I am home.
By the time I lugged my large suitcase and multiple carry-on bags up the sidewalk and back into the dark, quiet house late Thursday night, my exhaustion had reached ridiculous levels.
When I fell into bed beside my husband, I have to admit I was a bit miffed that I didn't get a bigger welcome home. He mumbled, rolled over, attempted to rouse himself from sleep.
What? You weren't waiting up? Ready to welcome me with over-sized hugs and big wet kisses? Didn't he realize how tired I was–emotionally, physically, mentally?
By the time I finally settled in to bed, he was awake enough to talk. "I am so glad you are home. These three days have been hellish."
I was completely unaware.
My poor husband went on to explain all the events of the past three days, beginning with the first morning, when Birdy managed to swallow a piece of mettalic glittery confetti. This, in turn, led to uncontrollable dry-heaving, vomitting, and most scary of all—-spitting up blood. He called in for help (it's always nice to have a former-EMT uncle in the valley) and watched her carefully as she played normally after all the drama, as if nothing happened. Then came the morning nap. More spitting up, more blood and finally the glittery red star ejected itself from her gullet.
And things continued to go downhill from there–a baby who wouldn't sleep. Who discovered she could stand up in her crib—but couldn't get down. Dishes. Cooking. Mess. Nap-less children. Less than hearty meals.
Ugh. The poor thing.
When I called to check in (multiple times) daily, my children and Dan would reassure me that everything was fine. No one spoke a word to me about the troubles at home because Dan knew, from all the way across the country, there was nothing that I could do, but worry.
At one point, Mary said to me, "Mommy. We have a surprise for you when you come home. But Daddy says we can't tell you." Her voice was so chipper and excited. I had memories of last time. What could it be this go round? A new kitchen floor? A painted bedroom? A remodelled bathroom?
Turns out the surprise was a vomitting baby.
I guess, upon return, it should have been me–embracing my poor, exhausted husband. My nights alone in a luxurious but all-too-quiet-for-good-sleep hotel room didn't seem quite so sacrificial. My inability to sleep on the airplane rides felt slightly less deserving of sympathy.
But you know what? He didn't make me feel an ounce of guilt.
Somehow, I came home feeling more appreciated, needed and loved than I have in a long time.
And San Francisco? It was fantastic. Amazing, amazing people—Whitney and Heather, Kristen, Kristina, Hadley, Denise, Kami, Marie , Sara, Whit, Carolyn , Betsy … not to mention Scott, Dina and all the others at BabyCenter and MOMformation–I'm not even coming close to mentioning everyone. It gave me a new vision for momformation, for the mission of BabyCenter. I am in good company over there, with amazing people who truly care about the journey of motherhood.
There is lots to love on this Valentine's Day–the goodness of being home, of scribbled valentines, spring-like weather, and surprise donut runs. I hope your day is filled with sweetness and goodness. And as always, thank you for coming to this space and sharing in these moments of sweetness with me.