My girls have been a lot of places with me over their growing up years.
I'm not talking about exotic locales or entertainment venues.
I'm talking about waiting rooms, doctors offices, and labs.
I never had a husband who could just book off work whenever I had an appointment.
I didn't have my parents close by who could babysit.
I didn't have a live-in nanny.
And so it just me with the girls in tow, venturing off in search of answers, help, comfort, and sometimes adventure.
We got really good at sitting in waiting rooms together. We'd read and draw and play games and sometimes grumble while we complained about the wait.
My girls have sat on the floor quietly playing or reading for my teeth cleanings, massages, chiropractic adjustments, routine appointments, and complete physicals. I've even been buck-naked at the dermatologist's office standing in the middle of the tiny room while he looks my body up and down for strange moles and circles them with his ballpoint pen. Let's not forget the infamous appointment with the urogynecologist in which I had to jump up and down repeatedly over a piece of paper after having my bladder filled to capacity with a catheter to see if I'd leak. I had Ellie and Sasha in the room for that one. It was quite an audience and I'm sure they'll debrief about it in therapy one day.
At the time, I didn't want to have my entourage with me for all of those appointments. I wanted to go in and have it be all about me ("why can't this just be about me?") my inner (and often outer) voice would say.
But that wasn't the season. It couldn't be all about me. There was always someone to talk to that made the wait seem a wee bit shorter or a hand to hold as I walked out of the office. Only I didn't see it that way then.
I've been able to go to appointments by myself for a year now.
Everyone is in school with their own job to do.
Today the girls were hanging out at their friend's place for the day.
I had an appointment and I went - alone.
Today I missed a companion. The way that talking to a little person takes the focus off of yourself and your anxiety as you wait for the door to open. The weight of the warm body on your lap and the way your hands don't fidget because they instinctively have a job to do or a body to wrap themselves around. The way the little people beside you give instant context to the professional you're seeing - how they see you as more than just a solitary woman but as a piece of a bigger puzzle. When another puzzle piece sits on your lap, you don't have to explain its role in your life.
These are growing pains.
All part of feeling out the next season where I'm more often alone than not.
Mostly it feels so good.
Today I could have used a little company.