It’s late, but I can’t sleep. So I thought I’d come down and look at my boys. Tomorrow we leave all 3 of them with Nana and Papa for the weekend. It’s been about two years since we had that much time completely childless…. But now it’s coming, thanks to the bittersweetness of weaning.
My mind got all wound up lying in bed tonight, and I couldn’t stop thinking of all the things we might want to do now that we have some time uninterrupted by the nap schedule. But then I would think about how my arms will feel so empty without the familiar weight of Ben in them.
See, they’ve become so much a part of us that we don’t feel complete without them. How does that happen? How did I get to the place where spending even a weekend without any of these 3 parts of my heart makes me a little sad?
I remember feeling the weight and the completeness of family when I was younger. I remember that there were times when I felt like friends couldn’t really know me unless they knew my family. In college, I wanted to talk about my brother and my mom and dad and the way and the place that I grew up, feeling this need to explain and describe in order to feel truly known.
Then things shifted, and I got married, and it became more important that friends know my husband than the family I grew up in. The definition of family changed. I feel the change even more now.
To know me, to truly know me, is to know my children, too. When we look at each other, we see shared thoughts and laughs and dreams mirrored in each other’s eyes. I recognize it, though they are only dimly aware just yet.
So it is right that leaving them makes me feel slightly odd and off kilter. This is the season for that in our family, and it would be unnatural for me not to feel it.
Oh, the ways that they’ve stolen my heart….