Friday, September 11, 2009

Breaking The Surface---Part Two



Ok! So as you might remember I had a wonderful road trip and everything was solved! Not. That road trip was just what I needed at the time but it solved nothing. By the end of that week I had had at least one day where I found myself prostrate on the floor, trying to pray but the only thing that was finding its way out were sobs of the gut wrenching variety. And yes, those still count as prayers...God knows better than I what those sobs mean. My girls do NOT witness these scenes. They are busy downstairs emptying every single toy box, drawer, storage cube, etc. and having a righteous blast. Once they are busy I go upstairs to my room, sit on the side of the bed, and talk to God. That is when the tears appear. I'll talk more about that topic in a future post.

Before I go on, let me clarify something. I LOVE my children, BOTH of them. I do NOT want to LEAVE my children...or send them back to China...or make them disappear...or any one of several other ridiculous ideas. That is NOT what this is about. This is about Mel. I already know Mama. I'm well acquainted with her. "She" is the way I'm wired. I'm an empath...a nurturer...a Mama. If there's something wrong, I want to help you take care of it. I want to make you feel better. So maybe what this is all about, is turning Mama loose on Mel. Mel needs to figure out, discover, create the person she wants and needs to be.

So the aforementioned friend...the one who talks me down from my ledges? This person allows me to ramble at will via email. Did I mention said friend is sooo going to heaven? Whenever something is bothering me...confusing me...making me smile...pissing me off...I ramble...and send it off. Besides having a "Living Journal" to share all of this with, I've also got a treasure trove of blog entries just waiting for me to cut, paste, and edit.

The following is a portion of a ramble written the Thursday before Hope's first full day of school...which coincidentally was the day God had to decipher those sobs of mine:

"My heart is crushing dealing with the thought of my baby being gone from me all day on Monday. The fear isn’t that she’s not going to come back. The fear is losing a huge chunk of her…she’s going to have 8 hours a day that don’t involve me. She’s going to have an entire life apart from me at age 6…where Mama Bear can’t be there to protect her from the hurt and the fear and the evil. I was snuggled up to her, reading her a story this afternoon and it just smacked me right between the eyes. This “thing” that I’ve been doing…this routine…this reading to her in the afternoons since she was 11 months old…will be over tomorrow. And yes, I’ll still read to her...but it’s just the saying goodbye. Like when she lost her first teeth…they were the same two teeth she had when she was handed to me.

When I finished reading to her I told her I’d miss her on Monday. She’s amazingly strong that kid…GOD I love her. She won’t cry unless something is absolutely killing her. She reached up and wiped away a tear, never admitting that she was crying, and asked, “Mama…I’m going to be gone all day. Are you going to be ok?” Then she did something she’s never done…ever. She crawled over and draped herself over me for a hug. The kid isn’t affectionate…never has been. I held onto her for dear life and let my tears flow for both of us. I told her I’d be fine…I’d miss her but I’d be waiting for her at the bus stop with Claire when she got home. We talked about all the fun things she’s going to experience in first grade. She pulled back…ground another tear away with her fist and said, “But Mama…if I’m gone all day…how am I going to remember you?” That one just about tore my heart out by the roots. I have worked very, VERY hard…maybe too hard…to make my girls strong, and confident, and independent. I worry about leaving them without a mother…again. So we talked about what Mama smells like…and looks like…and sounds like…and dresses like…and how she can think of those things when she’s gone. She sat there for the longest time…her face not two inches from mine…staring into my eyes…trying to decide what color they are so she could remember. Again…I LOVE that kid."

The next installation is from Monday, her first day. I just reread it...and yes, it's only been three weeks, but all the feelings just rose to the surface again. The thing is...now? I'm able to let them rise to the surface, deal with them, and move on. No more denying they exist...no more pushing them back down:

"This day has already kicked my butt. I didn’t sleep last night. I think I saw every 40 minutes from 10:45 until 6:15. Had both girls ready with time to spare…took the first day pictures…put the “Mama loves you” notes in Hope’s lunchbox and her school box. Talked to her about a bunch of stuff and tried my hardest NOT to cry in front of her. She asked me several times again if I was going to be ok without her all day. I did just fine until the bus was pulling away. She was waving up a storm at me…and her mouth was smiling…but her eyes weren’t…her eyes showed fear. And I *KNEW* she was going to be fine once she got to school…but that one just about killed me. Made it until, I don’t know…10:30 until the big tears came. Let Claire watch tv…I went up to my bedroom and let them out. Was in Hope’s bedroom twice before noon…just to “smell” her. Got a few things accomplished that didn’t really keep my mind off of anything. Lunch was killer. Opening the fridge and seeing her milk in there from breakfast this morning…only having to get lunch ready for one…her place empty at the table. Claire upset and telling me we had to go wait for the bus (like we did when Hope was in Kindergarten) before we could have lunch. After lunch…same thing…only one to make sure she brushes her teeth…one story to read…one monitor to bring downstairs. More big tears after that."

