Hey there. So, I have not posted in a long while. My new job started about a month ago … for which I get up at 4:30 in the morning (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) so that I can pack lunches, make breakfast, dress the kids, shower and dress me, and get some grading or prepping done (usually the grading and prepping come first). It wipes me out so deeply that my brain is chopped liver by the time I get home so I drag myself through dinner, checking my kids’ homework, baths/showers, and bedtime and very often pass out with the kids when I put them to bed. Those times I push myself to stay up to prep or grade I get about 20 minutes of work done in 2 hours. I just don’t have the endurance of mind and body I did 20 years ago! Sigh.
So, this blog? Pretty much the bottom of my priorities list. But, self-care seems to be getting down there, too, and since I see this as self-care, I am going to force myself to keep writing. But, in smaller bites, now and then.
Moments in my present life bring to mind moments of my life with him. Painful moments. Or sad moments. Or confusing moments. Brief. Flashes of memory.
Smaller Bite One
Packing lunches. I packed lunches this morning. It was light out because it is a holiday today for us but I am sending them to camp. I need a day to work. I need a day to be alone. So, I packed lunches when it was light out.
Lately, though, I have been packing lunches in the dark. Alone. Peaceful. First one up. Heat up the pasta or the rice to go into the superhero thermos. Ice and water in the drinking bottles. Chocolate covered oreos for one, M&M cookies for the other. Dried seaweed for one. Peaches for both. I could pack carrots, but they just get thrown out. Chips. Goldfish. Forks. Napkins with notes. I love you. Have a good day. I am so proud of you.
Before I started packing lunches, he did. He always packed the lunches. Only him. He would sit at the dining table. Kids eating instant dino egg oatmeal or cold cereal. He on the other side of the table. Mixing tuna and mayo for a sandwich. Bagging cookies. Bagging fruit. Packing it all up. For his audience.
He said it was so that they knew what was in their lunches, so they felt they participated and thus would be more likely to eat it. I think he needed to be watched, seen, most of all, celebrated for his work. His work had to be visible. Daddy does this for you. Daddy loves you. Mommy is tired, no, she can’t join us, let’s be nice, let’s let her sleep in.
But I was not sleeping. Never. Not in the morning. I was curled up in a ball in pain. I think I told you this already, right?
My absence was part of his performance. Daddy makes lunches. Mommy sleeps. Daddy loves you. Mommy is tired.
A bite, every day. A wound. A little bit more of me ripped off.
But, I make the lunches now. Alone. When it is still dark outside and the boys are still asleep. No audience (well, but you now). I fry the bacon. I make the sunny side up egg. Sourdough toast for one. Whole wheat with cream cheese for the other. Sometimes oatmeal. Sometimes dim sum bbq pork buns. Sometimes soup. It is safe and quiet and I am free, not locked in a self I no longer recognize or a room I fear to leave.
Smaller bites do heal, but you have to beat away the beast.