Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Number Four and The Help just left

I am plus a baby

minus a mother



We have a new baby.
There are tell tale signs. The most patent of these being when I pushed him out. So. . . I'm pretty sure.

Here are some others:

As predicted, my belly is not big and tight any more, it is big and gushy.
I sleep really well now - but only for about three hours at a time.
My kids have watched Matilda 26 times in one week.
We have done no lessons in three weeks.
I sit in my rocker for hours every day.
I have read three books in three weeks.
I don't go to church anymore.


Here is the sure sign that the mother is gone - the MOTHER - the I can do anything despite being sixty something and in pain most of the time MOTHER:

That's the sure sign that she is gone.

The airport scene was awful. Since Cecily was pretty much resigned to having lost me as a person who could do anything for her over the month that Nana was here, I was pretty sure parting would be most painful for her. When I pulled the car up to the drop-off curb the tears started, but not for Cecily. Nana cried which made Jonah cry, and Caroline cry, but not Cecily.

Cecily turned her head. She wouldn't say goodbye, she wouldn't give Nana a hug. Her eyes were confused and filled with tears she would not let spill over. I suppose she thought if she wouldn't say good bye, Nana wouldn't go.

I got out to hug my Mom and steal from her little frame any emotional strength she might have in reserve to fortify myself for the remainder of the day. My first day of me and four kids by myself. After having her here for a month, letting go was difficult.

I thought it was difficult for me, but when I looked back at the car Jonah and Caroline were standing in the front of the van, both of them sobbing into their hands, giving a sad little wave every now and again and then dropping their tearful faces while their shoulders shook with the awful grief of it all.

We waved to Nana as we drove away, Ewan crying by this time as well. But still Cecily was quiet. Until we made our way through the drop-off circuit and headed for the freeway. Jonah and Caroline had quieted by then and Cecily's little voice declared "I want to say goodbye. I WANT TO SAY GOODBYE." She sensed the reality of separation. She was desperate. As we came around heading east on I-80 Cecily saw a plane taking off just in front of us and waved yelling, "Goodbye Nana, Goodbye!"

Nita Sue - you specialize in making yourself utterly indispensable - on both sides of the country. I hear they are crying their own tears back in New York waiting for you to come home.

The next morning, when I got Cecily our of bed I changed her diaper for the first time since Ewan was born. Nearly a month of her little two-year-old bottom being farmed out to be cleaned up by other hands.

It took me nearly a week to do my first load of laundry. And I've yet to fold it.

Good bye Nana.

We miss you.