Today, while skiing in Crested Butte, I found myself again. Funny thing is that I’m not even sure I knew I was missing. Once you have children, it is far too easy to forget that you exist outside of the role of parent. I am fairly adept at carving out an hour or two for myself each day, but it’s not until I step away from our home and children and fully relinquish my duties for a while that I rediscover who I am independent of them. When I take away the duty of caring for others, I become a bit lighter and freer.
None of this is to say that I don’t miss my boys. I do. They are everything to me. I can’t imagine my life without them now. Every once in a while, though, it’s good to reconnect with me, the me that I am when I can let go of accountability and relax. I laughed today. In fact, I laughed so hard I quite inappropriately spit some beer. I crawled around in a snow cave. I caught a tiny bit of air on my skis and actually did a bit of woo-hooing (out loud, even) on the slopes. I had a shot of Wild Turkey in the middle of a ski run. And, not once did I worry about the well-being of anyone other than myself.
When we got back to the room after a leisurely late-afternoon latte, I had messages waiting for me from our oldest son via text, voice mail, and video, asking us to come home because he missed us. I felt for him. I really did. It’s hard to know my children are sad. But, I understand how important it is for him to learn that he can function without us. I also know how much better of a parent I am when I have a chance to let go once in a while and be me and not just “Mom.” I’ll be home with my life’s work tomorrow night. But, for the next 18 hours or so, I’m going to revel in being my only responsibility.