The Shoe’s On the Other Foot

The number one question I’ve gotten from people when they hear I’ve (temporarily) moved to Boston is, “Where is your family?”

“Home in Sand Diego,” I say, and the response is almost universally, “Oh wow.”

Oh wow is right.

My main hesitation in accepting this position was missing this small chunk of my kids’ lives. Of course I’ll miss Leif, but he and I have a lifetime together, and he’s not growing and changing everyday in the same way that children do. I am missing two months of my kids’ lives that I will never get back.

It’s a heavy thing to realize, and the guilt! I couldn’t wear mascara the day I left, because it would’ve been running down my face with the tears I cried when remembering their tight little hugs and sad little faces when we said goodbye.

Sniff sniff.

I’ve been here a few days now, and have been in touch via phone and little FaceTime. The girls seem ok – happy even. As it turns out, the world keeps on spinning, even when I’m not there. They’ve gotten to and from school, friends’ houses, and spent afternoons at Gramma’s. They’ve done their homework, brushed their teeth, played with Daddy, and got tucked in every night.

They’re ok. And I’m ok, because instead of looking at this as time I’ll never get back, I want to see it as time that Leif gets to be the primary caregiver. Their relationship with him is going to grow even stronger as they depend on him in the way they normally depend on me. The bonds that form between their hearts as they figure out how to survive without Mommy will remain intact for the rest of their lives, and no one will ever be able to take away the knowledge that their daddy stepped up to the plate to take care of them.

So yeah, I miss my family like crazy. But I am so grateful for Leif to know that center-of-your-kids’-universe feeling. It’s crazy hard, for sure, and I know they’ll have their good and bad days, but they will learn to trust and love each other in ways that they never would if I were there.

Maybe I’m spinning, maybe I’m in denial, but I’m going to go ahead and call this one perspective.

Now I’m going to say a prayer that they all survive.


  1. The aftermath of our son’s birth left me pretty much incapacitated for the first few months of his life. We had recently closed our business so hubby was out of work. You can still ask him today what the happiest time of his life was and it would be then…he was able to be home and take care of our son when I couldn’t and he bonded with our son at a time when most dads don’t get to. I bet Leif is enjoying this individual time with his daughters to no end! Real dads will never lose a beat when it comes to rearing their children. Congrats on the new position…you’re doing something I could never do but would give anything to have the guts!
    P.S. Your take on yours and Leif’s relationship is refreshing to hear…I thought me and Dr. Laura only thought like that!

  2. Jenny – just want to let you know that I am proud of both you and David for taking on this adventure. I know you miss your girls, but you’re giving them an incredible gift – the chance to see what a strong woman looks like, so they’ll know how to grow up to be one! And just what a supportive husband acts like as well. The two of you together are demonstrating to your girls the kind of relationship that they should strive to have one day. Will be praying for you both to get through this – keep smiling!

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