Monday, January 4, 2010

Never Happy?

Back in August, my daughter started Kindergarten. Not half day two or three times a week, but all day 8:15 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday Kindergarten. I was torn between being happy that she was getting to be such a big girl, and had dreams of all the time I would have for writing during the day while she was at school, but then there were other days where I was sad. Sad to realize that she was no longer my baby, she was a big girl who would soon make lots of new friends, and have lots of new adventures without me.

My husband and I took her to school the first day, and I was so proud of myself for not crying in front of her. I managed to keep it together until we were walking back down the stairs to leave. My vision was suddenly blurry, and I had to stop on the stairs to collect myself so I wouldn’t go top over teakettle down the rest. I got myself under control, and once home, had the most productive morning of my life. Ever.

It was strange to be in the house alone, knowing that R was at work, as always, but still listening for the rustling movement of my angry midget, a peel of laughter at the cat’s antics, the sound of her voice as she tried to train the dog, but all that answered my ears was silence. A few times, I started to go look for her, to see what she was getting into, because she had to be getting into something, she had been quiet for too long, only to realize that she wasn’t home, she was in some else’s care for the day.

Here I had spent the majority of the summer looking forward to the first day of school so I could get really serious about my writing, and when the first day arrived, I did everything but write. I did every household chore I could think of to surround myself with M’s things. I did laundry and put her clothes away. I cleaned her room. I sorted out her too small clothes. And I missed her more than I ever thought I possibly could. That is, until I was ready to leave for an appointment with the insurance agent.

There was no one else to coordinate with, so I was ready to go in less than 5 minutes. In the car, I turned to see if she was buckled in her car seat yet, and had a moment of panic when she wasn’t there, but all of that was cake compared to the punch to the solar plexus that I received when I started the car and her favorite song was on the radio. I lost it. Right there in my driveway, I just fell apart. I missed her so much, and I felt so silly because she was just at school. I would be picking her up in just a few hours, but in that moment, it felt like the world was finding every opportunity to point out that she had moved on to the next stage in her life, and left me behind with her board books and sippy cups.

I eventually got used to her being away all day, and fell into a rhythm. Then Christmas break came knocking…

I was dreading it. Twenty-one days of cold and snow, and the first seven were before Christmas so there wouldn’t even be any new toys to keep her busy.

Somehow I managed, but the whole time I was counting the days until school started back up and I was able to get back to my routine. Now, here I am sitting in bed, un willing to get up and go to the gym, because I miss her, and wish I had just one more day of Christmas vacation with her because there is still so much I want to do with her. I was up when she left this morning with her dad (I was able to save her from a dad induced hair emergency) and actually felt a tear roll down my cheek when I closed the door behind them.

This leads me to ask the question: Are we as mothers, fathers, people in general, society as a whole, ever really happy? Do we even know how to be happy? Or are we doomed to always want that which we cannot have, or which we have just given up? Is there a way to just be happy with what we have, who we are, and where we are in life, or is it just not in the human DNA to just accept and survive without longing for something else, something different, something past, or something just out of reach?

Mom’s are supposed to have all the answers, but this is one thing I don’t think I’ll ever have the answer to no matter how long I live, or how many years I am a mother.


  1. Awe.. what a sweet post.
    As much as I bitch and moan and grumble about home schooling.. this is a big part of why I'd never have it any other way. No matter how hard it is, I know that for me it would be harder to have them gone.

    I do believe it is possible to be content with our lives and ourselves.. I know because I've been there. Even though, at the time, I was still muddling through bouts of depression and daily frustration, deep down I was content and didn't want a thing to change. I'd love to feel that way again.

  2. I don't have any childeren so i can't offer any insite into your situation... But this year i learned a little bit about family seperation anxiety.
    I have live in arkansas away from my family,with the exception of my sister, for roughly seven years. Aside from the occasional homesickness, i have been fine. A year ago my sister left just before christmas.
    Now understand... My sister and i are really close. There is a four year age gap. In the 28 years she has been on this earth, we have only lived away from each other 5 years (2 yrs i was in iowa, 2yrs she was in AR w/o me and this past year w/ her in PA) and have lived under different roofs for approx. the same amount of time. Her moving away from me changed EVERYTHING! Similar to you, the day of her move, i found every household chore needing tended to (even some that didn't)
    and burried myself in it... Anyhing to keep myself from looking up to see her belongings were no longer in my house...
    She has come back to visit twice this year. Everytime she has left i have had issues getting back into my "normal" routine...but the major blows didnt hit until this holiday season. With her and I living in arkansas together without any other family in the state, naturally we were always the center of each others celebration. This year i was here without her...and it was, to say the least, an emotionally taxing time for me. Spent pretty much all thanksgiving in bed crying. Couldnt even answer her call that day. Sent her a text explaining how hearing her voice and her plans (that i wasnt a part of) would only make it worse.
    i think a big part of my anxiety is due to our emotional bond...however, another active part is the fact that humans are creatures of habit and the only consistancy in life is change tself. She was one of my "spike" . I used her presence as my focal point. No matter how many spins and quick turns my life made, i could glance in her direction and feel the overwhelming dizziness fade...
    Nowadays, i try to find comfort in my own strength... And somehow find comfort in the fact that by her being in a "seperate" world from mine, she is influencing other people and theoretically her qualities may return to me in different shoes.

  3. Thanks for the comments ladies. I'm glad I finally saw these, I just wish I had seen them when you originally posted them. :/

    Steph,what a lovely way to look at things, and as a means to cope with the distance.

    Megan, I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating, you are so talented to take on the task of homeschooling 5 kids. I am in constant awe.


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