My husband travels a fair amount for work, and sometimes for pleasure. Today he’s making a long weekend visit to Vancouver for a boys weekend with his best buddy who’s coming from Baltimore. Life long friends getting a rare few days to pack in some quality friend time.

His travel leaves me as the lone parent, caregiver, creator of fun activities, and master of distraction for my son. It means juggling my work day so I can get the boy to school (summer school in this case), and then pick him up at the end of the day from camp, or to find a willing chaperone for the day. It means getting us both up, him fed, lunch prepared and packed, me showered, both of us dressed, him sunblocked, braced and shoed, settled in his wheelchair ready to start the day, and on his way either with me or with said chaperone.

Then off to work for me and reverse the events. It sounds daunting but strangely, when it’s just the two of us, it all goes more smoothly than when my husband is there taking on most of the morning prep since I tend to take longer to get myself ready than he does.

I dawdle. I review emails to get a jump on the work day. I sip coffee and visit with Cole while he has breakfast. Take my time applying a little make-up, and then help with some of the boy prep…I always do braces and shoes.

When it’s the two of us alone, I am a machine…I get everything prepped, shower, dry my hair, swipe a little lipstick and dress all before he’s even finished his breakfast. Lunch gets packed and backpack checked and Cole is sunscreened, dressed, and we’re out the door on time, where we need to be on time. And it all feels easy and manageable.

Perhaps having just one of us to answer to and rely upon is easier than dealing with the two of us. He knows that even with me running around he has my full attention, which he seems to crave. For me, I know that I’m the only one who’s going to be taking care of him, addressing his needs, so I’m more proactive and on top of things. I feel like it would be quite a feat to manage to find a balance when it’s the three of us in action. It generally works okay but there are fits and starts that throw things off. Something to work towards…

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