Ever heard (or been) a parent who says “well, then life happened.”. Well, I second that notion. The last few weeks in our home have been a blur for the 3 of us. A friend asked me the other day “So….are things normal around your house now? You know…… ‘baby’ normal?”. Why, yes, they are most days.
This past week was my 1st trip away from Nicholas since he was born. Andy & I strongly considered having he & Nicholas join me in the Windy City for 5 days but the idea of spending all that time couped up in a hotel room because it would be too cold (not to mention windy) to go outside and explore on their own during the days would be too much for both guys. So, off I went leaving Andy and Nicholas in NC for what seemed like would be an eternity.
I should pause here and say, I love my husband. (Nicholas if you ever read this, I love your daddy. So very much. But, as you will grow to learn, he is a Yankee and Yankees often deserve a “bless their heart” tossed their way from us southerners.). Andy is a wonderful husband and daddy – and he has an even more wonderful sense of patience when it comes to me trying to control life from hundreds of miles away. But, bless his heart, does he struggle to get moving in the morning and leaving him with a baby who (thank GOD) loves to sleep made me worry no one would get out the door on time while I was gone.
On the days leading up to my trip, I stocked the kitchen. I made sure the dogs had enough food. I made several (self-inflicted, I admit) trips to Target for supplies for Nicholas. I made sure both guys had clean clothes. I laid out, organized, and labeled stacks of clothes/bibs/burp cloths/blankets for Andy to use with Nicholas each day while I was gone. I wrote a “daddy make sure you do” list for Andy, complete with check boxes (which I”m certain he never ‘checked’) and placed multiple copies throughout the house to make sure he had reminders before he left the house each morning. I pre-printed bottle labels for each day Nicholas would go to school. I even quizzed my husband on everything he needed to do each day. And he never once got mad or frustrated. He just smiled, probably thought to himself “she is so scared to leave, bless HER heart” and just humored me the entire time.
Thankfully, Mammy & Papi (Ron & Lois) came down from Pennsylvania to stay and help out for part of the time I was out of town. I know Andy appreciated the help (he never had to cook while they were there) and I rested a bit easier knowing there were extra sets of hands to help feed my husband and love on the dogs so Andy could focus on Nicholas while I was gone.
Speaking of resting easier – the 1st night I was gone I slept for 5 hours. 5 whole, glorious, beautiful, uninterrupted hours. I woke up (at 3AM) in a panic though – and searched the hotel room for Nicholas to check on him because I hadn’t heard him stir since I fell asleep. It took me a few minutes to realize where I was and that I couldn’t hear Nicholas if I tried from that hotel room. (I may or may not have called my husband at 3 AM to tell him to get up and go check on Nicholas – did I mention I love my husband?!).
The trip flew by (thankfully) and Andy was wonderful. When I landed back home in Greensboro Saturday night I couldn’t get off the plane fast enough. Andy and Nicholas (and Mammy & Papi) were waiting on me and I quickly took my child (ok, ‘snatched’ might be a better word) and just stared at his chubby cheeks and was thankful for a job that allowed us the opportunities it does, grandparents who come to help & love & support, and a husband and daddy who, when he wants to, can get up and rock parenthood at 5 AM.