I had just the three big kids today. Decided I wanted to try and make the most of the time I have before I leave and spend a bit of it with just them. We tucked Rosie off to the creche and then headed into town for a little bit of bowling, something I had promised them we'd do during vacation and never got around to doing.
We got the funky shoes on, found our lane, and with thanks to those bumper thingies, we were able to bash the pins quite happily. Of course, Bubba took to throwing the bowling ball rather than rolling it, but his approach was effective because he won. Which, of course, caused a minor hysteria with the other two.
I tried to explain, over and over again, that it wasn't about who was winning but that we were having fun together. Cue horrible theatrics from The Princess. I tried to point out that I missed the pins pretty much every time and I was ok with that. Cue The Princess throwing herself onto the lane and weeping, with long drawn out sighs between shrieks.
We finally finished up and I was able to get the grumpy group back into the car and head off to the grocery store that started it all for me in France. I figured over Nutella crepes at Cora, perhaps I'd get that quality time I was hoping for.
They ate fast, told fart jokes, and didn't listen to me when I tried to spill out all the worries in my heart. I wanted to tell them how much I love them, how proud I am of them, how I hope they'll take it easy on their dad and be nice to the nannies we've got lined up. I wanted to explain for the 700,000 time how I needed them to really help with Rosie when the gang flies over the pond in October. I just wanted to have that moment of deep sharing, a connection, like a scene from one of those movies where the whole smiling family gets together and says through hugs and high-fives, "yes, you betcha!"
I didn't get that.
I stared at their chocolate smeared empty plates as they ran off to the play area and felt like crying.
These are my babies. My babies who I've pushed around that store in all kinds of car seats and shopping carts. My babies who make me insane and crazy mama-bear proud. They leave half eaten cookies next to the toilet, fight over DVDs, and leave The Man's tools out in the rain. They don't listen, they eat with their mouths open, and hit each other when I'm not looking. There are times they make me want to run away as far as I can and now that I'm actually doing that, I'm scared.
I'm scared of leaving them. I'm scared of missing them. I'm scared of being me and not mommy.
I know these weeks will fly by and I'll be back to going insane with them and their Legos on the other side of the pond before I know it, but until then, I will ache. A deep, silly, unsettled ache until my whole tribe, The Man included, is with me again.
I know. I know. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.