Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bittersweet Homecoming...

Sierra and Jared came home tonight. My heart is once again complete...but at what expense? :(

Sierra seems happy to be home, content to model her newly acquired clothing and share stories of her visit. She tried on several outfits before finally choosing which one she will wear to school tomorrow. It's nearly 11 and I'm still waiting for her to head to bed. Predictable and comforting in some odd way.

Jared, on the other hand, is broken hearted. As mentioned below, he is an emotional being...much like his Mom. He was fine at the airport and in the car. It wasn't until we began unpacking his suitcase that he started to cry...heart-wrenching, body-wracking sobs. It brought me to tears. We sat on his bed while he described his goodbye from his Dad. Darin couldn't go through security with them, and the line was barely moving. Jared said he kept looking back at Darin, who had tears in his eyes...and it was "like a slow death...the line wouldn't move and we just had to stand there and watch Dad cry." Jared described his life..."half of my heart is always on the other side of the country. I have my Mom and family here and my Dad and family there....and I can never have them both in the same place." He said some kids say, "My life sucks, my Dad yelled at me last night and blah blah blah. So, I tell them, 'at least you can see your Dad.' I know I will always miss someone. I will go out there again and have to say goodbye to you again, then I will have fun there and have to say goodbye to them again and I will come home to my family again and get comfortable with my life and have to say goodbye again. It will never, ever end." While in the airport, Jared told me that Darin "is growing up, Mom...he has really gotten a handle on his anger and didn't flip out on me once this time". Of course, Sierra tells a different story of a few times he went "bi-polar" on her...but she seems to get the brunt of his frustration anyway. So, I sat there, rubbing my sons back, hearing his pain and knowing that in some way, I am responsible for part of it. I told Jared (again) how hard I tried to make things work with Darin, and that I am so sorry for his pain. Truth is, I followed that guy back and forth on the West coast several times trying to make him take responsibility for his children. I reached a point that I realized it wasn't meant to be...not long after that, Steve came into my life.

While Jared truly appreciates Steve (his self-proclaimed "Hero")...he naturally feels a sense of emptiness. I know without a doubt that the life Steve and I were able to provide for Sierra and Jared ... the normalcy, the stability... those things they would not have had in Tahoe. I know this with every inch of my being. However, try explaining that to a 12 year old boy who just wants his whole family in one place. He cried for a while, and then spoke with Darin who promised him that the next time they see each other it will be in Cape Cod. He wants Jared to be able to have his parents all in one place for a few days...which hasn't happened since Sierra's 13th (nearly 4 years ago). Maybe he really is growing warmed my heart to know he was trying to comfort our son. He also knows he can not go a year without seeing him again. That was just uncalled for and weighed heavily on Jared's heart.

Later in the evening, Jared came to talk with me in my room. "You and Dad are very different kinds of parents." "In what ways?" I asked...eager to hear his response. "The way you do things, the things you do them to make us better people. You aren't trying to be our friend, you are being our parent. Dad just likes to laugh and joke and it's a lot of fun...but doesn't do much to make us better people." Hmm...quite deep for a 12 year old. He gets it. He knows in his heart that the life he has is better for him and that who he has become is a direct result of the normalcy and stability...but sometimes, his heart aches for the other 1/2 of him. What I wouldn't do to take away his pain.

Bittersweet...the memories of the years I tried and the tears I cried...the knowledge that without a doubt, our move East ultimately made them the amazing people they are...the acceptance of responsibility for my role in the pain...the belief that someday they will understand...the reassurance that they love me very bittersweet.

It all leaves me feeling empty when my heart should be full again. A mother is only as happy as her saddest child. Tonight...I'm not feeling very happy at all. :(

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Flying away

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone "

Friday, I experienced this..yet my 2/5 's of my heart flew 3,000 miles away from me. Sierra and Jared flew to Palm Springs. They hadn't been out to California since last Thanksgiving. A year. This was the longest stretch ever. It was particularly hard for Jared. He gets anxiety, and is so very much like his Mom. Some people are muffins and others are stale bagels. I'm a muffin. I'm emotional, I'm squishy, I feel things to my very core. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and when I die, people will not wonder how I felt about things. I cry and I am proud of that. If something hurts me, I express it. If something brings me joy, I smile. If my heart breaks, I don't hide it, I don't make excuses for it, I don't pretend I'm okay. I feel deeply. I won't apologize for being a muffin. I'm quite proud of it actually. Stale bagels leave much to be desired.

