Last year, I worked 24 hours a week. I dropped my kids at school at 7, picked them up at 3, hung out with them every afternoon, gave them dinner and baths and then put them to bed at 7:30. Wednesdays, I was with them all day.
This year, I work 45 hours a week. I drop my kids off at school at 8. I pick them up twice a week at 5. Twice a week I meet them at home with the sitter at 6. Fridays, I meet them at home by 5 in time to make our big Friday night dinner. I still bathe them. 7:30 is bedtime for one. 8 is bedtime for the other.
Sometimes, my life doesn’t seem that different. I work a lot more, see my kids a little less, but all in all not that different.
Sometimes though, it seems totally different. Like when I notice how fucking tall my boys just got. Or that they have inside jokes I’m outside of. Or that they are perfectly happy to play with their babysitter even if I am around.
Sometimes, it’s hard.
Last year when I attended my first out of town work-related conference, I was stoked. Are you kidding? A few days alone? Flying alone? A hotel room alone?
This year, when I went to the same conference, I spent the majority of the time that I wasn’t conferring, working. Alone. And lonely. And missing my people.
Today, I’m flying back from my second conference of the year. I cried last night, after doing FaceTime with my favorite faces. I missed parent teacher conferences and goodnight kisses and impromptu rock concerts involving maracas and mini acoustic guitars.
I missed laying my head on my husband’s chest. And I missed forcing him to watch four consecutive episodes of Downton when I know he’d rather draw it out.
Luckily, I got to see a corner of San Diego and a neato bunch of schools. I got to meet some interesting people and have some interesting conversations. I got to have a sleepover party with my beautiful, talented cousin. And I got my period.
It was fun.
But I’m all about home right now. This moment. My body traveled all the way across the country. My heart stayed behind. In the purple jewelry box with the horses painted on it. In my kids room. Next to the Mardi Gras beads.
(Wow. Hello lingering PMS…)