I don’t think I have spent very much time on this blog talking about my family, have I? I used to have a mommy blog a few years ago, but when I began actively pursuing publishing Stones of Remembrance, I went through all of my old posts and decided to take the blog down because, for one, it was entirely depressing and there were times when I was maybe just a little too honest about parenthood. I don’t know why in the world anyone ever read that blog. We’ve been through so much, this little family of ours, and I tend to wear it all on my sleeve (or back then, my blog.). Taking it down was a wise choice, but leaves you without all of the fun anecdotes and diatribes about being a mom of two crazy boys.
Yes, my boys are crazy, in your face, screaming, laughing, wrestling, yelling, hyper, fun loving and adorable. See?Well, this trip home to Kelowna was my first ever trip alone with both of them. The last time I flew alone with a child was when Salem was around two years old, and I swore I would never do it again. That trip was the one in which I had to say goodbye to my childhood home as well as my parents marriage. It was also a trip that involved yet another 4:00 am arrival at the Kelowna airport for a 6 am flight home, which meant that I was a very emotionally drained and exhausted mommy flying solo with a really hyper two year old. I zoned so far out on the airplane that morning that I didn’t realize my little guy was kicking the seat in front of him repeatedly. The woman in that seat of course didn’t know the hell I’d been through in the past week, or how incredibly tired I was, so naturally, she turned around and yelled at me. I started sobbing uncontrollably. Thankfully Salem passed out a few minutes later.
This trip was much less eventful, but it was still full of difficulties that I did not expect. As we were on our first flight to Kelowna, I noticed that my youngest son’s (Josiah) eye was very red. By the time we landed, it was obvious he had pink eye, which always turns into an ear infection in his case.
Perfect. Pink eye and an ear infection and our insurance only covers emergencies. Knowing my sister is an all-natural-guru, I texted my mom once we landed and asked if they could Google some home remedies.
Well, we got our remedies, as well as the lovely “Polysporin anti-biotic drops” that they sell over the counter in Canada (among other wonderful and helpful drugs that are readily available there — no I’m not talking about weed. MUSCLE RELAXERS. Sweet Heaven, thank you Jesus for those!), but for the first five days of the trip I was hounded by an extremely whiny five year old. I tell you, I’ve never been so sick of hearing the word “Mommy” in my entire life. Nasally and pathetic, every. five. minutes.
From there, my oldest was getting stomach aches repeatedly during the day. Then the pink eye and ear infection cleared up and the youngest got the tummy aches, except his would wake him up at three am — or rather, get him up, because he was rarely ever actually awake — meaning that everyone was woken up at three am every night . . .
Along with the issues I’ve already mentioned dealing with — the bizarre insecurity spike, and the new lenses with which I saw my hometown and some of the relationships there, my kids being whiny and sick yet still active and wanting to go-go-go, the kicker was that my husband wasn’t there to help me bear those burdens. Not only did I miss having his hands to lighten the load, but his support and physical presence in the midst of those situations was lacking and I felt it.
As a married mom in DFW, I already have to fight to rise above the judgements I feel from this direction or that about how I raise my kids and what I do or don’t allow them to participate in. Being on my own and dealing with those rambunctious, sickly boys with my family and friends I haven’t seen in years was extremely difficult.
There was only one parent to discipline: me. There was only one parent to ask questions of: me. There was only one parent to provide needs: me. There was only one me. I had to take care of everything they needed while trying to keep my head above the surface of all I was experiencing as well. It was harder than I ever imagined it would be.
Oh. My. Word. I have always said that I esteem single moms, but especially after this trip, being so exhausted and tired and run down, I want to cook all of them dinner and send them to the spa. If I could, I would.
So I guess this is really an ode to my husband, because he is a great father, a great spouse, and just knowing that he is in the building helps my heart feel more secure. He was so missed on this trip, by the boys and I, as well as my family and friends. When he isn’t with us, there is a significant void, and I am so thankful that at this moment he is sitting across from me, tucked into the loveseat with our five year old who is now pink eye and ear infection free, but still has remnants of that tummy ache that plagued us. I don’t have to deal with it alone anymore, and for that single reason, I am truly blessed.
How have you had to walk outside of your comfort zone recently? How did you cope?