A few weeks ago, I got an email from a good friend; she was my college roommate and we've been friends since the first day we met. The subject was: "An offer for you to refuse." I opened the email to discover an invitation. Her boyfriend was supposed to drive with her from Seattle to her home in Alaska, but he could no longer go. He offered to pay for the flight home of whoever she could find to ride with her. She wanted to know if there was any way I could find child care for a week and come to Alaska with her. My first thought was, !!! Followed by, "there's no way." And then I looked at my husband, batted my eyelashes, and told him what she had asked. He didn't hesitate. "Of course you're going," he said. I was thrilled. But also scared. It's a long time to be away from home.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night, and my mind started racing about what I need to pack and what I need to accomplish today before I go to the airport. But then my mind drifted to my children and how desperately they cry even if I go to the grocery store by myself. I've been telling them about this trip for a few weeks, but I know they won't understand until they wake up tomorrow and realize that I'm not home yet. I could cry right now. I probably will when I get on the plane. My younger son is cuddling on my lap this morning, and I don't want to let him down. I know it's only a week, but it's a week. That's like a lifetime to a 2-year-old. And to top it all off, they've both come down with colds in the last few days. So not only am I leaving my children, I'm leaving my sick children. There's a huge ball of nerves in the pit of my stomach right now, which on top of my already queasy pregnant stomach is making it difficult to breathe. I need to get over this, because quite frankly I'm not even excited about my trip right now. Just sad, and scared, and desperately looking for a way out.
But I just can't stop thinking about how much I'm going to miss them.