Astrid yells ‘mama mama’ like it’s been years since she has seen me and not just since Friday. I pick her up and she squeezes my cheeks as she brings her lips to mine. Then she puts her arms tightly around my neck and pulls me to her in a squeeze so hard that she makes a loud POP sound before she lets go. There’s nothing better than a ‘pop hug’.
Esther hugs me gently around my waist with her face at my chest. I kiss the top of her head and then she looks up and meets my eyes. Hers shining as I bend down to meet her lips and hug her harder. She whispers that she missed me.
I put my arm around Eloise and pull her close and nuzzle her hair that I don’t have to bend down for. Was she really standing tall reaching my shoulder just two days ago or did she grow again. Did I miss it? She quickly moves away but meets my eyes and smiles. I know that later on without all of the people around that she will hop on my lap just before bedtime and share her weekend stories.
I don’t leave my kids very often. I rarely go for lunch or even coffee, let alone a full two nights away. I loved my little vacation, but in truth I wonder what I missed at home besides the growing laundry pile.
These kids seem to change by the minute so I selfishly don’t want to miss any of it. I mean what if I went away for day and came home to find out all of the ‘pop hugs’ had expired.