Keeping with the old saying "wherever you go, there you are," I found the trip away strengthened lessons I have been learning at home these past few months. There is more to me than midnight feedings and baby whispering, and four days of laughing and talking late into the night with smart, interesting people reminded me of the woman I know my husband misses and who is key to raising my son. Saying goodbye to my husband at the airport and immediately missing him, followed by how quickly I found myself flicking through the pictures of the baby showed me how fast the hard parts and cross times fade away.
The festivities came crashing to an end as I returned home and ended up in the emergency room. Diagnosis? Swine flu. So, for almost another week, I had to live at a distance from my family. It was murder to hear my little boy coo and laugh - things he hadn't been doing before I left---but not be able to see or hold him for myself. By the time I got well, it seemed he had doubled in size and acquired a new level of maturity. It reinforced what people constantly tell me: live in the now and enjoy all of it, even the toughest parts.
So as I get settled back into the sleep deprivation and the whirligig of diaper changes and squalls, it's easy to have moments of discontent. But then I remember just how far away both Scotland and the front bedroom were and how much of a difference ten days made. And that helps to see even the longest days and nights as a fleeting blessing.