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I wish I could say that my absence from blogging was because I was on an incredible trip or doing something fabulous, BUT that would be far from reality. What have I been doing? Well, to sum it up in one word… surviving. You’d think that after 7+ years of this job, that the traveling would have become easier but it hasn’t. We do alright. We are alive, healthy, and all in one piece. We have our moments. Some good and some not so good. You’d also think by now that I’d have this “trucker widowhood” all figured out. That I’d have set routines, have plans, and look beautiful while I’m doing it all. But, I don’t.
I’m a hot mess.
Last week the kids asked why daddies go to work and mama’s take care of kids. Trying to be a good mother, I pulled out the Family Proclamation and tried to teach them about how Daddy provides for our family and why the Lord wants me to nurture and help our children grow. They looked at each other, then at me, and then my little man said, “Why can’t you go truck and Daddy can stay home? He’s the fun one.” All my munchkins began to shout and cheer. Geez, thanks. I know he wasn’t trying to hurt me, but his words pierced my heart like a knife. If they only knew how much I want to be the fun one. I mean, really, that’s a big part of my personality!! THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS I STARTED THIS BLOG… to get some roots to go with my wings! But, it’s hard trying to balance fun and survival.
Obviously, I have lost my balance.
With the pieces of my broken heart in my hands, I went to bed, and didn’t sleep. I laid there and tried to figure out how I was going to be what my kids need me to be and still fill my role as a wife, mother, housekeeper, cook, taxi driver, visiting teacher, daughter, human being, granddaughter, and the dozen other role’s I play on a daily basis. Stop cleaning? Yeah, let’s be honest, I squashed my OCD a few years ago. As much as it kills me, I go to bed with toys on the floor and clothes in the washer. I don’t have it in me to fight that battle anymore. Don’t cook? Nope, food is a necessity. Don’t grocery shop? Yep, if you look in my fridge you’d see I haven’t done much of that either! I can’t give up my church callings, I can’t give up washing clothes or paying bills. So what gives? Something has to, right? I really don’t know! All I do know is, I have to sprinkle in some sunshine along the way. Even when deep down I’m not feeling like a very happy, shiny person. We need some laughs. We need some stolen moments and some “spontaneous delight” as Richard and Linda Eyre talk about.
So, that’s where I have been. I took the kids to the duck pond. We went to visit my mother at the MTC in Provo. We played in the sprinklers. We made homemade pudding-pops. We decorated the driveway with sidewalk chalk. We went swimming. We went to the cabin in Sanpete. We hiked. We practiced riding bikes (yikes). We built forts and watched movies. We made Scotcheroo’s and ate the whole pan in 2 days. We painted. We sang silly songs. We used our imagination. We went to yard-sales and found junk toys for 25 cents. We browsed the Farmer’s Market. We danced in the rain… and hail.
We did nothing and everything all at once.
The natives seemed happier tonight as I put them to bed. I look around me and see a million things that need done, but, I’m going to put myself to bed instead. I don’t know if I will ever truly make it out of survival mode when Manly is gone. Seeing him 5 or 6 days in 6 weeks isn’t working for any of us. But, we can make it through.
I just need to lower my expectations for myself and help my children find a little sunshine in the process.