After being gone for three weeks, Steve came home for a visit. He’s here for the week doing some work and then we all head out for Arizona as a family.
This was by far the longest time I’ve been away from Steve, without staying with family members. Oh boy, does my appreciation for single mothers go through the roof. It is not an easy or fun road.
The first week was brutal. Hunter especially struggled with having his daddy gone and cried constantly for him. Fortunately, by week two that subsided!
Every morning we were out the door bright and early to take Hallie to school, we also picked up her friend which meant I didn’t have to pick her up from school, someone else brought her home. This was a huge help.
Hunter and I spent our mornings as we usually do: Cleaning, laundry, a few errands. By the time Hallie got home from school it was lunch time followed by nap time. Hunter chose an ideal time to start giving up his nap. More than anything he needed his rest, but he fought it and fought it and refused to nap. This made for longer than usual afternoons.
There were a lot of tears from that little boy. There were fights with his sister which always resulted in someone getting hurt. I found myself often shutting myself in my room as the kids nearly killed each other right outside the door.
I spent plenty of time with my parents on Skype. Some days that was the only adult interaction I received. In the afternoons as the kids were in “rest” time I enjoyed the conversations with my mom and dad. It made the long afternoons bearable.
More than anything I looked forward to dinner time. Which meant bedtime was trailing. Due to the lack of naps, there were nights the kids were in bed and asleep by 6:45. Although these days seemed to drag on the longest, that bedtime was precious time for me.
I had great friends who always seemed to be there when I needed a little boost. We ate dinner at a friends house each week, the kids were still able to enjoy their babysitting group on Fridays and I was able to have a few moments with some girl friends.
There was one night I had scheduled to host some friends after the kids were tucked away in their beds. I canceled last minute. More than anything I just wanted to be alone. Peace and quiet. It was all I could handle.
I looked forward to the phone calls I received from Steve 2-3 times a day as he made his 40 minute commute to work. We talked about nothing, things that needed to get done, our new life that we were about to start in Arizona, the kids, everything. I needed it. And every day it was the highlight.
With each passing day it got just a little bit easier. We got into a routine, the kids knew what to expect and I got used to being exhausted and frustrated at the end of most days. It became manageable.
But no doubt, it was a dream come true when Steve said he was coming back for a week to do some work. It was as if a choir of angels sat behind me singing praises. I was giddy. But I kept it a secret from the kids. I typically try and keep anything of great interest from Hallie until I absolutely have to tell her because the questioning and constant talking about it gets so old. (Like when a friend sends a birthday invitation two weeks early, it’s pure punishment. Every day we have the same conversation. How many days until the party? What should we get her? What are we going to do there? How many people are going to be there? And the questions are the same every day!)
So I didn’t tell Hallie her dad was coming for a visit. It was dark outside when we drove up to the airport. She says, “This looks like the airport. Are we flying somewhere?”
I dodged the bullet by explaining I got turned around and we would just need to drive by in order to get home. As we pull up by the baggage claim, I see Steve standing on the curb. At first Hallie doesn’t notice him. She then glances out and sees him, but is a little confused. She looks at me and back at him as we slowly pass by him. Steve starts running along the car until we pull over to the curb and she just starts screaming. Which of course results in the same excitement from Hunter. Steve opens the door and gives her a big hug as Hunter is still screaming at the top of his lungs. As he pulls away from the hug, Hallie has tears rolling down her cheeks. “I’m so excited that daddy is home.” Such a sweet moment for that little girl, made my heart melt.
So we are now soaking up Steve time. The kids are in heaven with their wrestling buddy back in town and I’m pleased as punch that somehow breakfast was made this morning and cleaned up. And I didn’t have to move a finger.
Life is sweet. And wonderful.