Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I've been struggling with how to describe the ache, it is as intense and consuming as anything I've ever felt, from mourning to puppy love. I suppose, in a sense, it's both. Finley is nearly fifteen months old and in less than 30 hours I will leave for 3 days for BlogHer 2009. I did it last year, but she came with me. She was on my chest the entire time. She nursed happily, cooed contentedly through sessions and gave me something upon which I could legitimately focus if, say, I got terrified by a phalanx of bloggers I admired in the hotel hallway. It was also sinfully decadent time alone with her, as her older sisters stayed back at home with Sean.

This time she'll stay home with her sisters and Sean. I cannot expect her to stay engaged, rested or quiet during the round the clock activities. I also don't know that I can expect her to want to nurse when I get home or trust that my body will still be capable. She is, and I say this with the full understanding that I am belaboring the point, my last baby. This is the last baby I will nurse, the last full summer of diapering,the last summer before having a school age daughter.

It's inevitable that these things will happen, but I can't help feel that in some way I am hurrying time along and that is simply not my intention. I hope (feel free to chime in here please!) that this is a lesson.

That it's ok to go to a conference about something that has helped you to discover who you are.

That if you are lucky enough to have two parents, you should have one-on-one time.

That we must live in each moment.

That mom is strong.

That you can do it.

And so like Fin's first dip in the ocean.

And her immediate impulse to leap to me.

I am going to remember the squeals of delight and splashing laughter. Despite wanting to cling to my girls, I'm going to chase the surf rather than run from it, swim away from shore, so that I can be reminded once again, how sweet standing upon it can be.


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flutter said...

you are one of the best people I have ever met.

Cristie Ritz King said...

I just got home from a work conference that totally restores me once a year. I love it, but I leave the kids with dad as well. Like, you I left The Baby this year so it was extra hard. I think he aged 2 years while I was gone. I have mini-panic attacks on the plane every year because I am leaving them "alone." I survive every year and more important-they THRIVE every year with a few uninterrupted days with dad.
Have a great time and know that they are having a blast without you-unless of course that makes you sad in which case-disregard.:)

Anonymous said...

Is everyone going but me? Sigh.... I know exactly how you feel, you described it perfectly. Although I only have the one child and she is now 9, I hate to leave her and yet it is essential at times, for my own development. have a wonderful time.

Adesta said...

The only time I have ever left any of my children, it was when my oldest was going on one. Her father and I flew to Vegas to get married and she stayed with his mom and dad. I've never been away from my kids for more than a day since then. I honestly think I'd have a panic attack if I went away without the kids....

Enjoy your trip and be safe!

Amy said...

The joy of your return will erase any heartache they felt in your absense. My dad left for 2 weeks of active duty every year growing up and looking back those were really fun times. We ate exotic things like tacos and mushrooms (yeah...he was strictly meat and potatoes) and just did silly things to keep our minds off the fact that he was gone. The trip to the airport to see him come off the plane was pure magic, it was seriously as if a rockstar had arrived just for us.

You are their rockstar. Good luck though, keep the tissues and the cell phone close.

BetteJo said...

I love the rockstar analogy and I agree! Coming home will make the leaving worth it. Every mom and every dad is a person aside from being a parent (husband,wife,employee,employer,etc) and having some time to be simply and spectacularly Amanda for a few days will be great for you! Even if all it does is make you happy to go back home. :)

Heather said...

That missing the kids is both a perk and a drawback isn't it? Heck I miss my kids if they're gone for even a few hours. I'm sick I tell you.

Gosh I would love to go to BlogHer next year. I lived in NY for 4 years when I was little but haven't been back since. It would be like visiting an old friend and meeting old (and new) friends for the first time.

Hope you're having a fantastic time despite missing your girls and your man!

Lisa said...

With my eldest daughter starting kindergarten one week from today, the middle becoming more independent and adorable by the second, and the baby already 3 months, rolling & laughing....I too am reeling from how quick they're growing. Thank you for the reminder to play in the surf rather than run from it. I am doing too much dreading of what's to come instead of relishing the beauty of all that is happening.