I often hear people talk about the "tribe" of people they feel they belong to. Up until recently I would have always described my tribe as just Jeff and the boys. And they are (oh how they are!). Jeff's gone on a business trip. A TEN DAY business trip. I understand that I'm wimpy when it comes to him being gone. Friends do this all the time, and I can't even describe my respect for our military and their families.
But me? I'm a wimp. So having him gone is epic to me. And eye opening. We've never spent this long apart since being married (almost!) ten years ago. And frankly, I hope we don't again. But by the same merit I've learned a few things about my tribe:
First off, Jeff does so much. There are days when I'm so busy counting up all the things I've done that I fail to see how much he takes care of. Quietly, with no fanfare. He hand washes the dishes that don't belong in the dishwasher (I mainly just hope they disappear), takes out the garbage, keeps the plants alive (because I can't), is an amazing sounding board for me, plays with the boys, does laundry, gets things going in the morning so I can go walking, and the list goes on and on.
The nice thing is that with him away, I've had the opportunity to notice. And appreciate. I hope that I can do a better job of recognizing all the things he does to make our world go round.
I've also had some amazing time the little people in my tribe. As much as a part of me wanted to wish away these days and have Jeff home, I recognize that this is a unique opportunity to really have us bond. Just the three of us. Because someday, bonding with their mom might not be at the top of their priority list. We have dates planned (or done!), a movie night, we've gone on a bike ride, had friends over, and a few more things planned.
Tonight I just held them and rocked in our favorite chair after we read together. And it occurred to me I don't just hold them enough. It's been a busy summer, and past getting Landon's reading time in, I haven't just read to them. And rocked, and snuggled. We've done more of that these few days ... because I'm not rushing off for alone time with Jeff. Which, is also my favorite. But it's been nice to spend time with just them.
And I've tried my hardest to let go of the little thing ... say yes more, relax, don't get so uptight, and laugh more than yell in order to make these days more pleasant. This is sometimes a challenge for me, and I'm a work in progress (tomorrow might be different!), but it's something I hope I can keep up. Because why wouldn't I want to?
And lastly ... my tribe of friends who have surrounded me and buoyed me up. They have had us over for dinner, planned fun activities, picked kids up when I couldn't be in two places at once, called and texted to see how we are and if we need anything, and invited the kids over to play so I have have a little "me" time.
And it's occurred to me. My tribe is an exclusive group, but man, are they amazing, strong, fierce women. They are my heroes. And it feels so good to know they are there to lift me up, catch me when I fall, call me out on my crap, and make me laugh. I hope I can give back to them just a little bit of what they have so generously given to me - and not just the last few days, but the last few years.
While I am eager to have Jeff home - to complete our home again, I am grateful for this time to figure out who my tribe really is! (Now, come home babe!)