No one called me Mom today

My kids are on vacation with their dad. The divorce agreement says they need to go. One week straight.  Once a year.  Every year.

 

No one called me “Mom” today.

I stand in the center of their room and take in the things that make a little girls room: stuffed animals, dolls, underwear, drawing on the wall, the puzzle pieces, the journals. It is no longer a mess to me. It is precious. Next week I will yell and scream and threaten them with ridiculous punishments if they don’t clean it, but at this moment I want to roll in it.

I wash their laundry.

I negotiate an offer, edit photos and take a long meeting. All the while my phone nearby. It doesn’t ring.

I clean out my car just to see what treasures of theirs I might find among the mess.

I clean out the refrigerator and mentally prepare a grocery list so I’ll have all their favorites when they return.

I use their bathroom whenever I have to pee.

I miss them.

I try to FaceTime them twice.

I take in the view of toys and socks and books spread across my apartment and feel an odd mix of melancholy and love and anxiety and I feel my eyes well up.

I check my phone again. Nothing.

I take a walk around the block past the bar, once, twice, three times, four times, five times, six times…. Watching the people drink and laugh and talk. I begin to cry.

I walk home and buzz for my boyfriend to let me in. And I sit in the chair and quietly look again at their things strewn about and I don’t pick them up because it keeps me close to them.

My boyfriend comes across the room, picks up a stuffed flower and presents it to me with a kiss. A tear falls down my face. He retreats in silence leaving me with the stuffed flower and a new tear settled on my cheek.

No one called me Mom today.

And it breaks my heart.

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