No Sleep Til Brooklyn

October 11, 2011

I left my house for the last time yesterday. I slipped away, under the cover of dark – which is to say, at an unreasonably early hour, to catch an unreasonably early flight – and left for good. Kyle and the kids are still there, and will be for another two weeks as things get packed and readied for the move, but me, I’m gone. It feels very, very strange, to have finally just left that life behind. Not in a bad way, even though I might have teared up a little as the car pulled away from the house. More in a, ‘wow, this is disconcerting, in an exciting and also kind of terrifying’ way.


I put the kids to bed the night before I left. I kissed them and I cuddled them and I promised them that the two weeks until we’d all be together in New York would pass quickly. “But will they, Mommy?’ Emilia asked. ‘Will they really? Because you keep saying that it’s going to be really really soon but it feels like a really long time.”


It has taken a really long time, I suppose. I’ve been bouncing between Toronto and New York since late April, and I’ve been more or less resident in New York since early September, and in child-time, that time is measured not in days and weeks and months, but in eons. Our home life has been disrupted for, like, forever, and the novelty has well and truly worn off. For all of us, really. We all just want to be together in one place.

“I don’t want to go to sleep, Mommy,” Emilia said, after I’d reassured her that those two weeks would go quickly, they would, and also that there’d probably be an American Girl doll at the end of it for her. “I don’t want to go asleep because I know that when I wake up you’ll be gone.”

“ME TOO MOMMY.” Jasper sleeps in the lower bunk, and has very big ears. “I MISS YOU MOMMY HOW WILL I FIND YOU?”

You never feel guiltier than when your kids tell you that they miss you while you’re standing right there.


So, yeah, I was teary-eyed when the car pulled away from our house, the happy little house that we’ve lived in for almost four years, the place that has been our home and that will be our home no more, but not so much because I’m going to miss the place, but because I miss – I desperately miss – the people in it. They make that house a home, and they’re still there, in that home, and that means that no matter how firmly I hang my hat in the loft in Brooklyn (or, rather, no matter how many IKEA bunkbeds I assemble and toss with Swedish linens), it won’t be home until they’re with me.

Two weeks to go. I can do this.

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    Katherine @ Postpartum Progress October 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    “How will I find you mommy?”

    Oh my heart.

    Hillary Manaster October 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    That made me tear up. Good luck with your move. I hope the two weeks do go by quickly for all of you.

    Sue Robinson October 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    It makes coming home that much sweeter. I find that when I am gone, it makes me appreciate my time with them more than when I am with them all the time. Your children are beautiful and you are such a fabulous mom, they feel that no matter where you are.

    The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful October 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I feel you mamacita. Guilt comes out with the placenta, but you can’t use it as fertilizer for a tree in your backyard. xo

    Truthful Mommy October 11, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Oh, my heart hurts for you because I know this pain all too well. My husband and I did the commuter marriage thing for 2 years and it was the hardest 2 years I’ve lived thus far. I stayed with our girls and he did the leaving but the being left behind and watching our children miss their daddy, hearing the loneliness and sadness in his voice…it was all too much. I hung in there knowing that at the end of last school would be over, come hell or high water. And it is but it is not without its cost. Hell and high water consist of a house that won’t sell, living with my in laws and paying to live in maintain two lives but it’s all worth it because we are together. Stay strong mama. *HUGS*

    justnotTHATmom October 12, 2011 at 1:03 am

    My heart hurts for you friend. Keep your chin up. They will be there sooner than you know it.

    amy October 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm


    Here’s to the two weeks passing in the blink of an eye!

    Elizabeth Esther October 13, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Dude, you totally nailed it. When I went to Bolivia this past summer to write for World Vision, I was gone for 8 days. But when I got home, my kids kept saying it felt like weeks, months, yes–eons. The disruption of their predictable and well-crafted little schedule really threw them for a loop. It took us a good week to settle back down in each other’s warmth and love. But we DID settle back in. And you will, too. You can do this. Go, Mama. Go.

    Karla October 17, 2011 at 11:02 am

    You can Do IT! All the best in your new endeavors Catherine!

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