I ask for the same thing every year for Mother’s Day:
Shopping money & time to go out & spend it.
This was a special treat back when my kids were small and had to be held, entertained and wiped frequently. A little time alone to shop was like a spa treatment. Actually, EVEN BETTER if I found something on sale that fit nicely. I remember one particular late night trip to Super Target that felt like HEAVEN. The store was cool and well lit, so I got a Starbucks and even tried on clothes. It was so far beyond my usual scope of experience at that point, it almost felt illicit.
Then something awful happened. I started having mini-anxiety attacks when I was away from my family. My husband is partially to blame for this. See, as he became more comfortable with the kids, he started taking them OUT while I was away. I’m not worried that my husband will do something stupid when he’s out with the kids. I’m just worried about EVERYTHING ELSE.
Sounds stupid, right? Well, let me tell you about a little NOVA special I watched that focused on landslides. A mom went to work one day and left her husband to watch after their three kids at home. What could possibly go wrong?
A FREAKING LANDSLIDE! That’s what!
She’s at work and a landslide comes out of nowhere and wipes her whole family off the map. I don’t honestly know if anyone survived because I freaked out and flipped over to watch Family Guy instead.
That story HAUNTS now and it was the first thing I thought of when Emma offered to babysit one night. A friend was turning 40 and our babysitter cancelled at the last minute, so we were in a bind. Emma is reliable and capable though, so I KNEW she could handle it. Plus, it would only be for a couple of hours. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
Emma was white as a ghost when I walked in the door that night.
“Mom, I think we just had an earthquake.”
This was several months ago, back when North Texas wasn’t having daily earthquakes. We’re pretty immune to them now. In fact, a 3.1 rumbler hit the other day and no one even tweeted about it. An earthquake in Dallas was pretty rare at that point though so I assured her it was just thunder or a truck passing by. Nope, it was an earthquake so now Emma proudly boasts about saving her little sister from NATURAL DISASTER during her first babysitting job.
This will inevitably spring into my head this weekend, when I hit Northpark for my annual Mother’s Day excursion. I will probably be in Nordstrom with a Starbucks in-hand, relishing the zen that comes from shopping alone and with someone else’s money. That’s when it will hit me.
Where are they? What are they doing RIGHT NOW? Most importantly, ARE THEY SAFE???
Here’s a mantra for that moment: Take a deep breath and remember, they are with their father who is smart and competent. He will take them somewhere fun and watch them with a loving and slightly over-protective eye. Your family is safe so enjoy that air-conditioned, well-lit space and relax. After all, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?