Friday, August 21, 2009

End of Summer

I've had a great summer full of camping trips and fun outings with the kids. But now even though we have a lot of August left, it feels like autumn is very much here already. It's funny how things putter along in a stable pattern for awhile, and then changes come rapidly, like a flock of birds landing or a row of dominoes falling. For instance:
  • This week SIL, her husband, and the nieces left Sonoma and moved to West Virginia. Now our nearest family is located three time zones away. (Sigh.)
  • We bought our first family pet: goldfish!
  • Somehow, we managed to break Little A of her pacifier habit this month.
  • Little A now wants to wear big-girl "unner pans," so potty training has finally begun.
  • Today is Big A's last day as a student at the preschool she's attended for years.
  • In a week Big A starts kindergarten at the nieghborhood elementary school and Little A begins preschool at the same place Big A used to attend.
Changes major and minor. But even the minor ones, like the addition of the fish and the ditching of the pacifiers, impact how we arrange our days. In a few more months we'll have a different sort of normal because of all that happened this past month. And what was a normal day in July will not come this way again.

I would have been teary-eyed saying goodbye when SIL and her kids left no matter what. The entire fifteen years I've lived in California we've managed to live nearby each other. We've gone through our twenties, thirties, earthquakes, weddings, deaths, and births together. Basically, during that time span I went from being a bad ass to just having one. And our relationship deepened a lot with the addition of the kids. So some tears were in order, no matter what.

But watching the agony of Big A as their car pulled away made me completely lose my shit. She ran down the street waving her lanky arms like a castaway left on shore by the rescue boat. When she reached the corner I had to call her back.

"I don't want them to go!" She said as we trudged up the steps into our house.

"Me either," I admitted. "But remember, we're visiting this Christmas. We'll get to explore their new town. That's going to be so much fun!" It would have been more convincing to say this while not crying myself. But it was the best I could do under the circumstances.

"But they'll miss my BIRTHDAY and Halloween and Thanksgiving!" Big A cried. "Christmas is too far away."

"I know this is hard, baby. But we'll get used to it. It's going to be okay."

"I sad, mommy," piped up a bewildered Little A. "I so sad. They. Gone. Way."


I'd like to think that deadbaby grief has made me better at saying goodbye and letting go than I used to be. At least the nuts and bolts of the process are very familiar. When Big A tells me she wants to move, I certainly understand what she is feeling. Being left behind is hard. The surface sameness of life is such a sham. Old routines are hollow. Of course Big A wants to move and try something new, if only so that the outside of life matches the inside.

"If we did move, what kind of house would you want to live in next?" I ask Big A. She describes a tall Victorian mansion -- pink, naturally. One with a nice big climbing tree in the yard.

"That sounds pretty nice," I say, meaning it more than I want to.

1 comment:

AnnaMarie said...

"I'd like to think that deadbaby grief has made me better at saying goodbye and letting go than I used to be."

I'd like to think so too. But so far for me it is now very easy to say goodbye to people and things that were not really THAT important to me, but the things and people who I truly treasure and find rare moments of happiness with I still cling to.

I'm sorry you SIL and her family will be so far away.