Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Good Cry

Today was one of those days where I just needed a good cry. I hold it together for so long and then eventually it all just pours out with no warning. The day started out good. The sunshine greeted me, the birds were singing. I was brave and took 3 of my kids with me to the mall. I haven't been to a mall in over a year but I had some pants I ordered online for #1 and they were too small so I needed to exchange them. Anyway, after a relatively easy trip to the mall we ventured to the book fair at the school. I let #2 and #3 each pick out something while I picked a book from the teacher wish list and a book for #1.
Lately #1 and I have been battling over books she reads. I want her to read age appropriate books (chapter books) and she wants to read board books and picture books. I know I should be happy she is reading but, I don't want her to fall behind either. So, when I was picking out a book for her I decided to get her 2. One book was slightly below her reading level but it was a Littlest Pet Shop book and she loves LPS. The other was a Barbie chapter book but it did have lots of pictures. I wrote a note that told her I loved her and I hope she was having a great day and slipped it into the books and left them on her desk for when she returned from lunch. I was happy that I did something nice for her and that I was going to be surprising her.
Well, she came in the house today and the first thing she said, in a very upset tone mind you, was "Mom, that Barbie book was not on my wish list. I didn't want that book." I was crushed. All I could think was "that ungrateful little brat." I started to cry right there in front of her. I told her I was sad that she didn't appreciate my gift and sent her upstairs because I was too sad to talk to her in that moment. This is not the first or the second time I have done something for this child as a surprise and have gotten this reaction. I'm not the only one she does this too either. Grandma brings her something grandma gets to hear about how it is not something she wants. I don't know why she behaves this way. She is not spoiled. She only gets gifts typically on her b-day and Christmas, that's it. She just can't handle surprises. So this experience already got me crying.
For the past month and a half my husband has been on a hard rotation at work. He leaves the house by 5 AM and hasn't been getting home until 7 PM or later. Then he comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to bed. I miss him, the kids miss him, and things just aren't the same. I've accepted that this is part of his job. Not like he can leave in the middle of a surgery. I get that but I still wish he were home more to help out with the kids. We have not been on a vacation since #1 was 18 months old. By vacation I mean a trip to anywhere that doesn't entail visiting family because of a wedding or other event. There are 2 reasons for this. 1. Time- residents do not get a lot of vacation time. 2. We are already living pay check to pay check so we can't save up for a trip. I just want a break from the routine. Well, when he came home tonight he informed me that he has been asked to go on a week long medical mission trip to Africa. It would be free for him to go. Oh wow! That would be amazing to go to Africa. Of course I want him to go. When else is he going to have another opportunity like this? But then, I think, sure, it is free for him but it will cost me. It will cost me a week with out him here. While he is gone to another country/continent seeing all sorts of new things, I'm left behind to hold down the fort. There have been so many times when I have wanted to go to conventions for various things but could not because I would have to arrange for care for the kids plus pay for all the travel expenses. Why is it he gets to go off and leave me behind? This will be the 3rd time he has left me for a medical mission trip. I know they are not all work. They get to play some. I guess the point I'm rambling on about and trying to get to is I'm jealous. I want a vacation. I'm overworked.
So, tonight I'm going to have a good cry. I'm going to eat some chocolate. I'm going to read Penelope's story and cry some more. But then I'm going to remember all the good things about today like the sweet kisses #4 gave me and the pictures #2 and #3 colored just for me. And, I will also remember the feeling I had when I was placing those books on my daughters desk. Love. I love my children and my husband. That is what allows me to hold things together as well as just cry.

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