Ian and Kelly went out of town this past weekend. It was the first time I’d had a night to myself since Ian was born.
I’d been looking forward to the time alone, and the chance to take care of some really important things. Movies. Video games. Sleeping late. Having a car. It was a bit like my junior year in high school. I wrote a list of things I wanted to do and places to go. I also wrote a mature, responsible shopping list to offset the time spent in my robe, watching Wings and The Golden Girls: leaf bags, undershirts, bread, tube socks, Christmas presents (?).
On Thursday I realized, ‘Hmm. I’ll only see him for twenty minutes this morning, and a few hours after work.’ Odd, that I’d notice that.
When I got home, I started noticing other things, too. How Ian dances – all the time, to any music. How he lays down the second anyone says, ‘Ni-night.’ How, even though he can climb down the stairs all by himself, Ian still likes to hold my hand. How well he says ‘bus’. How much I was already missing him.
A part of me started to wonder if I’d made a mistake in not going along.
On Friday morning, as I was getting ready to take Ian and Kelly to the airport, I found myself paying attention to Ian’s every little detail and making sure he had everything he could possibly need. Except me.
I was depressed the moment I drove away from the airport. Ian was gone, and he was living his life without me. I’ve always jealously guarded my weekends with Ian, and I’d thrown this one away. And all I got in return was Ray and a few hours’ extra sleep.
I got over it. But instead of a wealth of free time, my list turned into ways of passing the time until Ian got back.
Sunday afternoon found me pacing the airport terminal, anxiously searching the flow of passengers for a tow-headed boy in overalls, picking his nose. Not as uncommon as you’d think.
Finally I saw my father-in-law’s head above the crowd, that he was pushing Ian’s stroller. I rushed to the exit gate, and seriously estimated how far I thought I’d get down the hall before security took out my kneecaps. I was on my toes, dancing like a first-grader before recess. It took a while for Ian to realize that I was waiting for him, but he caught my eye and smiled. My father-in-law pushed the stroller ahead of him for the last few feet, and I dropped to my haunches and caught it, bonking my head against Ian’s. We giggled.
Video games are stupid.