He was staying at his real dad's house. His father and I normally trade off custody every other week over the summer anyway, so it was not unusual for him to be away from me for a week at a time. I generally would try to come up for a meal or talk to him on the phone a little more often, but Hell Week probably didn't have as much of an effect on him as it did on Z, who wasn't even two years old yet, and only had been separated from me for my weekly overnight shifts at the birth center.
I called S today, and we chatted a bit. He was learning to play poker with his dad, and had been to see the new Superman movie. He is coming home tomorrow, and the whole family is going on a weeklong trip to a time share at the beach.
He was about to hand the phone back to his dad, when he said, "Wait mom, I just have to ask you one question."
"Did you do good at Hell Week?"
I sighed. "Well, sweetie, it was hard, and I was really tired."
"Yes, mom, but did you do good?"
I paused as it sunk in. "Yes, sweetie. I think I did. I did a lot of good."
"OK mom. Then I just wanted to say congratulations."
Congratulations indeed. I had my true mettle tested, stared my birth demons in the face, reaffirmed that I do want to be a midwife even after such a difficult week, and helped eight moms bring babies into the world and begin their journey of motherhood with each. Oh, and I did some good.