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All Good Things Come To An End

I’m back, and I’m having a bit
of re-entry shock.

I spent three days learning how to sleep through the night; the
first night I woke up several times, shouting, “I can’t
hear the monitors! What’s wrong? Where am I?” By the
last night, I slept like a baby in my blacked-out room, and told
Brian glumly that it was the last good night’s sleep
I’d get in years; I’d get home and be shocked at the
monitor noises and ambient light and all that stuff, all over

I also spent the last three days getting
that big fist of anxiety that perpetually curls around my heart to
relax. I was finally able to let go of that worry that it’s
my job to make sure that Everything Is Ok, to let go of
responsibility and stop fretting about every tiny noise or
accident. By Sunday afternoon, I hardly glanced at the children in
the hotel playing perilously close to the koi pond, or the toddler
at lunch who was, unbeknownst to the mother, successfully grabbing
a large shrimp off of said mother’s plate and endeavoring to
shove it down her throat. I didn’t rush over there and say,
“Did you know your toddler’s eating shellfish?
It’s too early for her to eat shellfish –she might be
allergic! And what about the size of that thing – it’s
a choking hazard!”

No, I simply turned back to my delicious spread and kept eating.

I also spent the last seventy-two hours sleeping more than
I’ve slept in the last seventy-two days. Hell, weeks. Though
I did wake up every morning at 6:30 without fail, I successfully
lulled myself back to sleep each and every time. I slept for 10
hours straight without once getting out of my bed. I lazed around
the room propped up in my bed watching television for hours on end,
eating M&Ms without having to hide them under the cushion
covers. And on Sunday while Brian watched the Cowboy game, I spent
a blissful two hours all to myself, working out in the hotel gym at
my leisure and swimming fifty laps in an empty pool. Never once did
I start a lap only to have a two-year-old shriek, “Mama! Come
back, Mama! Don’t swim away, Mommy! Come back, Mommy, come
back! COME BACK!!!!!!!” No one talked to me, no one asked me
for a snack or begged me for a treat. No one cried and refused nap
time, or whined over some imagined sibling slight.

I was not in charge, and it. Was. Good.

Oh, yeah, and I had more grown-up conversations with my husband
than we have had since, oh, I guess since we had kids over four
years ago. That part was pretty darn cool too.

I seriously can’t believe how different I feel after three
short days, and am already saving up for another weekend. I forgot
how cool Brian is to hang out with, and how much fun we have
talking and playing cards and eating dinner without twenty billion
interruptions. I spent the entire weekend refusing to think about
how things were going at home (and if you’re wondering,
apparently they went very well – the reaction when we got
home was, “Oh, hey, Mommy and Daddy are home. Ho hum.”)
and trusted that my mom would call me if she needed me.

In short, I had a fantastic time.

But I stare at the week ahead and have a feeling that it’s
going to be a rough return; Cora had a hard time going to sleep
Sunday night, crying for a while and needing to be rocked. She was
convinced Mommy wouldn’t be there when she woke up the next

At least I’ve got memories of those long nights’


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