This past weekend was one for the books. I decided […]
This past weekend was one for the books. I decided to surprise my sister-in-law Ebony at her baby sprinkle in Florida. With some careful coordination with both my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, Ebony’s mom and my husband, I sneakily booked a flight down to Florida and left both kids behind with Jesse. I was feeling a little bit anxious. It would be the first time that I would leave both kids behind for an extended period of time. Not to mention the fact that I’m still nursing, I was a little nervous about how I would fare.
I even added Akira to my ticket since he still can fly for free, but Jesse insisted I leave him behind. I mean, I had 30 bags of frozen breastmilk in our freezer that he could consume. What’s the point of storing all that milk if no one’s going to use it?
I didn’t even pack a carry-on. I had a messenger bag that held the bare bones necessities: my pump, extra bottles to store the milk and whatever other personal travel items I needed. It was kind of funny, really. I wasn’t even going to be gone 24 hours at all. Yet I was still trying to figure out how I could be apart from my 6-month old for an extended period of time. I knew that Jesse could manage both kids without a problem. That wasn’t the issue. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I’ve discovered that I am really so attached to my children, both physically and emotionally. I took the train to the airport. I listened to music on my headphones. I sat alone on the train and checked in for my flight. I constantly felt like I was forgetting something because I had no one tugging at my arm. I had no one in a carrier on my body. I was alone and actually flying out of town, albeit just for a few fleeting hours. After boarding the plane and getting comfortable for my hour-long flight, I finally let my anxiety go and let out a deep sigh knowing that I would be back before long and that I was about to have some time without having to worry about the littles.
I landed in Tampa and my nephews along with my brother-in-law picked me up from the airport. We pulled up to their house just as her baby sprinkle was starting and the look on her face when I walked in the door was everything. Being there to celebrate her and my future niece was why I went. It was so worth it. Being able to focus on her and have conversations and share in her day without having to divide my attention was what made this so special. And I’m so glad I went. Sometimes, doing things for myself, even if that means leaving the kids behind, is a great reminder that I still have my autonomy. It also proved that Jesse and I work as a team—that he takes as much responsibility and seriousness in being a dad to our kids as I take in being a mom. I feel so grateful for that.
Before I knew it, I found myself getting on a flight back to Atlanta. Let me tell you, going through security with four 5-ounce bottles of breastmilk makes for hilarious reactions from both the TSA agents as well as those in line. After a few minutes of pulling me aside to test my milk, I was on my way back home. Getting back to my family felt so good and I felt so appreciated and loved. It was just enough time to be away and even though it was short, coming home to my tribe felt so sweet. And even sweeter, Akira evidently learned how to say “mama” while I was gone! I feel like we are on the brink of something great again.