That horrible moment...the one I dread every single time they head happened again on Friday at 5:40pm. It is truly a feeling that is impossible to know you need to be strong, but your heart is breaking...literally causing physical pain as they walk away...down the tarmac. Jared is always the last one to walk away. He hesitates a moment...then looks back at me with tears streaming down his face. His eyes meet mine, he gives me one last wave. I mouth, "I love you" as he disappears. Then I just stand there, numb and broken. It is SO VERY FREAKING HARD. I've had a ritual ever since the kids first started flying out there...I walk up to the window and watch as the plane pulls away. I place my hand against the glass, and I close my eyes for a moment as I ask God to send 10,000 angels to fly with them. I felt peace this time, as I knew they would be okay. They are God's children, after all, He has just loaned them to me for awhile.

As I sat there waiting for them to pull away, I felt so alone...very, very alone. I went to the airport alone again (just like last time). I guess I feel like nobody really understands the pain of letting your children fly 3,000 miles away...and the fact that it hurts me is something I don't feel like having to justify. I called home and Steve was so busy with the other kids...he couldn't offer me the comfort I needed. So I called my Dad...just to hear a reassuring voice. He isn't one for small talk and chatting...but I didn't need that anyway. I just needed to be understood. "Hi Dad...I'm sitting here at Logan and the kids' plane just left." "And Mom's heart is breaking", he said. Precisely.

Then, I hung up and Sierra called me from the plane...sitting on the runway. "I love you, Mom...want to say bye again to Jared too"? I did. I told them to look towards the gate and they'd see me standing in the window. There I was, waving as 2/5's of my heart flew away.

I got lost on the way home, while on the phone trying to help Steve figure out his laptop. I can't see at night anyway, so that was a bit scary and un-nerving for me...and I almost ran out of gas too. Par for the course...a crappy day all the way around.

One week from now, they will be home again. For now, honestly, I am "faking it" quite well. Pretending to be okay and holding it together for the kids I have home still. I was at church today and 2 dear lady friends hugged me and said, "don't pretend...let it out". I said, "no way...then I'll never stop". I sit...keeping myself busy with cleaning and getting ready for Thanksgiving. I know very well how immensely blessed I am. I have a lot to be thankful for. This year we will have Thanksgiving at our house with my MOM (still can't believe she lives 5 miles away from me!!), Steve's parents, Scott and Curly. It promises to be a special day. We'll be celebrating it under the same Autumn sky as Sierra and Jared...3,000 miles apart...but they know their Mom loves them with all my heart.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I am learning a lot lately...

I'm learning no matter how hard you try, you will still be kicked in the teeth, spit on and made to feel like a failure.

I'm learning that certain kids have selective memories and that these are in full swing particularly when they haven't seen one parent in a year. Miraculously, that absent parent (the one who CHOSE to NOT make the effort to see them for a year)...that parent becomes a hero. He suddenly understands her like I never have and never will. He can offer her independence and freedom (because he was allowed free reign as a child). He can swoop in from on high, snatch her and the last 16 years of me coming to her aid, battling her bullies, defending her honor and standing up for her no matter what...that can all just be erased from her memory.

I'm learning a lot. That being a mom really sucks breaks your heart and walks away with a smile on it's face.

Somehow, I still wouldn't trade it for the world. Instead, I will sit here and wait. I will continue to love her with all my heart, I'll wish things were different, I'll support her, I'll guide her, I'll discipline her, I'll encourage her, I'll keep her best interests first and before my own selfish desires, I'll love her unconditionally...even when she breaks my heart.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Why are they called "wisdom teeth" anyway?? In seeking a definition for the word "wisdom", somehow "a 16 year old" doesn't seem like a good synonym. I digress.

Poor Sierra had her 4 wisdom teeth taken out today. She initially handled it with grace and was being quite brave. That all fell apart when we got home. Poor kid.

I recollect having my wisdom teeth out when I was didn't go down in history as one of my favorite experiences ever either.

It is going to be a really, really long night I'm afraid.

Poor Sierra. I wish I could take her pain away. I wish she knew how much her Mom really does love much I always will.