I’ve just waved goodbye to my children, until a week on Monday. It’s far too long to be apart; we all know it. Those eleven days are stretching out ahead of me as a soggy featureless eternity right now. I have good things planned in the middle, but I’m dreading the empty days at either end.
I’ve been away from them often enough, but it seems that I can’t cope with being the one left behind, alone in a family home, full of reminders of the three of them. I know other parents cope with this kind of separation (or worse) all the time, but right now, I’m not coping at all. I just need them all to be here with me, within touching distance.
In a way, this is my test, whether I’m really serious. Because I can all too easily imagine a future where I decide to stay, to pretend it’s all fine, to put up and shut up, just so I can have them here with me, always. Because I need them, perhaps more than they need me.
I was so close to jumping in that car, begging them to let me come too. I’m not sure what stopped me- misplaced pride, or self-preservation?