Something Good

I made the mistake of getting mentally prepared to solo parent for the week...just for the week.
Until Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock. I could do it.

And I did. We survived a week without daddy. We've done it before {tough couple of months} and we'll do it again {jury duty}. But it's not fun. The kids miss the teasing and the roughhousing. They miss the silly parent. They miss their dad.

We got into a pretty great routine. Things were smooth, consistent. We were doing well together, just the three of us.
Cause we had to. You know how it is.

Friday -- two very excited boys watched the sky for his jet. They are bouncing up and down, yelling "daddy daddy!!" We got plenty of looks. Mostly smiles. :) After-all, the little one was sporting his shirt/diaper/socks combo -- totally cute, right? So. Daddy returns, lots of hugs and tickles and upside-down elevator rides. "Here's your big welcome home pear muffin and green drink, daddy!" And after picking up four little pumpkins at the farm, we head home.

And the transition phase begins. I call it "re-entry". You know...the point where you better have your heat shields up?

I just don't know how y'all do it -- those of you who only see your spouse on the weekends, or even worse once a month or less. Maybe it's just me, but the "on and off" stuff in relationships is very hard for me to cope with. I want you here with me. I want you to conversate with me. Lots. About meaningful things. I want your attention, your complements, your love. I disconnect when you're away.

Can anyone relate to that? I think that might be called high maintenance. But I don't expect lots of gifts -- you can keep your flowers, chocolate and romantic cards. Strange, I know.

Ezra tried to pour himself some milk today {probably because both parents thought it was the weekend} and instead dumped it all over the floor. And it was figuratively the last straw for me. I didn't want to clean up any more messes. I didn't want to fulfill any more demands. I didn't want to be the solo parent, anymore. I was done. Exhausted.

But parenting never stops. And co-parenting requires one of the biggest feats of communication known to....well, me. I'm sure there are other crisis situations where clear, efficient communication is vital. I just so badly wish we could data share electronically sometimes -- share brain files instantly. No talking required. {Yes, I just said I want to talk a lot...but just the pleasant talk, ya know? Never been a big fan of crisis. Or misunderstandings.}

But we have to re-enter.
We'll have to talk it out. We want to team parent. We want to enjoy family time, all together. But we also have personal needs and very opposite personalities that don't always make sense to the other person. And we parent differently, so the children are dealing with the initial  inconsistencies and confusion. The first day of all-together-again can be pretty rough.

And knowing that we'll have to do it all over again soon -- super duper rough.

I have to muster every remaining ounce of emotional energy to try to maximize the time we do have together. And to focus on positive connection -- not giving up the fight because "he'll be gone again soon anyway".

My eyes are dry. My head hurts. My husband works very hard. I appreciate him. Parenting is very hard work. Marriage can be even harder.

It was a hard day. But sandwiched in between all that hard conversation and tears was an hour of blissful happy outdoor play. All together. Tossing and jumping in leaves. It was very good. And I appreciated those moments all the more because of the contrast, I think.

Being real,