with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
I arrived home from four nights in San Francisco, bedraggled and more than slightly crotchety. The flight had been delayed, the man next to me had some serious garlic breath, and I somehow lost an awesome little organic shirt I’d bought as a gift for my son. It was the longest stretch of time I’d ever been away from my son.
My Mom had sent me little updates, of course, as she always does. She titles them “Dear Sweetpea” and provides little details about the toasted tomato sandwiches she and Nolan ate for lunch, how he thrilled to touch a white jellyfish at the beach near the house. She tells me he is mostly happy and just gets a little teary at night, when he asks how many sleeps till I come home. I had a fantastic time at the BlogHer Conference - professionally and personally - but my heart was left in the hands of a little boy searching for skittering crabs under barnacled rocks and I couldn’t wait to get home.
My lumpy grey bag was the very last one to slide off the carousel into my vibrating arms, and I nearly ran out of the airport, mentally concentrating on obeying the speed limit.
My son was waiting in the window when I finally got there, and I could hear his feet scampering down the stairs as I threw open the door.
“Mommy! Mommy!” he yelled ecstatically,”You came home! I missed you, I love you two thousand and four!”
My eyes welled with tears, good god the love of a child is a miracle, and I caught the eye of my Mom, smiling on the stairs.
“Thanks so much, Mom,” I said, squeezing my son’s back. And it was then I noticed: she’d cleaned the house. My house. Top to bottom.
“The floors are sparkling,” I said, suddenly noticing the pine-sol scent.
“Oh, I just swept them.” She looked away.
I circled the house with my son in my arms. Folded laundry. Dusted bookshelves. Fresh muffins?
Before I’d left, I’d apologized for the state of the house. It was tidy, but cluttered. Cars on the deck, a few dishes in the sink. Dust bunnies. Don’t clean, Mom, I’d said and she’d nodded but I didn’t believe her.
She can’t help it. She’s a Mom, wanting to fix me and create home and happiness for me just as much as I want to create it for my son. I am a lucky Mom, twice over.
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