Moms, when you have the night to yourself, do you find your heart missing your child?
After a busy week of teaching, appointments, and just life, I was looking forward to a night of watching the news on the couch while wearing pajamas. My two year old Lindsay was having a sleepover at her dad’s and I was excited to curl up with dinner and Brian Williams.
I came home to a quiet house (ahhhh!) and started to make dinner. Suddenly I heard my fragile grandmother’s voice and of course I stopped what I was doing to make sure she was okay and not calling for help. To my relief she was just fine, BUT she was calling for Lindsay.
“Lindsay, where are you? Lindsay? Who is down there? Where is Lindsay?” I smiled and yelled up that she was at her dad’s and I heard a disappointed voice say “ok” and then a bedroom door close. I started to laugh, “Oh Nana, my day was good, too” I said to the empty space between the kitchen and her door. I knew that behind that door Lindsay’s Gigi (great grandma) was missing her “Cha-Cha Slide” dance partner and her red walker passenger.
I returned to making dinner and was jamming to the radio. As I put the finishing touches on the vegetables, my dad walked in from work. He said hello and walked straight to the T.V. room. “Where is Lindsay?” he asked. I told him. “Oh. Until when?” I explained that she would be back the next day. Dad changed and got comfortable, but I knew that he was missing his chair partner, his camera’s muse, and his Goldfish supplier.
My dad and I ate dinner while watching Seinfeld and laughing hysterically (a luxury in the Mickey/Oso world we live in). I checked in on Lindsay through a text to her dad (you moms out there know how hard it is to check in while not interrupting their nightly routine) and was getting ready to start my work, when I chuckled to myself and said to my dad “I was just getting ready to go check on Lindsay.” He told me “That will never change.” From such a stoic and conservative dad, my heart melted but then he added “The house just isn’t the same without her.”
Aww! So of course in my moment of freedom, my heart began to ache for Lindsay and I wanted to have her back. I was missing her belly laugh and her repeated requests for a ride on my back. I was missing her funny reactions to sounds and the way she puts her finger on her chin as she is thinking and saying “umm”. I was missing her irresistible hugs and her ability to finish any song or book I began. I was missing her unconditional love and the bond that we share especially after the year that we have had. I was missing every bit of her!
Thirteen months ago I showed up on my parent’s door step with Lindsay in my arms, red rimmed eyes and our clothes. No questions were asked then about my living arrangement plan nor has it ever been asked. I spent the first few months apologizing for the whining, crying, occasion vomit and the babysitting until finally my dad said “There is no need to apologize. She is ours too.”
The love that my family has for Lindsay is breathtaking. Even in my moment of relaxation, they remind me that she is the heart of our house and her joy and spirit continues to fill the house even in her absence.