Groggy, I pried my eyes awake.
The early morning light lit the twin bed next to me. It sat in disarray, its occupant gone.
I stumbled to the bathroom, then downstairs – resembling a zombified offspring from the Wolfman and a Xena.
Confused, I zig-zagged back upstairs, opening my parent’s door.
They were asleep.
Now even more perplexed, I peered back into my room.
The second bed was still empty.
Concern rising, I walked downstairs, only slightly less shaky.
No one in the kitchen.
I stepped into the family room.
And found my son, sitting curled on the couch, snuggled under a blanket.
Teeth chattering – my parent’s house doubles as a meat locker year round – I said to him, “It’s too early to be up. Come back to bed.”
“No. I want to stay down here.”
“Everybody is sleeping. You need to sleep so you are rested and can play with everyone when they wake up.”
“I want to stay here.”
I sighed, two options before me. I could be a good mother and stay downstairs, severely sleep deprived because my daughter’s coughing kept me awake until after midnight. Then I could be grouchy all day and the next because we were traveling and I never sleep well when traveling. Or, I could be selfish and go back to bed and let him become friends with the couch.
I chose me.
“OK sweetie, your clothes are over here for when you want to get dressed. Come get Mommy in bed if you need anything before Mimi and Grandpa wake up.”
Feet frozen on the cold tile, I lurched back to bed, burrowing into the covers to warm my feet.
And I slept.
Until the hurricane Tackler whirled into my room.
“MOMMY! You have to get up. The brownies will get cold!”
I emitted an incoherent grunt.
“Mommy, the brownies are ready! You have to come downstairs.”
I pried my eyes open, sliding my iPod screen on.
“Mmmkay, sweetie. I’m getting up.”
By the time I threw on some clothes and went downstairs, my son had inhaled three brownies and my daughter was dressed in Halloween pajamas – not to be confused with the pajamas worn the night before.
Both kids fed breakfast hours before.
I shoved a warm brownie into my mouth. Then another.
I’m an addict.
I’m so very glad I have an awesome mother – who would never have gone back to bed and left her four year old on the couch alone.
Or my four year old.
Not my proudest moment of motherhood.
Yet I don’t regret it, and would probably do it again, because I know my son and his morning routine and independence. The biggest issue is he might run around naked – not likely to last long in The Meat Locker.
As I write this, storms brew south of here, heading our way.
I took Lil Diva to the doctor Tuesday- after three days of allergy congestion I wanted to be sure she was clear of ear infections for flying. She has a confirmed (double) ear infection.
That makes 2/2 kids with ear infections taking antibiotics.
Lil Diva also has The Cough.
So Tuesday could be a long night.
This has been a fabulous trip – filled with so many beautiful moments between my family from far away and my children.
Luckily many are forever trapped on video and film.
We’re supposed to fly Wednesday night. Nasty storms are currently forecasted during this time. Wednesday could be an even longer night, with possible flight delays, while flying solo with two young children.
Pray for me. For good weather*.
And someone lock Murphy up. Please.
UPDATE Wednesday afternoon: My sister spent Wednesday morning hiding in her basement as the sirens went off in Kansas City. Her car most likely has hail damage. Thanks to unpredictable weather, I called the airlines. I was on hold for forty minutes. I now leave Thursday night – they even waived the change fees, as (at the time) I’d have to drive through tornadic cells to get to the airport.
Time will tell tell if that was the wise choice, but at least I know there won’t be interstate tornado dodging while trying to find shelter.
*A tornado decimated Joplin, Missouri, where good blogging friend, Amy Stevens lives. A post about her will follow later this week when I have more details, but for now, please read about her and how you can help her neighborhood – featured quite heavily on CNN and The Weather Channel these last few days.
Pray for her too, and the rest of her community. And everyone who had storms Tuesday night.