Thursday, November 14, 2013

3 little fishies.

3 little fishies.  Out of water.  Flopping around like a bunch of guppies – gasping for air.  Eyes bulging in confusion.  Lungs inhaling in pain. 

That’s what my girls and I feel like right now. 
Rambo is not home at night anymore.  It is Week 1.  And we suck at it.  We are trying desperately to figure out a new normal but that’s the thing.  THIS is not normal.  THIS isn’t the definition of a family bonded.  THIS will never be our normal if I have anything to say about it.

I’ve been crabby and so have the girls.  There aren’t family suppers anymore (even though we all know there should be).  It just feels wrong when one of us is missing.  If I happen to yell at the girls for something – the words, “I WANT DADDY!” come rushing out and I feel the sting…even though I understand their thinking.
I have been late to work every day….because tearing myself away from Rambo’s arms in the morning is like a physical pain.  Good thing I set my own damn hours, huh?
Every morning – little Banana comes in our room with her eyes half closed and her blanket in hand and she crawls into Rambo’s arms and they lay there as I get ready.  His arms are wrapped around her and she’s so encapsulated that I can’t see where she even is.  It makes my heart ache.  Those 15 minutes are all she has every day.  It’s a shocking reality compared to what she had before.

No – the world isn’t ending.  Yes – things could be way, way worse.  Yes – I know we are blessed and I am grateful.  I’m just saying this is hard.  A hard that I will conquer.  We will survive.  We will come out a stronger family when this is over.  It’s a tiny cross we all have to carry for now and I believe it’s God’s way of showing us we need to take less things for granted.  I think shitty times are a way to learn something about yourself.
I think this is about me being a Mom.  I think this is about me withholding parts of myself from my kids because it’s still too scary to let go of past pains.  This is about ME being the things Rambo was so freely….because he can’t be that anymore. 

I let him pick up my slack in a lot of areas – because I was mentally unable and physically too lazy to do some of it.  Instead of settling for mediocre Mom because I had a stellar backup – I now have to be Mom and Dad…and try harder.  I don’t want this period in our life to be a time that our kids look back on as horrible.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

A second shift job is partially responsible for ruining major parts of my childhood.  It is responsible for making my own Dad a complete stranger.  It is responsible for me living with someone who I never spoke to, saw or spent time with.  Later, second shift and what that meant became my saving grace because it meant my Dad was gone…and as I got older…that’s what I wanted.  It’s what I knew.  It’s what I was comfortable with.  I had no idea how to “be” with my Dad at all. 
I remember when I was in high school, after nearly 15 years of being gone on second shift, my Dad was up for a first shift position.  It meant he’d be home every night after school. 

I remember very distinctly – my brothers and I crying when my mom told us.  Sobbing.  Angry.  Scared.  Pissed off that suddenly we’d have to deal with a man we didn’t like or know.  Having him home seemed like the end of our world as we had come to know it.
This week I’ve had to deal with some of those emotions coming back.  I didn’t realize Rambo being gone would force me to remember old hurts and pains.  I haven’t thought about that in a long time and this week I’ve felt like the me back then and almost makes me physically ill at times.

It also ignites my spirit to never let what happened to me – happen to our family.  Not on my watch.  Not ever. 
I’ll find water for my two fishies and for myself.  I promise.


Laura Belle said...

You know what my first thought was? She is so strong! So much stronger than you were even a year ago. I think you need to realize and believe that!

I totally get the bringing up old emotions deal. But, like I said before, you ARE strong, and you will be able to deal with this and come out ahead!! I know you know this. But sometimes it helps to hear it from a friend.

And, most importantly, you, your girls, and Rambo have a completely different relationship than you had growing up. There is so much love and understanding in your home that I truly doubt things will come out worse for wear. I bet you guys end up loving each other even more...if that's at all possible with you guys! lol. And I bet you'll be even closer! I'm envious of your love for one another!

You WILL conquer!!!

Sarah Kopf said...

Hang in there sweetie! This too shall pass.... Thinking about you & your family! :(


Connie O said...

My dad always worked late when I was a kid, and we used to dread his being home too. But it wasn't just that he was never there. It was that when he was, he was grumpy and mean from all the hard working and just wanted us to be quiet and preferably in another room. Your kids will never have to feel that way about their dad being home, no matter how long he works this shift. I hope for all of your sakes that it doesn't have to go on too long.

Sunshine's Heart said...

Keep Rambo in the conversations. Talking about him will keep him present even when he can't be there. Talk with the girls about the things you will all do together when Rambo is off. The girls will look to you to see how to deal with this. I know you can do this. I thought when Dail left me that I would actually stop breathing from grief. I know how hard it can be to have less time with someone you love so much. I'm sure he feels this as much as you do. You can make this work until things get better. Hugs.

Cat said...

Once again your images of your family have brought me to tears. Not only the image of little Banana snuggling with Daddy for a few minutes but also the heart break that was you learning that your own Dad may be home after school.

Thank you for the gift your writing brings to each of us. /heart u

FitBy40 said...

You know, I was actually thinking about you guys and this situation over the weekend, and I had a lightbulb moment!
I was thinking that Rambo could go have lunch with the girls at school once a week. I figure they're probably at 2 different schools right now due to their ages, but maybe he could come up with a certain day of the week when he goes to each of their schools for a special daddy-daughter lunch date...OR, he could even take them out to lunch if that's allowed at your school!
Good luck with this transition. I know it's a tough one.
Hang in there!