I have to admit to having some strange and conflicting emotions as I packed my bags to return home on Friday. I was nervous and a little reluctant. That made me feel guilty, of course!
I was nervous because sometimes expectations can be out of touch with reality. I knew the Princesses had missed me and we had been counting down the days during our nightly Skype calls. They were really looking forward to my return but what if the reality of having mummy back was not all it was cracked up to be. After all, mummy makes them eat their vegetables, go to bed early and sleep in their own beds.
I was reluctant because, still recovering from surgery, I really am unable to lift and carry or run after the children in any real way. I can’t even drive a car just yet. I worried that I would overdo things or become frustrated by my uselessness.
I was guilty. Despite the surgery and being an invalid for most of my two weeks away, I LOVED my time to myself. I am very extroverted and usually get quite bored and lonely after a couple of days on my own but this time I had revelled in my isolation. For the last few days, at least, I had spoilt myself rotten. A pedicure one day. A facial the next. A massage. I even took myself to the cinema to see Iron Man 3… in 3D. A little shopping. Reading. Catching up on TV…. and here is the kicker, eight (or more) uninterrupted hours of blissful slumber every night for 10 days (I don’t count the days I was in hospital – though there is also something very special about that morphine induced haze).
I arrived at Vientiane airport just after lunch, cleared immigration and organised some assistance to heave my excess baggage (I did mention the shopping didn’t I) onto a trolley. I could see my mother waiting just beyond the automatic doors. We waved and I turned away to search the carousel for my suitcase. I heard mum call my name again, turned to peek through the doors and this time I saw my baby girl.
My heart skipped a beat. I had to catch my breath and blink back unexpected tears.
Suddenly, everything was taking too long and the ten metres between me and my precious daughter seemed like an ocean. I practically bounced out of baggage collection, I was so excited to see her.
For a moment when she saw me Chilli was confused, then recognition, a smile and a squeal. She held out her arms. I couldn’t help myself. Despite the medical advice, I took hold of my baby. She laid her head on my shoulder and I hugged her tight….
When I picked up Pigeon from school she rushed into my open arms:
“How many days were you away, mama?”
“Well, I will hug you for 14 days until I let you go.”
“Works for me Pigeon”, her arms wrapped tightly around my neck.
Monkey was a little more pragmatic.
“Can I see your scar!”
Then all afternoon, gentle kisses, tender moments, reassuring hugs or a quick squeeze of the hand…” just making sure you’re OK mum” … just making sure you’re still here.
Way to make a girl feel special!
I was unexpectedly taken aback when daddy got home too, found a lump in my throat when I first saw him.
So now I am home. I am frustrated by the short-term physical limitations but they are liberating too. It is a rare joy to just sit and be while the chaos whirls around me. When the skies darkened and the rains fell on Saturday morning, the girls danced and I sat and soaked up my family…
It won’t be long before things are back to normal and I am back to being a full-time, full-on parent but for now it is nice relinquishing some responsibility, being the passenger rather than the driver (literally).
I feel great and it is good to be home.
Thanks for reading. Stay Fabulous!