Well I am here, on the train heading to Washington, D.C. by myself to attend the U.N. Shot@Life Summit. Aside from my 3 days stay in the hospital after giving birth to Hayley due to postpartum preeclampsia, I have never slept away from my children. Actually when it comes to Hayley, I have never slept apart from her. When I found out I was accepted at a Shot@Life Champion, an enormous honor, I also felt a quick “OH NO” panic. What about my children? Everyone can have their own opinions and ideas on what is and isn’t necessary parenting/living but I choose to not leave my children for weekends away or lots of nights out. Possibly the guilt of being a working mother, possibly the fear of what could happen to them if I am not there or what I will miss; whatever it is, it is my choice.
When Rob and the kids dropped me off at the train station I felt….SICK. Although excited hearing that I was leaving presents, Derek still woke up and his first words were “Mommy do you really have to leave today?” Once Hayley heard that, she cuddled up really close, put her hands on my cheeks, nose to nose and said “Mommy, no leave me” UGH…..I packed this morning with both kids underfoot. Derek wanting to know all about Shot@Life, other kids getting shots, will I give the shots, how many tomorrows till I see you again and can I open my presents now. There were many, many hugs this morning not only initiated by me but by both kids and many requests to not go.
Yet here I am sitting on the train to DC, alone to become a Shot@Life Champion. I feel guilty. Is a weekend of learning how to help advocate for worldwide children more important then snuggling on a Sunday afternoon. I feel anxious, what if something happens to me while I am gone and I made this decision to leave my children. Is that a maternal worry or the worries of an irrational person? I consider myself to typically be rational.
In the end I am going to try and take deep breaths. I am doing this because I believe in it. I believe every single baby born into this world deserves a shot at life. They deserve the life-saving vaccines that many Americans take for granted since accessibility is a non-issue for us.
Well I have arrived and now it’s time to suck up my nerves, smile and do my part to help advocate for Shot@Life.
As I publish this I have been informed the kids loved their presents and ate McDonalds for lunch! I think everyone will be just fine!!