Jealousy?

Last week, one of my school friends went to fashion week. He got to work backstage at a couple of shows, and brushed elbows with Tim Gunn, Rachel Zoe, Christian Siriano, Heidi Klum, and more. He spent an amazing week with an amazing set of people learning amazing life skills in a career path I’m studying.

And to tell you the complete, honest, absolute truth, as much as I told everyone I wished I was there…

…I’m so glad I was home with my son instead.

I’ve been saying lately how there are things I wish I could do, like go to the awesome Frank Turner show coming up on October 6, but honestly, I would much prefer to be at home, cuddled up with my son, hanging out.

I don’t understand all of these people who want so badly to leave the house. I was talking to a mother the other day who said that she was so excited to get to go grocery shopping by herself for the first time after having her baby. She was desperate for the uninterrupted solo time without her child or husband.

I can’t imagine this. I mean, it makes sense for her, and that’s fine, and she’s not a bad person for it. But for me, I can’t fathom going anywhere without my son. I went to the grocery store without my son. Twice. And both times, I was only gone for about 20 minutes. And both times, I worried the entire time, and texted my mom asking how he was doing.

I hate being away from him. Maybe it’s the style of parent I am. Maybe it’s the fact that I nearly died around the end of my pregnancy and sometimes I think that I almost missed out on this chance of even getting to know my son. Maybe it’s a lot of things. I just can’t imagine leaving him somewhere for awhile while I go do what I want.

Instead, I see myself considering possibilities like taking him to the concert, but then realize that doesn’t work well at his age, and decide in the end to stay home and skip it.

I guess my point is, sometimes I find myself having fleeting jealousy, wanting so desperately to do the things that everyone else is doing, like going to shows and going on vacation and everything else. But that jealousy seems to disappear the instant it becomes clear I couldn’t spend that time with my son.

Maybe, though, it’s how I was raised. I was raised by a mother who quit her day job to go into in-home daycare, in order to spend more time with me. I was raised by a mom who didn’t want to be away from me, either. In m family, it seems impossible for us to desire time away from our kids. I still go on vacation with my parents every year, and I’m 22 years old. My mom’s close friend the other day was talking about how excited they are to go on a vacation without their kids. My mom thought she was insane– going on vacation without the kids? What’s the point of even going, then? But, my mom went on her honeymoon after marrying my dad (adoptive dad), and the entire time, she thought of me, and he even asked if she wanted to go pick me up and take me back to where they were staying for the night, just because she spent the entire time thinking of me.

I come from a very close-knit family. My mom loves spending time with my brother and I. And I love spending time with my son. That’s not to say mom never gets frustrated with us– we all have our times where we start to reach our annoyance point– but really, our family loves to spend time together. Our favorite days are ones like Labor Day, where we took a picnic meal to a local park, ate, and then all climbed on the jungle gym, played on the swingset, and took a walk around the park. We love our vacations where we go as an entire extended family- grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone. We love our weekends where we go to the soccer game together, or even just watch it on TV.

It makes me realize that no, I’m not actually jealous of what other people have. When my close friend moved into a house with some of her best friends, I had a brief flash of jealousy where I thought, “How cool. How independent. I miss having my own place.” Then mom helped me out by watching Zach while I showered really quickly, and I remembered how blessed I am to have the amazing support system I have, and how I wouldn’t trade living with my parents right now for the world.

I’m just really lucky to have the awesome, close family that I have. I’m lucky to have the weekend picnics, the soccer games, the family vacations that I have. I’m lucky to have a mom who loves me and still takes time to bond with me even now, and a son who sees me as his entire world right now. I’m so lucky for my entire family, and I don’t tell them that enough.

So no. I’m not jealous of the things other people have. Not really. Because in the end, when I take a good hard look… I have more than most of them could ever dream of having.

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