And that day just got better...yeah...right. I had Claire up from nap and we were waiting for the bus at least 20 minutes before it was due. It was the first day, I knew it was going to be late. I didn't care. When it finally came up the hill I could exhale again...and let loose of the picture in my mind of me running after the bus, ripping the door from its hinges, and grabbing my frightened child from her seat. The bus stopped, four of the five children who were supposed to get off got off. The door closed and the bus started moving...and Hope was nowhere to be seen. I waved at the driver and mouthed, "Hope?" She stopped, looked behind her, smiled, then got on the radio and got Hope's attention. One thing I had neglected to tell her? Only the Kindergarten bus drops you off at your own house. NOW you have to get on AND off at the bus stop. I breathed another huge sigh of relief, squeezed the breath out of my oldest child, and walked home.

Things went progressively downhill that week. I had at least two days worth of wordless prayer. I don't think I can say it any better than I already have:

"This week bit. Flat out blew…dare I say sucked ass. Fear and anger and depression the likes I’ve never seen…nor do I want to again. At least earlier this month I’d have a moderately up day or just a stasis day in between. Not so this week…one black hole after the other. Hope comes home insane or exhausted or both. The school/teacher sends home things that need to be done immediately with no instructions. I read through everything…look at her website…look at the school’s website. Nothing. So finally I email her and ask her. Nope…nothing is published anywhere…but what a good idea! She gave me the info I needed and then also added, “I don’t know why they don’t send that information out to the first grade parents.” Yeah…me either. This morning Hope was in tears…SHE’S deconstructing now. She was clinging to me…and remember…this is the kid who is NOT affectionate…and crying, “Mama I miss you too much! I’m at school more than I’m at home!” ::sigh::"

After three weeks she still tells me every day that she misses me too much. I miss her too. So does Claire. But we're adjusting. She loves school and all of her teachers. She thinks being able to buy her lunch is beyond awesome. Recess is still tops on her list followed closely by Gym...although she's talked a lot about Music lately too.

Right now I'm working on a winning streak. I've had at least 12 days that I consider GOOD in a row. Not just baseline days either...there have been a lot of them in there that were downright wonderful...filled with sunshine, giggles, and utter silliness. Today I am feeling blue. But that's all it is...just blue. I'm not sad...nor depressed...nor angry. I think it has a great deal to do with the fact that today is the anniversary of 9/11.

Will I plunge again? I don't know. Do any of us know, really, what our emotions are going to do from second to second, let alone day to day? I fully expect to drop, yes. But I'd like to think it won't be as far, or last as long. But again, how can I know? I will continue to deal with each day as it comes. Some go in the win column, some don't. But so far? He's still letting me get up and try it again the next day.

Blessings y'all,

2 comments:

Carolina said...

Oh Mel, I so feel for you, you missing Hope and Hope missing you during her schoolhours must be heartbreaking. Of course you know it will get better for both of you. I think. I don't know. Of course it will! Deep breaths.
Hope not leaving the bus must have been a scary moment :-o

I so wish I could make you feel better.

A HUGE hug from me (and from Biggles). Be good! ;-)

Carol said...

Mel....I think we are truly siamese twins...separated at birth. Truly. I cried on Jeff's first day. And then on Tommy's. And my Jeff: He and Hope are identical, too. He said the VERY same thing to me after his first day of first day. Told me he was away from home for 7 1/2 hours and that it was WAY too long. I cried all the way to the bank that first day. The lady at the bank took pity on me, took me in the back room and gave me a hug and a kleenex and said she understood. And you know what: Every good Mama does. And you, my dear, are a good Mama.

My Jeff? His daughter, Ella, started kindergarten this year. I got to go with her Mama to pick her up that first day. And I cried when she ran into my arms and said, "Oh Grandma! School is long and I am tired!". She was fine when we got home. I was the one who took the nap!

Hugs and Kisses to you, Mel. There aint nothin wrong with you. You're just one Good Mama who loves her babies. And that's a very good thing. xoxoxoxoxoxox

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