For five whole days, I was just Mandy. I was reintroduced to daughter Mandy, sister Mandy, aunt Mandy, niece Mandy, cousin Mandy and even high school Mandy (out ’til 2am and dare I say, kinda sorta “partied?”). I instantly felt ten years younger and ten pounds lighter. I bought real bras for the first time since 2010. I bought new shoes and pants and shirts that have nary a jam stain nor a stretched neck or sleeve or hem due to toddler tugging-we’ll see how long that lasts. I ran every day, all over my hometown. I enjoyed two thunderstorms. I ate out with my mom four times. I made a Mother’s Day brunch to celebrate my mom, my sister, my aunt and my “other mother.” I napped. It was magic. God willing, this will be an annual occurrence.
The two days before I left, I was very anxious about leaving Ian. Anxious, guilty, sad. I was worried that he would freak out. I was worried that there would be a major backlash when I came back. In preparation, I talked to Ian frequently and simply about my trip to Michigan (that I’m going, I’m going by myself, and that he and daddy and I would go all together in a few months). His reaction was never dramatic, but that didn’t really mean anything. I also had a card with stickers for each day I was gone for him to open. I wrote about what his day would be like, that I was in Michigan and I was thinking about him and love him very much. The best, luckiest part was that husband negotiated having two days off of work, so he and Ian had mondo bonding time Friday thru Monday.
The verdict? ZERO meltdowns. Not a tear shed in missing me. He asked about me, we talked and Facetimed a few times. That’s it. The day I was returning, I was talking to husband and when he asked Ian if he wanted to talk to me, he went into his bedroom and closed the door. I prepared for a cold shoulder or worse. Instead, when they pulled up outside LAX, Ian was laughing, pressing his face to the window, unbuckling himself from his car seat (I know) to get to me. Then he pressed his nose against mine. “I’m so excited to see you! I missed you.” Woah. That was the happiest I’ve ever been to come back to Los Angeles. He seemed markedly different as I knew he’d be. More confident, more contained, even more verbal. He and daddy had an epic time, and I’ve never been more grateful to have a partner who shares my parenting philosophy.
This morning, he found the watch my mom had given me, and promptly asked for a turn with it. The turn lasted all day, including him posing for the picture above. If you’d like to view some highlights from my trip, it’s on Instagram, hashtag #solomama.