Ah what a week! Spurred on by the imagination and ingenuity (and straight crazy) of these little minds around me.
I feel like this is a stage of life where there is so much to contemplate and express and it’s also the stage where there is absolutely no time to do so.
All I want to do is write (all caps: w.r.i.t.e.) about it all day long. But I don’t get the chance.
But here I finally sit.
Scanning my mind and thoughts for the beauty that was this week. The beauty that I savored and want to keep forever. The difficulty. The trying moments that came and went. Remembering it all. Summoning it and asking it to the surface.
Brenden has been gone since Monday. He doesn’t travel much anymore so when he’s gone it’s a huge deal. It makes me realize once again how amazing military wives/single moms/anyone who is alone with their kids are.
We went to the library and checked out a book showing exactly where he is. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
It was started in Charlottesville by two Brooklynites (Is that what they call themselves?) who moved back to Brooklyn to open a store there as well. We took this picture last year.
I love this place for so many sweet reasons.
So there have beens lots of “I miss Daddy”s this week. And today, with tears from Brielle, “I miss Daddy to the Galaxies and back.”
That’s kind of a big deal. We usually miss each other from “Brazil to India” or “New York to Africa” but to the Galaxies?? What does that even mean.
And then from Michael in the back seat:
Mommy I so hot turn on the heat.
I so hoooootttttt!!!! Turn on the heat!
I rolled down the window hoping to distract/cool him down. In came the cool air.
Roll the window DOWN!! I cold!!!!!
All day every day.
Depending on my mood I will either laugh hysterically, because let’s be honest, kids are freaking halaruous if we have the sense of humor and sleep under our belts to enjoy them. OR I will sit with twitching eyelids as my body goes into shock. My nervous system shutting down; shock.
Older kids are heroes, just because they are. But older kids who are “cousins”?? Don’t even. This is one of my favorite pics of cousin love ever; from this past summer.
Brielle made a “pig-naut” party-hat for Ivan. (Think “astronaut” in pig form.) It was a huge hit for the moms in the room. Namely me.
I’ve realized this week that a toddler who misses his daddy is the same as a toddler who thinks his daddy has deserted him; doesn’t love him anymore and all other negative/similar things either existing or imagined.
A toddler who misses his daddy doesn’t just “miss” his daddy. He thinks his daddy has abandoned and left him forever and for dead. And so of course his mom is going to leave too. Cue attachment anxiety.
This week I’m learning how Michael processes things. And it’s very different from how Brielle processes things.
Brielle says: mommy I miss daddy. Huge tears.
Michael says: Throw. stomp. rage.
He speaks in actions, and I’m not used to that, because I have a daughter who literally says things like, “Mommy, I’m jealous.” I don’t have to read her mind or her emotions. They are laid right out there for me. And I hope that doesn’t change.
Michael says more with his facial expressions and his throwing and stomping and biting (yes my kid bites) than his words ever do.
And it’s my job to interpret/read his emotions from his actions. Most of the time his horrible actions.
Yesterday I found myself in public saying: “you miss daddy don’t you.” As a response to him throwing trains. I love how as moms we feel the need to explain everything to everyone around us. Us poor moms.
Last night I was tired and running on empty. And I knew Michael was on empty too. He’s been dad-less for the past four days. No 5pm daddy coming in. No wresting and talks and star wars battles. No DADDA. Poor guy. You don’t just erase that part and still be okay 4 days later.
My kids are very different in what fills up their cups. Sometimes with Brielle it’s kisses all over her face and I feel her tank being filled and her security coming back. “Kiss me on my lips” brings a light to her eyes. “I love you THIS much.” Hands from here to here make her smile and warm inside. Sometimes it’s just lots of books and conversations. Connecting and talking. Communicating.
With Micael a lot of the time it’s tickling and wrestling and all the physical things Brenden is so good at. But he also loves talking about tomorrow. And what we did today. And praying. Which is amazing. I love that he loves praying.
Last night we read lots and lots of books. Lots of time on each page. Pointing to this and that. Not turning the page when I desperately wanted to be done. “That’s a grader. That’s a steam-roller. That’s an excavator. That’s a front loader.” Over and over. The details. The care. The time. It filled up his cup and he was happy.
The time I spend with my babies is what makes them feel secure.
And when they feel secure they go to sleep happy.
And when they sleep I sleep.
And we all wake up happy. And healthy. And then I can laugh at those harrowing/crazy conversations that only a toddler can create.
Time and attention. It’s priceless and more valuable than anything else on the planet. And it’s not an unlimited resource. Which is why I am so grateful that Brenden is on his way home.
Wow this post was all over the place! Kind of like our week.