Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Never wish it!

This summer I spent 5 weeks away from my husband and my five darling children. I stayed at home in LA to attend summer classes while they spent their summer in Utah at my in-laws house. In the months preceding this summer, I would have moments of stress immediately alleviated just by the thought of, "Well, I'll have 5 weeks to myself so I can worry about really cleaning the house well when they are gone," or when they were fighting, "Gosh, it'll be so nice to have a break from all that noise and conflict!" When the time came I did enjoy myself immensely for the first week. I did about everything I could do alone. I went to my classes of course, but I went rowing on my free mornings, I took a sailing class, I rollerbladed along the beach path, I biked the beach path, I went to the beach with friends, I hiked in the mountains, I read great books, I began working on Atticus' quilt, I cleaned (a little), I did homework (at the last minute), I helped a friend learn English, etc. but after a week I started to feel the loneliness seeping into the silence of my new life. For the last 10 years I've been a full time mom, no breaks, no outside jobs, no nothing. Just changing diapers, cleaning, cooking, attending to my every child's need, being pregnant five times, losing weight five times, balancing everything, but most of all feeling needed. For the first time in my life I didn't feel needed and it was painful. Really painful. Painful to think that in this great big world full of so many people, me, little Christine, is indispensable. I didn't like feeling that. I didn't like thinking that my only role in this world is that of a mother, even though that is really the most important role I could possibly have. "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" right? It's not like I stopped being a mom just because my kids were far away, but I got worried that if something should ever happen to them, how would I find purpose in life again? It would be so smart to prepare a little ahead of time. Eventually they will shun my company and then spread their wings and fly out into the world on their own. I will remain alone. I will have Jonathan of course, but he will always have his career too. What will I have? If being needed is what I crave then I'd better work on a career with people. I do really love people. Each person is so interesting to me. I am glad that I am preparing to be a teacher. I already teach a class at church on Sundays and I love that.
Last week I was reunited with my kids. It was beautiful. I tried to have a snugglefest with them in bed with lots of pillows but it only lasted about 5 minutes. They were happy to see me but they still were living their normal life. They still had lego projects to build. Helen still wanted to putter around the house holding her stuffed puppy. I tried to read to them, but they didn't want to sit still or maybe the shark book Sherman chose wasn't interesting for them. I eventually just sat around observing them for the day. It's not like me to sit inside all day, but I did. I only ran one errand but it was because I had to. I'm so grateful for my kids. What more can I say. They provide me with daily worthwhile activities. I resolve conflicts, I get to comb Helen's hair while she cries, I get to brush Sherman's tresses because he doesn't reach the back of his head so well, I get to giggle inside about Atticus' swoopy Zach Efron hair, I get to be puzzled at Cinci and how he sits on a couch all day thinking, and Hector is so soft and sweet. He says, "Mommy, I love you and you love me," probably every week. I appreciate his simple thoughts and his honesty. I wish everyone could be as honest as he is. It's probably my favorite quality in people. Helen, of course, is a cute tiny person right now who is absorbing everything. I've been trying to read to her every night so she can absorb something other than the bathroom talk she hears all day from her brothers.
My latest joy has been reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" to the boys. They are riveted like never before. The attention they pay to my voice as I read is almost tangible. Boo Radley is too fascinating and mysterious for them. Thanks Harper Lee!

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Yay! I really enjoy your posts and have missed them. Even after seeing you last week I didn't know you had spent five weeks alone! What an interesting experience. I had a similar one when we moved back to Utah from Seattle. Almost five weeks of work left while Michelle and the kids went ahead to Utah. I recognized some of your emotions. I'm not a Mother so it's a little different and I learned from your perspective. I'm going to email you right now like I promised so we can get connected properly. We will be in LA from Thu August 7th to Tue the 12th. Beach day is Saturday the 9th. I will let you know details later. There is one potential hiccup. One of our relatives has been having eye surgeries. It is possible we may alter or cancel our beach day plans depending on how he is doing etc.
Always a pleasure to see you guys. I guess we had better soak up some of your light before you leave for the other side of the world again :(