Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Still Counting the Days

Minne-Mama is on Facebook! 'Like' us to stay updated on our fun crafts and activities!
Thank you for stopping by!

When Joe was at basic training, I listened to the song "Still Counting the Days" by Goldfinger a lot. While not all of the lyrics fit our situation, I still find myself humming that song (as well as a few others) when he is away.

Joe has been away for various work trainings a lot lately. Sunday he left and won't be back until March. A few weeks ago he was gone just over a week and last week it was three days. It is hard. The last few times that he was at work training in the spring and summer, Skyler was too little to really get it. He would look for Joe, and I knew that he was missing him, but now he talks. So many times throughout the day when Joe should be around, Skyler says "Daddy? Dada?" so I say "Daddy is at work. Daddy is still at work! Isn't that weird?" What else can I say? He looks for Joe's car in the afternoon, runs to his side of bed in the morning, and I don't have simple words to say that will help him understand why daddy isn't there. We try to Skype, but he usually can't until after Skyler is in bed. Every time we are on the phone when Skyler is awake I put Joe on speaker phone, and that is always fun for Skyler. 

At ECFE class yesterday, I was talking to a friend when she suddenly said "are you okay?" I stood there and thought about it...well I am hungry and tired because I find it harder to feed myself without Joe there to help with Skyler, and I don't sleep well when he is away, but I think I am okay. What about my behavior right now is showing I am not okay? I realized I hadn't smiled since I got into class and as someone who smiles a lot, I am sure that was a big tip off, but I know I didn't seem as happy overall. By the end of class, I had a lot of laughs and just enjoyed talking with the other parents. I needed it. They are my village. When I took the new mama class at Amma Parenting Center (With Sara Pearce, the owner. She is incredible!) we were always told that it takes a village to raise a child. I am so lucky to have an amazing village to help me raise Skyler, but when my partner in parenting is gone, I feel it...a lot. And I guess I don't hide it very well.

Everything is a challenge (or more of one). Doing every dish, changing every diaper, being the only one to comfort Skyler if he is sick, trying to do every errand with Skyler in tow, being the fixer if something goes wrong at home... Everything just feels different when it goes from all three of us to just me and Skyler. It takes awhile to get used to it, if I even do before Joe is back (really hoping I do before March though). Whether it is three days, a week, a month, or more, it is always lonely putting Skyler to bed and not having Joe here to talk about our days or watch Netflix on the couch.

I have been trying to think of ways to not only help Skyler cope with Joe's absence, but to help me cope as well. We are giving this a try.

Around the holidays, I saw this paper chain, counting down the days until Christmas. Then, a few days ago, I saw this paper heart chandelier. The day Joe left, all of a sudden these ideas mashed in my head, so we made a heart paper garland countdown today, to use until Joe comes home. 

My hope with the chain, is that even though I cannot really tell Skyler when daddy is coming home in a way that he will understand, we will talk about the chain being the days daddy is gone and as we cut the hearts off one by one, he will be able to visually see the chain getting smaller. I am not going to lie, as someone who made a calendar when Joe was at basic training and marked off a square for every day of those three and a half months, I am looking forward to watching the chain shrink every day. I think this will become a tradition for Skyler and I, no matter how many days daddy is gone, we will make a paper chain and watch the days fall away.

The teacher in me is excited to have Skyler practice cutting with this paper garland. I got him a set of safety scissors, and he had a great time cutting off our first three hearts tonight (with a little help from mama). Seeing a slightly less full garland makes me happier already!

Of course, this is quite festive looking for the month of February and would make a beautiful and easy decoration, countdown or not.

No comments:

Post a Comment