Sometimes this month is harder than it feels.

For the most part, I had an awesomely relaxing weekend. Friday my boss let me off a little early for good behavior (and partly, I’m sure, from the start raving mad look in my eyes) and once I finished my workout, I did not move from the couch all. night. long. Saturday I somehow managed to be incredibly productive: I cleaned out the craft room guest room Auntie Kim’s room and washed her sheets and quilt and sorted through four bags of donatable goods and unburied my rolltop desk and reconnected my sewing machine once I had cleared off its desk and sorted through the debris that quite literally covered the floor. Oh, and I also made a Target run, brought books back to the library, sold a box of books to the used book store and had my watch fixed. See? Productive! I even had time to watch the most exciting day of the Tour de France and go out on a fancy-pants date.

That is how this month is supposed to feel. It’s supposed to be a time to quietly relax and reflect on how much I miss my children when they’re at their dad’s; to catch my breath and have time for a massive project or two in between all of the relaxing.

But. Then on Sunday I got a phone call. I didn’t catch the house phone in time. When I saw it was the Ex’s cell phone, my heart skipped a beat or twenty. I was afraid it was another one of Those Calls. I worried when no one answered when I called right back, but then I heard my cell phone ringing in my purse. I answered and just about fell to the floor when I heard one of my girls on the other end crying hysterically. “Gracie, what’s wrong? Are you okay? What’s wrong, baby?” I tried not to panic.

“<Sobbing> I… <more sobs>…just… <hiccups> miss you.”

Is it possible for your heart to settle down and break at the same time? Because that is when July sent me a swift kick to the throat. My girls were okay. No one was hurt. There wasn’t an accident. Their father hadn’t gone into any kind of emergency medical distress leaving the girls to find help (something the girls and I have talked about how to handle, given his medical history). Still – hearing your daughter beg you through gut-wrenching sobs to come pick her up wasn’t a stroll down the beach, either.

I tried to calm her down. I tried to soothe her with my slow and steady talking, asked her easy questions to answer (and still only got a yes or no in between hitching tears) and reminded her when I would see her again. Truth be told, what I wanted to say was that I was getting in my car and would be there in five minutes. But I didn’t think the Ex would really let me do that. And probably it wouldn’t have been the best parental lesson to teach the girls that one of us would bail them out anytime something happened; I figured Gracie had done something wrong or had gotten in trouble. We couldn’t play good parent, bad parent.

After a few more minutes, Gracie accidentally hung up on me and the Ex called me back to say that Bee was fine (my kid was crying so hard I couldn’t tell who it was! Also? Apparently she didn’t feel like correcting me. Heh) and that she was just tired and unhappy with not getting her way. Just as I had thought.

Still – I wasn’t quite as relaxed after that as I had been. July is supposed to be about having fun and breaking rules and recharging our batteries. But all I could think of was last weekend when I brought the girls back to their dad’s, Bee had cried and sobbed and begged me to let her stay with me. I knew then that she would be fine five minutes after I left (and I’m sure she was), and I know how she cries when her dad drops her off at my house sometimes, so I tried to brush it off. But after the second episode in two weeks, I’m feeling kinda helpless.

Next week will come soon enough, as I reminded Gracie/Bee. We will be on our way to Grandma’s and the beach and the arcades and all kinds of fun. Then Auntie Kim will be here for a month and we’ll have even more fun. We’re almost back to better-than-normal. We can totally do this… it’s just that I haven’t ever ended July performing deep cleansing breaths to stave off my child’s heartache quite like this.

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2 Responses to “Sometimes this month is harder than it feels.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    I know this feeling all too well and my heart breaks for you. I have recieved that type of phone call from both of the children. And, since I have a son & a daughter it is really horrible when you can’t tell them apart on the phone. Bee is fine. Gracie is fine. And, I hate to tell you this, but you will hurt from that phone call much longer than they will.

    You did the right thing though, not running to the rescue. A lesson I have learned the hard way.

    Hugs.

  2. Gayle Says:

    You are right, the week will fly by and then your girls will be back with you. I think you were so smart to not run over and get Bee. I can feel how hard that was for you. Hugs!

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