Melissa and I are celebrating “significant” birthdays this year. For the first time in a long time, we decided to go away together – without the kids (mine went with my husband to his parents’ house)! Our mom and aunt (also celebrating important birthdays) met us in NYC for the weekend. We were so happy to have some time together. Melissa and I spent the first hour just sitting in our hotel room in bathrobes, drinking diet coke and reveling in the silence! We had both called our husbands and were assured that all was well in both households and so we were actually able to relax. Joy!
That night, we went out to dinner at a really nice Italian restaurant in the city. The wine was poured and we were enthusiastically discussing the menu and what each of us would get and share when – my phone rang. It was my husband. I excused myself from the loud dining room and stepped outside onto the loud NYC curb. “Please tell me you packed Lamby,” my husband sighed. My heart stopped. I broke into a cold sweat. “Shoot,” I whispered. There was silence. I felt horrible. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “What are you going to do?” He quickly told me he didn’t know and hung up. I felt like jumping in a cab and driving all the way back to Philadelphia. I was angry at myself for forgetting my three-year old daughter’s dearest “Lamby”, the “lovey” she’s had since she was 4-months-old – the one she knows with her eyes closed because she says is smells just like her! I was also sad for her. I knew that she would have a hard time falling asleep. And, of course, I was a little mad at my husband; after all, why was it always my job to pack and remember everything important?!
I returned to the restaurant where our mom saw my face and immediately wanted to know what was wrong. I told them what I’d done. “Well,” our mom said, “This is a great milestone for her. She’ll be ok.” Ugh. I hate it when my mom says what I already know but am not ready to accept. Of course I knew that Margo would be OK. In the moment though, I was sure that she’d never sleep again. We ordered our food (amazing!) and I had another glass of wine. I excused myself again to check in with my husband. He told me that she was sad but after about an hour of snuggling and a few extra books and the acceptance of the t-shirt he’d worn all day, she fell asleep! He walked into her room with me on the phone and gave her a kiss as she slept. Relief.
When I returned home from our weekend, our daughter gave me a big hug. I told her I was sorry that I had forgotten to pack Lamby. “That’s OK, Mommy,” she said. “I learned that I can sleep without her if I need to! I’m a big girl.” And all of my guilt and anxiety just melted away. I had taught her a very important lesson without even trying!