checked out

Gee checked out of his hotel in Quebec this morning, and started the long drive home, tagging along with the radio guys, or the assistant coach, or some friendly parents grateful to have the Journalist in the car, hoping it might get a few more lines written about their son the maybe-prodigy in next week’s paper.  He should be home in an our or two.  He has been gone since Thursday.

I think I checked out this morning too.  I did the early morning wake-up, and the Easter baskets, and the egg hunt (one still missing and god only knows where); I cut the fresh fruit and heated pastries for a special breakfast; I drank coffee.  But my heart isn’t in it anymore.  I’m tired.  The kids are happy and playing, and if they notice that mom is on another planet today, they are being discreet about it.

I am a good mother.  My children are well raised and well loved. But every now and then my tank runs dry, and I try to get by on fumes.  When Gee is away, it all falls to me:  my long days at work, late nights at home, 100% responsibility for every need and crisis of my daughters.  I’m not the only one who does this – I know full well that I am lucky to have a husband who supports and loves and participates, and that not every parent has a willing, able partner.  That doesn’t change the fact that it can be exhausting. 

You know when you have to go pee right before you leave the office, but you don’t go because you’re in a hurry to get on the road?  And then, once on the road, there is traffic, and the urge gets stronger.  Still, you can handle it.  You know you have a 30 minute drive in front of you, and your body is well-trained to control itself for that length of time.  But as you round the corner and hit the button on the garage door opener, you know that relief is coming, and the urge comes on stronger still.  You get the door open, you fight with your belt buckle and button as you bolt towards the bathroom, leaving the back door ajar, and manage to squat just as your body finally lets go.

That’s kind of where I’m at right now.  I’ve had to pee for the last day or so, but it’s been manageable.  Now that support is on the way, I find myself fumbling with the back-door lock, doubled-over and crossing my legs (and all the while, those beautiful babies play).

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