Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sometimes life just hurts.

As a parent – it tends to hurt a little more if you ask me but I’ve been known to be quite a bit more dramatic than is necessary.  Shocker I know.

Yesterday was day 4 of school. As you recall, Banana is 5 and started Kindergarten. She’s my outgoing, “I don’t care if you exist Mom” child. I had not a single worry about her going to school.

You see, Watermelon is my child who would like to sit on my lap as I live in a closet covered in hives. We are cut from the same cloth and I feared she’d never make it to school much less learn how to read and write. She did – and never looked back. Not a tear was shed.  I was shocked from the word go.

But my Banana? Holy cheese and rice. People - shit has officially hit the fan.

Yesterday at work I got a phone call. Shockingly, I decided to answer it.

It was Banana’s teacher. She said:

We have a little girl who won’t get out of the truck and is sitting in the parking lot with her sitter. I just wanted to make sure it’s alright with you if we make her come in?

Um, are you sure you’re talking about my kid? Yes – make her go in.

So on and off I got phone calls all morning. Her sitter stayed at school with her until about 10am. At that point, Banana held onto her shirt and screamed “please don’t goooooo” and her sitter went – sobbing all the way home.

The secretary called me to give me updates. The teacher emailed me all day. She said Banana was crying on and off but doing her best and her classmates were helping her.

Another mother stopped me in the hallway when I picked her up and said, “Your poor baby had a rough day today.”

Ugh – yes – thanks. I know.

Little Banana’s eyes were red when the day was done. A kid who is never very emotional seemed fragile to me. A kid who usually goes to the neighbors for hours each night never left the house.

We had the discussion about things we might not necessarily like but we have to do and about how brave she is and about how much fun she has at school and on and on.

In all honesty I want to tell her she never has to go again if it means she never cries another tear….but dammit – there are laws against that.

I know in a week this will all be in the past and we’ll laugh over it. Right now I feel like my mind and my heart cannot be anywhere but with that little 5 year old in that school. And every tear she cries is mine.

I want it over. I hate it.

Yet there is a silver lining and you can bet your ass I’m clinging to it.

When I picked up Banana, clutched tightly in her little tiny hand was Watermelon’s necklace. Now – on a normal day – Watermelon would NEVER let Banana even near this necklace.

I asked Banana what she was doing with Watermelon’s prized possession?

Banana said early in the morning Watermelon had given it to her and told her that whenever she felt sad or missed Dad, Mom or her – that she should shut her eyes, hold onto the necklace and feel us with her there and then she wouldn’t be sad.

That little 5 year old girl who loses her body parts I swear – held onto that tiny necklace in her hand all day. If that doesn’t warm your heart – then you are Satan.

I also found out that all day long Watermelon and her friends checked on Banana all day. Each time one of them left their classroom to go to the restroom or anything, they would peek in on Banana and report back to Watermelon about Banana.

At recess, Watermelon and all her friends, purposely took Banana and played with her. Watermelon said to me, “Mom, you should have seen her. She was so happy at recess.”

She also said to me, “Mom, I didn’t have the greatest day. It was really hard to see Banana so sad like that. When she cried, I wanted to cry.”

See? Watermelon is my emotional kid. I expect it from her.

Later that night, Watermelon proceeded to help wash Banana’s hair, comb it and get her clothes ready for picture day today too. All night long she hovered over her like a protector. She’s never done that before.

I hate the emotional toll this took on Watermelon but at the same time that my heart is breaking, I’ve never been more proud of her.

Rambo and I both know this too shall pass. We know some day we’ll tell them both about this and laugh and smile. I’m trying to keep that in perspective. I’m trying to keep the calm up and the drama down. In the grand scheme of life – this is just a teeny bump and we’ll all get through it.

I hope.

For now…my heart just hurts one minute and the next it’s bursting with pride.

Welcome to parenting right?

Oh and I just found out today that Rambo left Banana at school - crying again.  He kissed both of the palms of her hands and every time she misses him she is going to put her palms to her face and feel him with her.  He asked her if he had ever let anything bad happen to her before and she replied no - and he said, "Well, I'm not about to let anything bad happen to you here then." 

He also promised her that tonight we'd laminate a picture of everyone important in her life to take with her every day so she'd always have us with her.  That seemed to work. 

And he promised her a Harley ride....

He called me later and said, "I'm going to start drinking."

I said, "Awww babe, are you okay?"

He said, "You know how much I hate seeing them cry."

I swear I felt my heart crack.

It sucks, but sometimes life just hurts, doesn't it? 


Bonnie said... definitely did something right with Watermelon.....what an AMAZING girl....and I'm sure Banana will follow right in those footsteps....WAY TO GO MOM!!!!......Rambo who???

Karen Butler Ogle said...

Bless her little heart. I hope things go better from here on out. It is so hard to see them go through the learning experiences.

FitBy40 said...

your kids rock big time! So sweet. That girl knows she's loved, even when she's sad, that's for sure.
I have one super sensitive kiddo, and one who could care less. Every day I cringe if the phone rings thinking it just might be the teacher calling to tell me Tia's feelings were hurt at school and she's crying!
You're doing a great job.

Cece said...

