Monday, July 26, 2010

The wait

Not being able to see Michelle this trip saddened me. I don't mean I was a little bummed. I mean I got weepy every time I thought about the fact that we were just an hour or so drive from each other and yet couldn't manage to get in the same place. When I get sad, I also get angry because being sad is not a state I like to be in. Of course, no one likes to be sad, but -- you might not have realized this about me -- I like to be in control and and I like things to be right, as determined by me. Things that are out of my control and not right are just not acceptable. You can imagine how effective this attitude is at changing any of that. This particular problem still was somewhat in my control though, so Saturday morning I was holding out just a bit of hope that we might be able to manage coffee or something, just the two of us, even if I couldn't wrestle away the kids from my in-laws.

But then, while the in-laws were dilly-dallying going through their usual morning routine, before taking The Boy to the new splash park in the husband's hometown, the kiddo came up to me and said, "And you'll go, too, Momma."

Now, we had a wedding to go to Saturday night and this was at nearly lunchtime. I needed to leave pretty much right then if I was going to see Michelle -- and even then, we'd have only about an hour -- and still get back in time to get ready for the wedding. I could have told The Boy no and done this. I did the math in my head. I considered leaving him with his more-than-happy-to-hog-him grandparents.

Instead, I looked down into his ketchup-smeared face and said, "Yes. Momma'll go, too."

When I was in college and returning from studying in Mexico, my parents came to meet me at the airport. So did Michelle and some other friends. I came down into the baggage claim and everyone was waiting for me. I hugged my friends first. I was surprised they had come. I expected my parents. I knew my parents would wait. I didn't want to put out my friends. The choice really hurt my mom's feelings, something I didn't understand until I had kids and probably won't fully understand until the boys do it to me some day. And of course, they will.

But now, now The Boy wants me, so I made my friend wait.*

"Ahhhh! It's watery, Momma! It's so watery," The Boy screamed, running through the fountains. "It's so watery!"

The Boy might not remember this exact moment, with the sun shining through the water droplets and his racing red sunglasses perched on chubby cheeks. But if I choose him enough, he's going to feel secure enough to make me wait someday, and I'll remember it.


*Sorry, Michelle, but I figured you would understand. Miss you!


Sara said...

This touched me. I remember, so vividly, how selfishly I once put friends before family. Now with a little family of my own, I will always choose them. Good friends will always understand.

Michelle said...

I was sad I didn't see you but I understand and still love you.

The Mama said...

It's so hard to make these decisions in life, I agree. I know how it feels. I always find myself wishing there was one more day in my weekend...then I could do all that I wanted.

k said...

It's funny--I thought of you guys and how horrible it would be to be soooo close and yet still not make a visit happen.

It would make me weepy too.