I wake up in a big, white, soft bed, alone. It's the kind of bedding you sink into. It's me- just naturally waking up - not in a panic, not by the annoying alarm on my iPhone, or the buzz of my Fitbit, or my engorged boobs. Not by Mason, or Annabelle, or Zack, or Andrew, or Caleb, or my husband. It's just my brain, well rested & refueled, waking me up. Because, well...because I've slept enough. So I open my eyes, and see the sunshine through the window, just a bit. Not too much, but enough for it to be pleasant. I stretch. And then sit up. Check my phone, no notifications. That means all my people are still alive & well. I am calm. AND RESTED. Coffee magically appears. The remote is within arms reach. I sit up, turn on the TV and flip to, oh...let's see...Bravo? Which "Real Housewives" season is on today? I will sit in that bed and drink coffee & watch Bravo for as long as I choose. Then I'll get up, change into my workout clothes & go for a run. A long, glorious run - void of any and all phone calls from my husband, kids, or bill collectors. I'll run for as long as I want without having to worry about when I fed the baby last, or if he'll need to eat soon, or if he's up from his nap yet. I'll just run. And when I'm done, I'll eat. I'll eat whatever and wherever I want. I won't have to share. I won't have to nurse & eat at the same time. I won't have to wait until nap time or bed time, I'll just eat. And then maybe, I'll have some wine in the middle of the day for no reason at all. Just b/c I feel like it. (I literally just let out a wistful sigh when I re read this) After I eat - I'll get a manicure & a pedicure & a massage - in any particular order. I'm not picky. Then back to that giant, white, soft bed. Where I will NAP. I will lay down and sleep, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! Without feeling guilty. Without thinking of the laundry piles. Or the dishes. Or the bathroom that incessantly smells like urine.Or what to make for dinner. Or when I need to wake from my nap to get ready for work. I would just nap. When I wake, I'll check my phone. I will have a text message from my husband. He and our 5 kids will send me a selfie. They miss me. I miss them, kind of.
I will walk in my house & they run to me. Happy to see me. Happy to have mom back. Happy that all is right in their worlds again. The older boys won't be showered, or wearing socks - and probably not wearing shirts. They will all smell faintly of BO. Annabelle will have the kind of hair little girls get when the wake up and eat jelly toast, while continuously using their jelly smeared hand to push their hair out of their eyes. The kind of hair that happens when someone gets them dressed and just swoops her hair behind her ears, without using a single stroke of a brush, jelly globs and all. She will have picked her own outfit & it will be too small, too big or WAY too fancy. The baby will have jelly on his face. And in his hair. He will not have pants on - countless diaper changes make it so obviously apparent that pants are just another obstacle. I will hold him & he will rub his face under my collar bone like he does when he is tired or wants to eat. My husband, bless his heart, will have a panicked look on his face that tells me that he missed me. And is desperately itching to watch ESPN uninterrupted or play his video games.
I will sit on the couch and feed my baby, and laugh with my daughter, and listen to the big kids tell me all the things that happened while I was gone. Surrounded by this insurmountable love. The same love that makes me dream of being alone for 18 hours. The same love that drove me back to them, AFTER those 18 hours.
It's like - Motherhood is this constant pull of loving these people so much you can't breathe...and these people loving YOU so much, you can't breathe.