I went to Toronto for work this week. Normally I like to prepare Bug and Squish for my work trips with notice at least two days before I leave.
But that was the old normal.
In the new normal, I can barely remember my name. So I let Bug know early Monday evening that I would be leaving for a work trip on Tuesday morning.
Later Monday night, Bug was having a hard time settling down to fall asleep. Squish went into deep sleep about two minutes after his head hit the pillow, but Bug was wiggly and restless.
So I suggested that he could go to my room and "read" to himself quietly while I took a shower and got ready for bed.
When I came back and told Bug it was time to go to sleep, I asked if he felt ready. He said, "I have been yawning a lot."
I asked if he wanted to go back to his bed or stay in mine, and I think we all know his answer to that one.
I set the alarm on my phone, and as I set it on the bedside table, I said, "I am just setting my alarm to get up in the morning, but you don't have to get up when it goes off."
"Why are you doing that?" he asked.
"Oh, I have to get up early to get ready to go on my trip tomorrow morning," I answered.
He looked up at me with his big, seal-pup eyes and didn't say anything.
I thought to myself - Maybe he is sad that I am leaving in the morning. But when I told him I would be leaving, he said he was excited. I am always projecting my adult feelings onto my kids. He is not sad I am leaving. This is the same kid who stuck his tongue out at me as he marched into kindergarten while all the other kids waved shyly at their parents. He is probably wondering when will we ever go to Madagascar to find ring-tailed lemurs. I wonder if I could ask him without phrasing it as a leading question. Why is it so hard to be a parent? I am exhausted.
Before I could say anything, he crawled into my lap and wrapped his six-year-old arms around me. My dear, little Bug. All elbows and knees, folded up in my arms. I feel so lucky to be your momma.