Sunday I did something that even I didn't see coming. This momma suggested her girls stay with their dad for a week, 6 hours away from me with their dad.
Let me explain. My girls have never had an overnight with their dad (long story). Now that some circumstances have changed......ultimately it comes down to this... One day, in the future, my daughters will look at me. They will hug me and with tears in their eyes, they will either accuse me of being the reason they never knew their father or they will thank me for doing everything possible to encourage a relationship with their dad and sister. I chose the second option.
So with sadness and joy, during a visit from their dad, I offered him the opportunity to take the girls back to his home in another state for a week. He was overjoyed at the suggestion. Within 12 hours my girls were packed and headed to a destination 6 hours away where I can not sing them to bed, kiss little Olaya's every bump away and hold my Bella ever so close.
Overall, I knew this was the right thing to do. Knowing it would hurt didn't hinder my decision. Yet, I didn't know exactly how painful and empowering it would feel, at the same time.
This is the first.....FIRST time I have no kids home. Sure they have spent the night away. But this, this is different. My boys are with their dad for a week. The girls are with their dad for a week. This momma has had the evenings to myself for almost an entire week so far.
Right after the girls left with their dad Sunday evening (just for the evening), after I suggested he take them for the week, I wanted to eat. I wanted to physically hurt from eating. I wanted to visit every fast food place I could and eat nothing but comfort foods that could dull my pain (in a way).
Instead I meditated. I talked with friends. I watched some tv shows I have wanted to catch up on.
Second hard part came yesterday during all the festivities. A dear friend offered to let me spend the day with him, his kids and his extended family. The day was uncomfortable for me. What does a woman do at parades and BBQ's when they don't have children to keep an eye on, entertain of chase? Not sure how it happened but I ended up talking with all the guys....not that way. I am guessing since all the sisters and sister in laws see their men all the time they wanted to visit and chat with each other. I, on the other hand, didn't really know any of them so I stayed pretty close to my friend who was also pretty close to all the other men at the events. You know. You have seen it. All the women are on one side of the yard/room/dance floor and all the men are on the other. Sort of the same thing. Only I was over on the "other side". It was a fun time. I got some great mortgage shopping advice and had the most awesome grilled steak.
The pain came that night during fireworks. I can not describe the pain I felt as we prepared to go to the hill to set up our spot to watch from. I physically ached for my girls.....for my boys as well but I have been doing the "every other holiday" for almost 10 years. As the fireworks went off, I could see their beauty and hear the patriotic music playing but I was feeling pretty numb. My arms ached to feel my girls wrapped snuggly up to me. However, I got through it. Good friends understand when they just need to let you cry.
I am grateful the girls are having an amazing time with their dad, his wife and their new sister. I wouldn't want it any other way. My desire IS for them to grow in a relationship with all of them. To come home with an abundance of memories and a desire for more. I am grateful for this time alone (wow, who said that?) It is nice to read when I want. Go to bed when I want. Sleep with no kids in my bed. Soak in the tub without barbie joining me. I don't want it for much longer, but it has been a little break for me.
On the flip side....I want them with me. I don't want to know that someone else is kissing their owies, reading them bed time stories or playing at the pool with them. I don't want to hurt when they are away. I don't want to be forgotten, replaced. I want to be the mother that can give them everything they can possible need.
See the struggle. I rejoice in this time they have with their dad and I also struggle to breathe while they are away.
That said, I was somehow able to give this pain to my Heavenly Father. I have stayed busy with good things for my body. I have fed it with clean whole foods and have continued to exercise daily. The pain of them being gone is enough. I do not want to add guilt and shame to my list of pains right now. Nor do I want to break abstinence. I am at day 16. Feeling good. No chocolate bar is worth losing that many days or the joy of hitting my 90 day mark.
So there you have it. This week has been a week of growth. I have made good choices even when a pint of chocolate brownie ice cream would have felt good to drown my sorrows in. A new chapter is starting for my girls, and me.
Two days and they are home.