***Disclaimer: to any family that reads this, I AM FINE. Just a very bad day, as I will explain. Do not worry or panic, I am not on the edge of disaster!***
Do you ever have days that you just want to start over? Days where all the elements do not mesh and the best thing to do is try again? Unfortunately, time does not work this way, so we still have to live through the rough and terrible days. Today was one of mine.
I can always tell when the girls wake up what kind of day it’s going to be – if they are grouchy, it’s going to be tough. All three of them were dragging themselves to breakfast and whining. Lorelei started preschool again today, and despite the fact that she was excited about this and we had discussed it at length, she threw quite the fit when it was time for me to leave her there. She has been there before, she knows all the kids in her class, and she has been itching to go back for months. Her teacher told me she stayed that way for quite some time but eventually calmed down. Keep in mind that as I’m trying to peel a screaming four year old off my leg, I’m also trying to drag a kicking two year old out the door who actually wants to be there! Anyways, that was difficult, and even though Lorelei and I discussed how the next time she would be better, I have a feeling it will be rough again.
I was really looking forward to some Addie and Mommy time, since Andy and I have wondered if maybe some extra alone time with her would make her less needy (so far, this theory is false, but we still try). We went to the gym and even played with the basketballs together, then went to wash the car. The Italians have been burning a lot of wood and brush as part of the holiday season, and our car was covered in ashes. I took it to a self-service car wash and left Addie to watch from inside. What could she do besides climb the seats and play with her toys, right?
Well, I made the mistake of accidentally leaving my keys in the car. And since God has a cruel sense of humor, Addie locked the doors and could not (or would not) open the doors. I burst into tears, screaming and pounding on my windows trying to make her understand, which did not do anything. I managed to speak and point enough Italian, because keep in mind I am at an Italian gas station, to get some attendants to help. In fifteen very long minutes and a lot of wiggling with wires, the men were able to unlock the door. I hugged them and cried even harder; they refused to take my money and just shook their heads at the crazy American lady sobbing. I know what you’re thinking – how dumb are you to leave your keys in the car? Pure accident, but an accident I will NEVER allow to happen again. I’m thinking of having my keys just sewn onto my wrist or something. I have never been more scared or embarassed.
After this, I managed to swallow the bile in my throat and take us to the grocery store. At this point, I did not want to go anywhere but unfortunately, we needed milk and dog food badly. We were doing okay, then Addie took off in the store. She threw food off the shelves and gave me a good run before I finally caught her. I went to my last card and strapped her tightly into the cart. I use this last because she hates this and screams the entire time she is in it. I looked into my half empty cart and burst into tears again. I love that little girl, but she breaks my spirits frequently.
This continued through the post office, where I discovered that I STILL have no mail. I heard more “Somebody’s not very happy”s in five minutes than I have heard all of Lorelei’s life. We went to pick up Lorelei, and as soon as her teacher began describing how awfully she handled her first day back, I could feel the tears welling up again. I managed to bite my cheek and compose myself long enough to get us all back in the car. Once I shut the doors, I lost it again. We’re talking full on sob fest. I don’t even know how I could see driving home. All day, it has been this way. As I’m making Anya’s birthday cake, she complains about the color of frosting, even though it is the color she asked for. The tears flowed. Lorelei asks if Daddy will call Anya for her birthday. I’m a wet mess. Addie comes up after nap and kisses my cheek for no reason, then immediately hits her sister. Bawling like a baby.
During a deployment, I will have a few days like this. I think everyone needs the day to just cry and get it all out – even the strongest people cannot be strong all the time. However, this is a little early for me to be doing this, and I usually hide it from the kids. I want them to know I’m sad, but I also don’t want them to think their mom is losing her mind. This could all be attributed to the day itself – you have to admit, this was NOT a good day. What I also know is that during every bad moment, today and every other day, I find myself wanting to tell Andy. I want him to be home so I can complain and he can laugh it off for me or try to make it better. I want the help of my husband and my children’s father. I wish for a partner who can share ALL these experiences with me in the moment, the moments we will laugh about when we are old. But he isn’t always here, and to be honest, that is the big part of the tears. A husband is someone who shares everything with you. I know that no matter where he is and how much or little we keep in contact that he is still my partner. But days like today make me wish he was physically here. I could really use the hug and assuring words that Andy can give me.
So as I sit here, crying yet again as I think about my deployed husband and my terrible day, I hope that tomorrow is a better. Each day, whether together or apart, is challenging, and I know that I can rise to the challenge and overcome them, including mischievous Addie. There are no do-overs; I will not get this time back, even the bad times and the time apart. And despite my tears, I would not trade a minute of my life with my husband and our life together. It is a difficult but so worth it to have the love of my life as my husband, partner, and best friend. So, as they say, tomorrow is another day…