Breaking Apart

Josh left on Saturday.  Twelve hours later than scheduled, which none of us can complain about... but it made our Sunday rough.  Rough, I tell you.  I had planned on working through all that sadness Saturday, and spending Sunday at my parents house.  Life had other plans when Josh's plane couldn't depart for Seattle because of freezing fog Saturday morning.  The next direct flight he could get from PDX to Anchorage (he didn't want to stop in Seattle if he didn't have to) was Saturday night.  So after a tearful drop off curbside, I turned around and picked him back up. It felt bizarre to say the least.  Blessed, but bizarre!

We spent Saturday together, swimming at the local pool & picking up dinner as a family one last time.  Then we got the boys down and Josh's dad took him to the airport.  Again.

I sat on the couch in our room, crying as they drove away.  It doesn't matter how long he's here, or how many times we've done it, being apart (or "breaking apart", as Wyatt calls it) never gets easier.

I still wish he was here.  I still miss him.  I still ache for him to help me parent these growing boys, hold me when I'm sad, and rub my feet. (Let's be honest... the foot rubs are pretty high on the list of things I miss now that I'm nine months pregnant.)

I put myself to bed early Saturday night and awoke to an inch and a half of snow on the ground Sunday.  Aside from the weather, our Sunday was not going to be what we'd envisioned anyway because my poor mom twisted her ankle and spent the day at Urgent Care making sure it wasn't broken.  Between the sudden weather change and our lack of any plans for the day, it spiraled a bit out of control.  

I kept managing to pull us back together, but all day I felt like I was hanging by a thread.  Get ready for the day, make our beds, break up a fight.  Feed them breakfast, brush their teeth, break up a fight.  Get out toys, start paying bills, break up a fight, demand sentence writing of the older two.  Finish paying bills, order winter coats, beat myself up for leaving their snow gear in Alaska, break up two more fights.  Feed them lunch, gear them up, go outside, listen to Wyatt complain about "always" walking in the snow "every time" even though this is the first snow we've had all year, and certainly the first snow he's ever seen in Washington.  Breathe.  Pray for strength & patience, remember my new years resolutions (be patient. no swearing), break said new years resolutions.  Damn it. sigh.

Like I said, rough day.

But we got through it.  Managed to pull together a nice dinner, let the kids have ice cream for dessert and choose two books each for story time before bed instead of the obligatory one.  I was feeling good.  After prayers Logan & Jack quickly fell asleep while Wyatt remained restless.  Eventually he came in my room, where I was continuing to work on my to-do list (I'm trying to be better prepared for our homeschool days) and asked if I would lay with him.  I obliged, as I typically do, and even brought my phone so we could listen to some JJ Heller (his favorite).  

But nothing was doing. He would not fall asleep.  Finally I asked him, "Why aren't you falling asleep, buddy?" And he responded with, "I'm just not tired.  I'm sad.  I'm sad daddy's not here."

I opened my arms and he crawled into them, sobbing on my chest.  And there he stayed, crying like that, for at least a half an hour.  "It's just so hard, breaking apart," he squeaked out in between tears, his little eyebrows all red & splotchy.  

I was crying, just as hard, right alongside him.  Watching him hurt, missing his daddy, was almost too much for my heart to take.  It was gut wrenching.  

It doesn't matter to him that Josh comes back in three weeks.  It doesn't matter to him that it's only for this school year or that we're halfway done... All that matters to his four year old heart is that his daddy wasn't here to read his bedtime story, brush his teeth or tuck him in.  Every day apart is one day too many.

So I just held him, letting him cry all his sads out, assuring him that breaking apart from Josh was the worst, and I totally understood how he felt.  It must have worked because finally he sat straight up and said, "I'm better", even though he clearly was not. His breath continued hiccuping until he fell asleep an hour and a half later, but he had decided that was enough.  So we picked out a big stack of bedtime stories & read each one on my bed, hanging tight to each other.

And I imagine that's how we'll get through the next few weeks...
hanging ever so tightly on to one another. 



Ashley B said...

Oh my gosh..."breaking apart"! Out of the mouths of babes! That's exactly what being separated feels like. Prayers for you and your sweet boys and hoping the next few weeks fly by quickly!

Tabitha Studer said...

this is beautiful, Shelly. heartbreakingly so, but still beautiful. There is no more perfect momma for your boys than you. Have you guys seen Inside Out yet? You and Wyatt sitting together crying reminds me of a small part in the movie about how beneficial sadness is to our souls - that we need to just sit with sadness sometimes - pretending that everything is fine and joyful is not helpful if we really are sad (that's something I tend to struggle with myself; just sitting with my sadness). You are amazing and I am proud to have you to look to as a momma role model. xxxox

Elini Vilardi said...

Gosh, this broke my heart reading it! I am so sorry this is so hard! You are doing a great job and just keep focusing on the fact that it is almost over! *hug*

Kasey said...

I can't even imagine how hard it must be to be apart this year. And I get how the extra time could totally throw you off (as much as it was appreciated). Hoping the next few weeks fly by and you are together as a family of SIX!

Mitchell Winslow said...

It seems that your family is full of love and loyalty for one another. It is a blessing from above to have a family who is so emotionally bonded together. My husband works out of town quite a bit as well, and it is very tough. There are times when my boys need their father, and when he is not home, I do my best to fill his place.

Mitchell Winslow @ Primary Care Associates - Lake Otis Urgent Care