Last week I did not see much of my family. We were hosting a meeting for Indigenus, our global agency network. They are a warm and wonderful group of people, who love to Go Out. So go out we did, night after night after night.
I warned the boys I would be "working late" every night, so it would be best to pretend mummy is traveling. Mr Berman obligingly agreed to manage the morning bus routine, as long as I promised not to wake everyone up by stumbling round the house singing Disco Inferno at 2am.
Although it was just a week, I missed them terribly.
Every morning, they were ushered into my bedroom for an audience, before they went out for the bus. My husband would issue instructions as they trooped up the stairs."Don't speak to mummy or make any noise. Hug her very gently. And for god's sake don't smell her breath."
They tiptoed in. I opened an eye and managed a hug. They were reverent and respectful, as if I was an ailing monarch lying in state, as opposed to a toxic sponge.
"If nothing else," I pointed out to Mr Berman, 'I am providing a lesson in how one suffers if one overdoes things."
He rolled his eyes.
While he was kind enough to relieve me of my parental responsibilities for a week, it's not a long-term strategy for success. Mr Berman was totally over having to feign sympathy and bring me endless glasses of water by the week's end.
Our lives are now back to normal (if there really is such a thing), and I realize what a positive influence the boys have on my life.
Let's face it, if I didn't have to behave like a grown up, I totally wouldn't. But as I discovered morning after morning after morning, (wo)man cannot live by Alka Seltzer alone. It was those quiet, reverential little hugs that kept me going.