Well, about 2 weeks ago my boss told me what I could do to help out--attend a conference that my partner had registered for. A 5-day conference.
Huh. I ran it by James and agreed to go--if THIS is what I can do to help ease the strain, this is what I should do. And that was that. I told the kids, and we just went on about our business. I think since Daddy and I weren't stressed (visibly-I was freaking out a little on the inside...it was STAAR week for Kayci! Noble still wants me to cuddle him-a lot!), they didn't stress.
All was well, until Noble woke up screaming the day I left...he was looking for me, and held on tight for a good half hour.
But, kids are resilient, right? They take our cues from us. So we went about our morning, and all was well.
I didn't take a picture, but I had an idea to make my absence more fun for the kids (and Daddy). I bought several little happys (like we pack in Daddy's bag when he travels) and lined them up on the dining room table. I put each happy and a note (or notes) in a brown bag labeled with WHEN they should open it.
Well, when Noble got home and saw the bags, he was ready for me to leave. True story.
The time came for me to go, and it was smiles all around. I didn't see that one coming, actually.
Here's what's made all the difference: James. He's s great husband and Daddy, and he really stepped up this week to keep everything on track for the kids (with some help from Grandma). But truly, if he weren't so awesome, this wouldn't have worked. 5 years ago, control freak me wouldn't have LET this work. But we just worked together to go over the typical schedules, and he took it from there. I left, and I didn't question him on where or when or how--I just had faith that he could do it. We talked about the fact that he didn't have to do it all like I do it (this would have been a deal breaker for old me!), that I trusted his judgment. And you know what? He's more than met my expectations. Perhaps I just needed to move over so he could step up? Hmm...are you listening, girls? There's a lesson here for all of us!
I was floored when I opened my bag and saw the thought that James put into my happys (which I wasn't expecting, so that was cool!). The kids wrote sweet notes, too. I love that Boy--I can't believe he had time to do what he did to make me smile. :)
Here's one happy:
We facetimed at least once a day, and the kids were all smiles every time. Pretty cool, huh?
I sent pictures to them of stuff they'd like...
...and places we can visit together.
All in all, this week has been a wonderful experience for me...it's shown me that even Mommys aren't irreplaceable. And it's shown me that my Boy is exactly as awesome as I thought he was, probably more. It's reinforced the same idea that kept my classroom going--if you establish routines, kids can stick to them and be successful without a ton of adult direction.
I'm a happy Girl, and so relieved to be heading home in another hour or so!