(Eeyore voice) Oh hey guys. Thanks for checking in.
How are we in the days after my parents departure?
We're ok, but I have not yet pulled myself out of the dark pit of despair (not exaggerating...Ok fine, maybe a tiny bit) that I crawled into after my parents left. Really a few days before my parents left, if we're being honest. And we like to be honest.
True story (pitiful, but true): My parents took Zoe for an evening so Z and I could have a date night. This was on Saturday. They were leaving on Monday. We get in the car and we are not even out of our village before I am in tears and Z is all like "um...are you crying? What's wrong?!" and everyone knows that the question "what is wrong?" when you're crying or on the verge of crying is basically a signal to your body and mind to release into FULL BLOWN UGLY CRY, complete with snot and hyperventilating and unintelligible gasps that may or may not be words. And I'm trying DESPERATELY to not be crying, which just makes crying that much more painful and terrible. I'm sad that my parents are leaving. I'm sad that we live so far away. I'm sad that Zoe is so far away from her grandparents. I'm sad that I'm crying. I'm sad that I'm ruining our date night. I'm sad that I don't have any tissues in the car and may have to resort to using my scarf if things don't clear up soon. All of this SADNESS just came tumbling out and probably sounded something like this:
Don't worry, I rallied and we had a wonderful evening out at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. I even had a (very large) glass of wine. What a treat. But not before sitting in the car trying to pull myself together while Z went into a nearby grocery story to buy a box of tissues (thus saving my scarf, whew. He really is THE best). And I was almost sent back into near-hysterics over the fact that all of this crying had basically washed away the makeup that I had worn for our big night out, which is really a rare occurrence these days. Hormones are hard, people. Snowball effect and all of that.
ANYWAYS. So that was beginning of the dark place. And it just grew as Monday, the day of my parents departure, loomed near.
Here's the thing. I don't like crying. Not that many people DO, but I especially don't. And if I'm going to cry, it should be in the shower, alone, and out of my system by the time I walk out of that bathroom. I cry a fair amount, I'd say. But RARELY, and I do mean rarely, in the presence of other people (including Z...he spends a lot of time telling me it's ok to cry as I fight off tears or walk out of the room when the tears start). I'm not sure where I got this "don't cry in front of people" thing from, but I have it, it's there, and I don't have the mental or emotional energy to figure out WHY right now. Psychoanalyze that silently, please. Do not report your findings to me. Thanks in advance. Take heart in the fact that I'm at least working out my issues via writing, which is probably super helpful. Then deduct points for the fact that I'm writing via blogging, therefore making these issues very public. Ok, are we good? Good.
Anyways, turns out that saying goodbye to your parents and knowing you're about to be thousands of miles apart is approximately 18,000 times harder when you have a child, their grandchild. For a million reasons. It's safe to say I cried most of the hour-long drive home from the airport. Zoe slept like an angel, so that worked out well. I came home to an empty house...SUPER depressing. And to the overwhelming realization that for the first time in 3 weeks, I was going to be alone with Zoe. I would be the only arms to hold her and comfort her when she cried or bounce her when she fussed. I would be the only one to make lunch and dinner and clean the house and do the things.
I was the only one to clean up the puddle of vomit Olive had projected out of her crate in our absence. I smelled it the second I walked in the door and I almost...ALMOST...had to laugh because of course my huge dog would throw up the minute the helping hands were gone.
But weirdly enough, having to deal with cleaning up that mess was a really calming distraction. Zoe slept and I had about an hour to wash the floor and Olive's crate (and the rug and the curtains...projectile, people) and it was a lovely distraction. It was normal and task-oriented and afterwards I felt like "hey, I can do this. I can take care of our baby. I can take care of our dog. I can take care of our home. Maybe not all at the same time or 100% perfectly but...It will be ok."
(Also, that dog-throwing-up thing? In her 1.5 years of life, Olive has thrown up 3 times. That one time that I take full responsibility for...and the other two have been completely unexplained. Her diet is always the same. Her routine is always the same. Her access to "things to be eaten" outside is always the same. I think it's probably just a conspiracy against me.)
So anyways. We're ok. We've given ourselves permission to lay low this week, to feel sad, to stay in our pjs, to not do anything that feels particularly overwhelming or stressful. Radical self-care, à la Anne Lamott. We're in full introvert mode (or is it social anxiety mode, I can't really tell the difference...). We're fully enjoying the freezer full of meals my mom left for us. And the clean, well-organized house. We're thanking God for sunny days, because I'm just not sure I could bear it if the weather was dark and dreary and I was dark and dreary...We're taking walks and eating Thin Mints and doing yoga and coaxing smiles out of Zoe and slowly getting back into a routine that doesn't include my mom and dad.
We're counting down the days until we see them again in May.