I went to see a nurse practitioner yesterday because I probably have a minor hernia because I might have picked up a large box while moving. Thanks to two emergency C-sections and three incisions, my abs aren't what they once were.
Anyway, I hadn't seen the nurse practitioner in seven years, since we last lived here. She walked in the door, looking down at her chart, and then her green eyes met mine. I was in the process of babbling that she probably didn't remember me, and she interrupted me with, "Yes! Yes, I do remember you. And I always wondered what happened to you." I briefed her on grad school and why I left in the first place, and then she asked, "Do you have babies?!"
Why yes, that's an interesting topic. So, I told her about having preemies, and then a totally foreign thing happened. She told me her little girl is now a teenager who is babysitting, and just like that I have my nurse practitioner's cell number and her daughter as a third babysitter. We just went for six months with no babysitter and no backup plan and no date nights, and without even trying, I have a list of people to call in a pinch.
I've spent the last four years with kids in school and therapy in a suburb in one direction and babies in a hospital in the city. And I lived in between, in a place where I knew almost no one. When I dashed to the grocery store, I knew I wouldn't see a friendly face. One time I was surprised to run into my neighbor. I wanted to exclaim, "What are YOU doing here?!" until I realized that sounded ridiculous because the grocery store is five minutes from our neighborhood.
Having kids puts you in all sorts of pickles. You need to take one to the doctor--or even worse, the ER--but you don't want to take your other child. You need to be in two places at once. You lock yourself out of the house, and you're stuck outside with kids and no one to call. We're just not meant to do it all alone, and for the last four years, I've had wonderful support for the kids but not really for me.
I feel such relief not to go it alone any more.
As I was leaving the nurse practitioner's office, she gave me a big hug and said, "I'm so glad you're back."
That's why I came home.