Coming home

by ericakingston

Mexico was grand. My best friend’s wedding was beautiful and everything she hoped for. Time was spent alone as husband and wife.

As a very wise woman once said, the best thing we can do for our baby is for his mom and dad to love each other. It was really, really nice to be with Scott as his wife, instead of being together as parents for a few days. I wouldn’t change or take back our vacation, we had a really great time.

But we may have stayed a day or two too long. We both were ready to come home.

And I was missing my baby.

Since the day we left.

I’d flip through my pictures, watch videos of Jack on my phone. Being gone was easier than I thought it’d be, but nothing really felt 100% right with a mama being away from her boy.

I’d like to say next that when we walked through the front door, Jack pushed grandma aside and leaped into my arms and threw his around me and didn’t let me go for days.

But that didn’t happen.

That didn’t happen at all.

We arrived home at 8 p.m. Scott’s mom had picked us up and his aunt had stayed with Jack, keeping him awake for us. I walked in the door, dropped my bags and grabbed my son. I was so excited to finally be home.

And then Jack looked at me, confused. And then he cried.

Sobbed, really.

He saw Scott and reached for him, looking at me with sad little eyes and my heart just dropped through the floor.

I went up to them and Jack would cry more.

By now, Jack realized that Scott was not, in fact, grandma. He didn’t want either of us.

The three of us stood in our living room, Scott holding Jack. I, keeping my distance, just looking at them.

I just started to cry.

I felt like the worse person in the world – I left my baby to galavant off to Mexico, he didn’t remember me or need me or want me. Scott just stood there and pulled me into them. I was embarrassed and went upstairs to menially change my shirt.

I regrouped, talked myself out of being sad and went back downstairs and worked on making my son like me again with an attitude of “this kid has got to get over it because he’s stuck with me.”

We played with his toys, read some books. Keeping our distance as we reconnected. Then I put one of his toys in my mouth and “poofed” it back out at him and he laughed. And I laughed. And we played that game until we wore it out. I would have played it all night if he had kept laughing. I made a bottle and put him to bed.

The next morning, it was like nothing had ever happened. I picked him up from his crib, he smiled. We played on the floor. He hugged my neck. He played with my necklace.

So I’m chalking it all up to crabbiness the night we came home. If I don’t, I may never leave my child for any length of time again. Those moments when I felt like a stranger to my baby were one of the worst feelings in the world. And that’s a big part of parenting, I assume. In order to be independent, they must be independent from those they depend on. The “don’t kiss me in front of my friends” and the “stop licking your finger and using it to clean chocolate off my face, I’m 16” and the “I hate yous” and the “just leave me alones!” My baby is only nine months old, it’s only going to get harder.

And as of right now, when situations like this arise in the future I believe I will combat my tears and my anxieties and my sadness with the very same mechanism – I am your mother, I love you, now get over it because you’re stuck with me forever. I love you.

Ahhh, this is exhausting. Undoubtable the hardest things I have ever done. But nothing in the world has ever felt so natural and right. I am so happy to be back home, in a normal routine. And there are no sights of long periods of time away from my baby in the near future and that’s al lright with me.

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