There is no point in trying to describe the leaps and cartwheels our hearts did the day Shawn arrived. All of the grand plans and sweet daydreams that have filled our time apart easily pale in comparison to our real moment of reunion. The day was filled with business and many pep talks with myself about not letting out what Oprah calls the "ugly cry". Not that the emotion would be unwarranted, but knowing Shawn had to leave us again, I needed the kids to know that I wasn't crumbling. As I looked at the faces of loved ones who came to greet Shawn, I could feel nothing but gratitude.
Later, as I prepared the house for our departure the next morning, the kids were at my feet as usual. The urgent "Mommy!" this's and that's filled the air around me like any other night. Shawn lovingly walked into the kitchen and gathered the kids to take them away and let me finish my task in peace. He shot me a wink and like any other capable and stable woman, I sobbed. Everyone who faces the duties and trials of daily life knows the importance of setting aside the awareness of its hardship. But once you are reminded of the burden that is lifted by a simple helping hand, that suppressed emotion can quickly slap you in the face. This was a good slap.