After Andrea’s birth and the whirlwind of holidays Paul returned to school for his final semester. He also returned to work, and I practically became a single mom. Being a new mom is hard on anyone. I was actually embarrassed that it was so hard on me. However, it wasn't the sleepless nights and the hours of holding a screaming child that wore me out most (although that was incredibly exhausting). My real challenge was doing it alone.
Ironic that having a person constantly attached to me launched me into the loneliest time of my life (thus far).
To add insult to injury, when I was around people I was irritable and emotional. I desperately craved adult conversation and the companionship of a friend yet could not seem to offer those things in return. Andrea was draining everything from me and the voids in my brain that once housed compassion, hope, and sanity were filling with fluids that seemed to seep from my eyes at every inconvenient moment. Gross, ya?
Then, on a chilly April afternoon, Paul came home from his last class and was mine again. And he began a relief effort. He began taking Andrea so I could attempt naps. He held and played with her while I decompressed over a warm sink of dishes. He even cleaned the toilet. Twice. In June we took our daughter to the doctor, figured out why she hadn’t been sleeping and four days later she finally slept through the night.
And so did I.
Then, my journey to recover the broken pieces of my spirit began along with my attempts to salvage my once steady image. Requiring lots of prayer, meditation, and naps, Paul continued to be my co-captain, my sous chef. . . my saving grace.
But yesterday he said something horrible. So horrible I wanted to cover my ears and yell, "I can't hear you! I can't hear you!" like was in first grade again. He said, with sadness in his tone, "Twenty-seven days." The number of days until he begins his Master’s program. . . and it lingered in the silent air for a moment before slowly falling to my feet. Had it been tangible I would have stomped on it. What an ugly number. His Master's program schedule is not going to be very fun. It will entail leaving the house at five every morning and returning home at eleven in the evening.
Sorry, that was me gagging.
For him this means very little sleep, very little food, and very little time at home. For me it means becoming a single mom again. It means being so alone again. I remind myself this is only for two semesters, and knowing exactly when this trial ends is a luxury seldom given. For that, I am thankful.
Sigh. . . drool. . .
P.S. How cute are these boots? They finally fit her little feet and I love them.