The Family unpacked a large, steel grey, hard-sided suitcase Sunday evening.
The Mama packed a small, steel grey, hard-sided suitcase on Monday.
Which is to say, it has been busy. Away for a week, home for a day, away for two days, home for a week, away for another week, home for a day, away for five days… but home now. Yesterday, in fact, which makes me happy.
Really eff-ing happy.
And you probably aren’t surprised to learn that The Kidling has an opinion about all of this. When she is in tow, she is delighted by travel. She loves to see new places and will occasionally try new things. When The Mama journeys solo, however, it is an entirely different story. Even though our lives are busy enough that she doesn’t have time to really miss me, she hates the idea that I am leaving without her. Not that I blame her: I am pretty awesome.
So it was that on the eve of my departure, I requested that The Kidling choose me as her bedtime story reader. As parents of an only, The Mama and The Dada do our best to ensure The Kidling is independent, which manifests itself in all sorts of little tricks, like allowing her to choose with whom she spends her time.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, The Mama has a confession. You see, this “who is your story reader tonight?” routine began one evening in the dark ages when The Mama was very, very tired and did not want to spend another moment being thoughtful or awake. I thought the novelty of autonomy would induce her to choose The Dada to read her story that evening. It didn’t, and–if I remember correctly–it took several offers before she chose someone whose first name isn’t “The” and last name isn’t “Mama.” Eventually, though, it worked. I do wonder if she will ever catch on that I only ask that question if I am tired enough to root silently for The Dada as she makes her selection.
Kindly, if begrudgingly, The Kidling accommodated my request, telling me, “Mom, you’re my story reader because you’re approximately the only one up here.”
As if sensing my desire to not tuck her in yet (or smelling weakness), The Kidling had a question for me immediately upon closing the book: “Can I have another story?”
I smiled, “Yes.”
Honing in on precisely my emotion when I made my decision, The Kidling smiled slyly, saying, “You just want to spend more time with me.”
Ding! Ding! Ding!
Her powers of intuition are uncanny.