Hello, blog.

I have spent the past four days in California. I played in the water, I wandered around Berkeley. I went to a few funky bars and a very good party. I slept in late, and ate a good burrito. I saw friends I had not seen in years. We laughed and talked until my face hurt. I stuck my toes in the cold, cold waters to the west.

I did all this without my kids. My littlest is not yet 2, and leaving them was not easy. Serena still nurses, and four days is a long time to be without a Mama. At the last moment, I very nearly took her with me. It would have been so easy to clutch her fat little body in my arms and carry her with me all the way to California.

Instead I left her crying in her carseat and went on my journey alone. I might have cried a little myself, out of sight.

It was, without question, the right thing to do. Not only did I enjoy my vacation to the hilt, but I had the opportunity to miss my kids. Now I’m home, and I’m more *here* than I had been in months.

The details stand out to me: I can see how beautiful Rio is, and how hungry she is to learn math. Serena is speaking more words than when I left. I have not just the patience but the real desire to hold her as much as she wants to be held, which is a lot. When she woke last night looking at me, I was delighted to lie down beside her for a few snuggly minutes and help her fall back asleep.

My parenting batteries have been recharged by a weekend of glorious grown-up living, and the kids can reap the rewards of that now. They may have missed me, but I think we’re all better off when they have a happy, centered Mama to play and learn and live with.