Or…at least on my end.

A few people have asked me how Jack handled being away from me while I was gone. I thought it was worth writing a post about it.

Jack and I really hadn’t been away from each other for more than 18 hours or so since the day of his creation. Definitely the hardest part about going on the trip was being away from Jack. At first I felt kind of overwhelmed like I was being a horrible mother for going for more than a week on what could have been a dangerous trip. But, after discussing it with my family and some good friends, I decided that it would probably good for both of us to have some time “independent time”.

First, let me tell you that while I was gone, I thought about Jack all the time. I would sit and look at his picture adoringly, and dream of making him waffles so he would love me. I tried to imagine what new words he might know when I came home. As I have said before, there came a point when I had to literally wipe away any thoughts of him or else I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on what I was doing. After I started doing that, I felt okay about it, like we were both in God’s hands and He was taking care of the details.

My mom kept writing and saying how well he was doing in sleeping in his own big boy bed, how he had incurred a black eye from a bad fall and had a mysterious limp from hanging out with his uncles at the park, and how he was happily doing just fine. I thought, “Okay, well, that all sounds good. A little roughhouse with an occasional black eye and minor leg injury is good for a boy (uh, I think), sleeping by himself will be harder for me than it sounds like it is for him, he’s happy. Good.”

On the flight home, however, I was practically bouncing in my seat to get to see him. I had written my mom to tell her to please bring Jack to the airport when I got in, even if it was early or late. When the team arrived at the airport, we rode down the escalator like astronauts returning to our families on Earth. I peeped down to see if I could see Jack waiting for me. I geared up my legs to run, and imagined Jack waddling to me in the classic slow-mo run toward each other and hug and laugh and cry scene. And…there was my dad and my brother (who I love both dearly) WITHOUT Jack. I was definitely happy to see them, but had to try to act like I wasn’t going to tear up in frustration. Ha ha.

It would be rude to just walk out the door quickly on my teammates, so I hung around for the appropriate amount of time before sneakily side stepping slowly toward the door as I waved and smiled my good-byes. Finally, finally we got home. Mom was walking Jack around the block. We pulled the car up in the driveway, I stepped out and kneeled on the ground calling out to my precious spawn. The Scene began again in my head complete with cheesy inspiring music. He turned around, his eyes lit up, he ran…for approximately 4 feet, then slowed down and cautiously crept up to me. Cautiously crept up as in he acted like he was totally unsure who I was. Cheesy inpiring music suddenly turned off. After I coerced him into hugging me, which he did for approximately 3 seconds, he then ran away whinily back into the arms of his grandmother. Little ungrateful punk.

It took about 45 minutes of him acting scared of me before he finally schmoozed up to the couch where I was sitting, sat beside me timidly, then slowly reached down the front of my shirt and rested with his hand on my chest. He smiled. I grimaced. After that, all was fine and restored in the Land of Mother and Son once more. Boys.

At least I now know that if I die anytime soon, I can rest assured he will completely forget of my existence within 48 hours. Or that he uses me for my chest. I don’t know which is more comforting.

But I love you anyway, Jackabee. Love, Mama.

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