Grandma’s arrival signaled my impending departure. I finally decided to talk with them about their abandonment issues, inasmuch as you can converse with 4-year-olds.
I asked them, “Do you think Mommy is going away again?” Neither said a word. One daughter stared unblinkingly at me, thumb in mouth. The other nodded her head silently, eyes filling with tears. “I’m not going anywhere,” I assured them.
I knelt down, knees cracking and practically falling over when they both grabbed at me to make sure I wasn’t going to scuttle away, and I asked both of them to look at me right in the eyes. I repeated carefully, “I am not going anywhere. Mommy is staying home with you, okay?”
I’ll have to be extra sensitive for awhile, and take them with me whenever I go to the store or run errands, which is a huge pain in my tiny and shapely behind. You think it’s inconvenient buckling one child in and out of his carseat, wrangling him into a grocery cart, and then keeping him fairly quiet and under control in public spaces? Try standing in line at the post office with two toddlers. That’s my duty as mom, though, until my daughters accept that even though Grandma is here I’m really, truly not going to disappear again for a week.
I’ve been humbled by their attachment to me. I obviously understand their need for me to feed and protect them, but I never realized until now how strong our emotional bond is. This mother–daughter love is powerful stuff.
Dinner last night: homemade chicken and rice soup, sweet corn muffins
Exactly two years ago: