“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Miss My Kids

I've never been the kind of mom that drops everything to play a game with her kids. It just doesn't cross my mind that they would be interested in something like that. I grew up in a family of eight kids. I was always playing/fighting with brothers and sisters, roaming the neighborhood with friends, or hiding out in my room with a book. I didn't pay much attention to what my mom was doing, but I know we were fed and clothed and loved.

About eight years ago, I started going through what I've named my "Job days" (as in Job from the Bible). We were forced to move into a tiny 1200 square foot house. I had four kids and was pregnant with number five. Number six followed soon after. My husband was going to school full time and working full time. We had very little money. An incident at school forced me into homeschooling for three years. On top of it all, I was going through an experience that sent me into a deep depression. It was all very overwhelming.

And yet, I look back now, and it was an amazing time with my kids. I was a good teacher. I remember my then 8 year old daughter getting so excited at finding spores on a fern leaf. My five year old son taught himself to read and became an avid reader. He was also amazing at math. I was creative, and we had fun.

I was also my son's Cub Scout leader back then. I remember Blue and Gold dinners, and selling cookies for a fundraiser, and making a volcano just like you see on TV, and the pinewood derby. I was so involved, and we had fun.

The charter school through which I did my homeschooling often offered field trips to wonderful places like Cold Stone Creamery, the firehouse, or the zoo. I remember packing up my six kids and double stroller and heading out alone to Sea World or the Wild Animal Park. I always felt some trepidation attempting these excursions without my husband, but we had such a wonderful time! The kids were angels -- no whining, arguing, or fighting. Just pure excitement and joy. Every time, on the way home, I would compliment them for being so good and making it so easy on me and so much fun to be with them.

When we moved, the kids went back to school, and I wasn't so completely engrossed in them anymore. But we still had fun -- trips to the snow, to amusement parks, to the beach. Those family outings were wonderful.


My husband took my kids to the snow Wednesday this week while I stayed and watched the store. I got to hear about what a wonderful time they all had. My youngest told me story after story. And I started feeling sad. I miss them. CFS has slowly but surely taken away my family outings, because I'm just not up to all day events. Or even half day events, or events longer than an hour. We went to dinner at my sister in law's the other day, and it has taken me almost two weeks to recuperate. My kids are now a lot like I was back in the day (minus the fighting, thankfully). They play together and with friends. They hover sometimes, like they would like me to do something with them, but I'm at a loss. When I didn't have a friend in the world, they were my best friends. And now, somehow, they are not.

I miss my kids.

Who knew that I would some day look back on that dark period in my life and feel gratitude and fondness for it.