Home > Family, Love, Parenting, Work > Be brave without me

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.


  1. June 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Love it! I hear my own daughter in those words.

    • June 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I’ve been thinking about them all day! Four words, but a powerful four words in such a sweet voice. 🙂

  2. June 3, 2014 at 10:53 am

    What a smart little sweetie pie! But you already knew that.

    I want to know what 5 dishes you made all at once? Just in case I ever decide to cook again.

    • June 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      I am constantly touched by his sweet words and actions. Sometimes I feel like I’m the one who’s behaving more immaturely . . . not often, but sometimes.

      The five dishes were:
      * Hard boiled eggs
      * Meatballs
      * Mini egg pizzas (which the bigger boys here love)
      * Chocolate chili (new and tasty, after the initial “this isn’t like my usual chili!” shock)
      * Beef and vegetable soup

      I meant to also bake my sweet potatoes and squash, but that got lost in the shuffle. Maybe next time, or the time after that! 😉

  3. Twindaddy
    June 3, 2014 at 11:07 am

    That’s amazing! Kids are so magical.

    • June 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Sometimes we talk and I’m not sure if he’s tuning in. Then he busts out something like this and I realize he is absorbing it, but saving it–and reinterpreting it–for another day. I love kids for this.

  4. June 3, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Li’l D melts my heart. Love, love, love.

  5. June 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Awe, Deb, I hear you for sure. I never get over being away from Maycee all day every day of the week, but it has gotten better for us both, emotionally. It used to be the roughest when she complained and longed for me not to go….with time this has lessened almost to the point where she never mentions it but rather missed her friends when I pick her up too early. And, the way our kids can soften the hurt is such a blessing. XOXO-Kasey

    • June 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      It’s a little easier this time than last, because I remember going through the process with Li’l D, from that first day I sat weeping in the car before I dropped him off to finally sending him off smiling knowing he would have a good time. I know that even though the thought of it aches now, we’ll find our balance and keep loving each other throughout. I don’t know yet what the balance will look like, but I have faith that it’s there, all the more after reading your words and remembering. It’s something, that faith, and I’m glad for it.

      And, the way our kids can soften the hurt is such a blessing.

  6. June 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    He is so sweet. You’re clearly doing a wonderful job of raising him. My heart hurts for you that you have to leave your little ones if you don’t want to, but they learn from you that a career and providing for your family are important. Keep it up, mama!

    • June 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks, Catherine. ♥ I just asked Anthony a few nights ago if he was okay with me writing a candid post about our finances and my return to work. He said he was, so I hope to do that before I go back and time becomes super scarce. In some ways it’s easier to return to work this time than last, but in other ways, harder. One of the things that makes it a little easier is knowing it’s not forever. When I start feeling that horrible ache, I remind myself of that and it does help. More on that soon. And in the meantime? Thank you again for your support and encouragement. I am so uplifted by you.

  7. June 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Can be brave, will be brave – are brave.

  8. nicciattfield
    June 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Lovely little boy.

    • June 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      I am in complete agreement, all the more so after really watching him with his brother over the weekend. 🙂

  9. June 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    You are brilliant and look, your are passing it on to your children. In turn they will raise you properly. What a wonderful thing this is.

    I love you. You will be brave and they will, each day joyously welcome you home.

  10. June 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Awww, Li’l D is getting so big! That is the most precious picture ever! Littler J is so going to look up to him–and want to do everything he does! What a thoughtful response he gave you. You’ve got some great kiddos there!

  11. June 4, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I have some super easy crockpot recipes if you want them. They were handy when Scout showed up. Good luck with the new routine coming up!

  12. June 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    The tenderness in your words reaches right from the screen and into my heart.

  13. jottlings
    June 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Oh, honey.

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