The children arrived home, today, after the two longest weeks of my life.
Believe it or not, they’ve never been gone from me for that long before. Ever. Honestly, I think I did pretty well. Sure, I had to demolish my entire dining room and paint fifty-seven coats of various substances on it to keep my mind off the kids, but whatever.
(I started the topcoat on the plaster at 7 this morning. At 11:45 I finished the final—third, if you must know, because navy blue would be second only to RED in the “impossible to get even coverage” category of paint colors—coat of blue beneath the chair rail, and then collapsed in a heap of blisters and delirium.)
This afternoon the children came back, and I hadn’t so much as managed to get hugs from both of them before they were asking—nay, BEGGING—to go swimming. Please please please PLEASE CAN WE GO IN THE POOOOOOOOOL?
Sure, I tried to tell myself that really, they’d missed me but were just having trouble articulating it… but mostly I think they missed the pool.
So we schlepped their suitcases and paraphernalia inside, and then left the whole mess and went swimming. Obviously. What, I was going to demand they unpack when I had the chance to be the good guy for once? Nuh uh, dude.
They swam and splashed and hooted and bickered and belly-flopped. I ran the pool vacuum and watered my tomatoes and swam a little and then sat and watched them turn into happy little prunes. Eventually I hauled them out and made them go take showers while I got dinner ready.
I was peeking in the oven when Chickadee wandered into the kitchen. “I miss Otto,” she muttered, back to me, poking at the counter. “When’s he coming home?”
In that moment I forgave the kids for being more excited about the pool than me, and started making plans to buy Chickadee a pony. Even if now the order of things deemed important had changed from 1) Pool 2) Mom to 1) Pool 2) Otto 3) Mom.
We had dinner and snuggled on the couch and read a book together (at which point Monkey patted Otto’s customary spot on the couch and said, “We need Otto!”) and then they went to bed quite willingly.
I’m sure that tomorrow I’ll be the horrible mean mommy again and they’ll get back to irritating the snot out of each other, but let’s just say that right now I am REALLY glad we have a pool. Or something.