Oh great. Now, I'm crying over here ! The laminating pics is a great idea ... you are a brilliant parent !

Robyn's Nest said...

I know your pain. Mine are grown and I still feel their every hurt deep inside me.
You must be proud of watermellon for trying so hard to comfort Banana.

Debi said...

I am not a crier, but you just made me shed some tears ... and I'm at work for pete's sake! I have a few memories of my Mom doing to me what you are doing with Banana right now, everything will turn out great and she will be stronger for it. And bless that Watermelon for looking out for her sister. I know you are so proud!

Sarah from Onmyweightohappiness said...

Awwww, you have such precious little girls! I am dreading sending Gage off to school, I am going to be a wreck! Give her a couple of weeks and she will be more comfortable. Cute how your oldest gave her a necklace to hold on too! What a great big sister!

Ronnie said...

Poor baby, this breaks my heart. But what a great big sister to let her borrow her necklace and watch over her. <3

Amanda said...

Bless her little heart -- and what a wonderful big sister (and parents, and sitter!) she has :)

vickyd said...

Poor sweet baby...that ache that you feel when your baby is crying because you left her at school is one I know all too me, you will get through this. And Watermelon...what a caring big sister to give Banana her necklace and check on her throughout the and Rambo have raised one heck of a girl!!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

You made me tear up with that story. What a great one Watermelon is to take care of and look out for her lil sis that way. My oldest goes to school next year and if that happens I think i will be a wreck.

Sarah said...

You are a very good Mama! Cole's first week of school went exactly like this--- and he was always my independent little jelly bean. Good luck! I hope this passes quickly.


Tina said...

oh great way to make me cry at my desk!!! you know don't you that its the ones who put up the biggest front of tough who are the gooiest in the center. You only thought banana was your tough outgoing girl.

She will master it and feel better but all of the strategies that you guys put into place are sooooo excellent. What a girl your watermelon is.

Mine went off alone to her first few days in 5th grade at a new school and it doing OK..but she is changed good and bad ways.

Rachellabelle - My Hips Don't Lie said...

Wooooow. That is rough. But just look at the entire network of people taking care of each other. That's beautiful. I'm sure she'll be fine by Friday. :)

Bodacious Boomer said...

Sometimes it does indeed young one. Luckily most of the the childhood upsets like these are forgotten over time.

We have two kids in their mid 20's now and neither one is a serial killer. I was a good mom.

Chubby McGee said...

Oh, man...I read this with the wateriest eyes ever.

I'm so sorry Banana had issues with going to school. Oh, man. It's just as tough on you as it is on her, too. You're a great mom though. She'll get through this. You'll get through this. And that Watermelon of yours: wonderful.

I'm sending you warm feelings and prayers for adjustment. :) Hang in there, mama!

MandaPanda said...

I'm crying just reading this. Poor Banana...It just shows that they'll surprise you and it's always going to break your heart when they do. What a great family you have though! Watermelon coming to the rescue the way only a big sister can and Rambo giving her kissed hands all day. Makes my heart glow for you and yours. You'll make it all will. But you're right. Sometimes it just sucks being a parent.

Jessica said...

awww i just totally cried

Laura Belle said...

me too, crying.

need tissues....lots of tissues.

Elizabeth said...

awwww sister love!

Caron said...

I can identify. I have two girls (all grown up) that are so different. I worried so much about my youngest starting kindergarten but it worked out perfectly. It always seemed the things I worried about didn't happen and the things I didn't expect did happen. Hmmm.

Lisa said...

SOOO sweet. Your kids are awesome.

Maria said...

Awww, the necklace thing is the sweetest thing I have ever heard! I hope Banana feels better about school soon, poor thing!

Joanna said...

Awww...I'm tearing up just reading this. I know exactly how you feel...and it's just heartbreaking.

Do you have The Kissing Hand? It's the book about the raccoon that goes to school, and his mom kisses his palm and tells him the same thing Rambo said. It's a great book - and I've used it many times.

mommykinz said...

Sniff, sniff
We went through that too with my sweet boy. I sat in the hallway for days just so he'd know where I was. I was going to suggest the picture thing, until I read that Rambo suggested it, smart Daddy. you could tell her things that you will be doing at key points during her day, like, at lunch I'm having....., at 2pm I have a meeting with explosive man, at....
Hang in there - she'll survive and so will you.

Stace said...

kids are amazing. what a blessing to see the love they have for each other!

Dawnya said...

Stop making me cry!!! You and Rambo are awesome parents. OMG...I hope to make that much of a difference in the lives of my children.

Watermelon is a natural born leader and protector. Not only did she check on her sister, but her friends did too. That girl has chutzpa!! I'm so proud of her.

I'm think of taking up drinking with Rambo. Gosh...I just want to squeez Banana so tight.

Read said...

I realize I'm late here but holy shit! I'm bawling for Banana and I'm bawling at just how freaking proud and amazed I am at Watermelon.

You are such a wonderful family - top to bottom!!

Cat said...

Absolutely love that Watermelon and her friends were all checking on Banana. What a great little girl you have there. Another one of your posts that had me blubbering and snot bubbling. Your way of describing a scene really gets me all emotional lady. Love love you!