When I got home my little guy Gage met me at the door.
"Mom, Mom! I want to tell you . . . well, how was your day?"
I knew he wanted to tell me about something exciting so I told him it my day was great and let him get on with his story. My teen boys could care less if I am home or not. They always have their heads in a screen of some sort. But not Gage. He's always happy to see me.
Gage loves his family. He loves sitting next to me, painting and drawing together. He loves us all to be a group, to be together. He's my cuddler, my sweetie. He never makes me feel guilty for being gone so much.
No, I feel guilty all on my own.
Not all of the time, but now and then, when I look at his sweet smile and how he lights up when I come in the room, I question myself.
"Am I being fair to him? Does he feel abandoned?"
It takes me back to my own feelings of childhood and my relationship with my own Mom.
My Mom is an amazing woman who has led an extraordinary life. She traveled with the Grateful Dead, gave lectures in Russia, visited women's groups in China and had so many other amazing experiences. I grew up so inspired and fascinated with her. I'm certain it is from her that I have so much confidence and drive.
But I missed her. With only my Dad and brother around, I longed for a woman to bond with, to make me feel loved and valued. Much of the time I wondered why I wasn't enough for her, why she found so much joy in helping others and not being home with me, with us.
When I became a mother I was determined to do things differently than my Mom had done. But life can throw us a curve ball sometimes. I had to go to work when the boys were really young and I've been working ever since.
Crab Terror Island has brought so much joy and fulfillment to me, but I often wonder, at what price. Will I leave Gage feeling unworthy and lonely, the way I felt as a child? What happened to my commitment to always be there for my babies?
Is there a healthy balance in which we all win? Are there women who can do it all; wife, mother, entrepreneur? Is being true to my heart breaking my little boy's heart at the same time?
I can't see into the future and I can't change the past. All I can do is my best, here, today, right now, and be as honest as I can with myself and those I love.
When Gage finished his story I pulled him close, kissed his hair and took a deep breath in, inhaling the scent of small child, sweat and Oreos.
"Gage, I love you. You know that, right?"
"Yeah Mom, I know!"
With dirty hands and impish grin, he ran into the kitchen to get me a drink. As I watched him, I smiled. Whatever I'm doing seems good enough for now.