This may sound cliché, but I am no fan of Mondays. Or of the first day back at work after a long holiday or vacation.

So it was no surprise that my heart actually hurt this week. Like many of you, Tuesday was my first full day back at the office after having nearly 11 days of Christmas vacation with my boys. Even though a majority of that time together was spent with a stomach bug, cooped-up boys who had tons of energy and holiday excitement and no one other than their father and me to help dissipate it — it was difficult to say goodbye that morning (especially after my cuddly 3-year-old begged me to “stay in jammies and snuggle wit’ me, Mom!”)

My children have been going to daycare and/or school for nearly six years, so I should be used to missing them. And for the most part, I am. I’m blessed to have a job I love in a career field I enjoy, with an employer who patiently supports my occasional need to don that Mommy hat during regular working hours.

I’m equally blessed to have a daycare provider who my children adore and who loves and cares for them as if they were her own. But no matter how crazy and chaotic my kids make my life, there is something about their giggles, power hugs and boisterous voices that I am downright addicted to. Take that away for nine hours a day, no problem — but give me a double, triple or even quadruple dose of that, and the withdrawal symptoms will be that much more acute from which to recover.

I’ll admit it: There are plenty of days when those boisterous boys and incessantly barking basset hounds can rock me to my core and have both my husband and me running back to the office in search of some order and calm away from the chaos. Having recently survived the “terrible 2s” there were plenty of TGIMs (Thank Goodness It’s Monday!) in our house.

But as the clock draws closer to the hour of our reunion, that dull feeling in my heart is replaced with little butterflies and bursts of adrenaline. It happens every day without fail, and as I head home on my evening commute, I am reminded how blessed I am to be able to somehow, someway, go home to a family who loves me and be able to work at a fulfilling job that pays for that home.

The butterflies? Well, those are just a bonus.

Whether it’s to a couple of blue-eyed boys, a surly teenager or a four-legged furball or two, coming home to someone who loves you sure makes it all worth the ride, doesn’t it? You have to say goodbye to get to those sweet, sweet reunions.

Writer’s Note: As I type this, my two very active boys are running laps around me in my home office, which doubles as their playroom. Just another dose of the best remedy around. As I typed this note, the Kenny Loggins “Celebrate Me Home” song came up on my Itunes shuffle. Perfect.