Be brave without me
Yesterday I cooked five dishes in one two-hour burst. This wasn’t my idea of fun, but a first practice run.
I go back to work in three weeks. I will be gone almost twelve hours daily, leaving me with just one waking hour each evening to spend with my kiddos.
I want to spend every minute of that with my kids.
Every. Single. One.
So, for now and once each week before returning, I’m building my cooking multitasking muscles by cooking many large dishes in one short burst.
Driving to preschool this morning, still aching at the thought of being separated from my kids so much, I interrupted my four-year-old’s Ninja Turtle drawing. “Soon we won’t have this much time together every morning, so I’m glad we have it now.”
“Are you going back to work?” he inquired, still drawing.
“Not now, but soon. It makes me so sad to imagine being away from you that much again.”
He answered immediately, “Be brave without me.”
I started crying.
“Why are you crying, Mom?”
“These are happy tears, not sad ones.”
“There’s no such thing as happy tears! Silly Mom.”
“There are, and you’re making me cry them right now. I am so proud of your beautiful heart, kiddo.”
The conversation moved on, but my heart remained on his moving words.
It’s a little easier to face going back to work knowing my kids are still my kids at heart. Still learning what I teach them about being in each others’ hearts even when apart. Still teaching me that bravery isn’t not feeling a hard thing, but continuing in the face of the feeling.
Yes, I can be brave without him, knowing we will return to each other at the end of each day.
I can be brave.