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.