A Case of Nerves
If ever a case of butterflies in the stomach or melancholy were to arise this weekend would be one.
After a summer where my kids ran outside and enjoyed the sunshine and love of family by visiting my parents, they also had their older sister there the whole summer with them, too. So it was no surprise that the kids were all a bit shaken and nervous about the fact that, without really realizing it was coming so quickly, they had to say goodbye to their sister.
More than any other time in the last few years my daughter, Abbi, has been very maternal to the kids. Not that she wasn’t the “big sister” type before, she was, but I think age, time, college and the mere fact that she really missed them all factored into her wanting to do nothing more than spend time with them.
Not that it was a surprise to me that, in the middle of many occasions when they came back home, she announced how tired she was of dealing with them and she wanted to go out. She often asked to take them to the movies or out to eat or what have you. She did all this while I was at work trying to keep everything in some semblance of order and routine. My answer, quite often, was “no” because we just didn’t need to spend the money and, quite frankly, as a parent you don’t get to say “I’M SICK OF YOU GUYS FIGHTING I’M DONE I’M GOING OUT TO LUNCH!” Not that I would.
But Friday came around and all the conflict and struggles to keep kids busy fell by the wayside. It was time to move their sister back to school. I asked their aunt to watch them while I went with Abbi to move her back into the dorms and get her ready for school. I was at work, so Abbi dropped them off and was able to say hi to her cousins and aunt. None of them really realized that Noah, one of my twin boys, was really kind of sad that his sister was leaving.
Noah is the one most outwardly struggling with things since we lost his mother. Abbi internalizes it and it comes out in full, sometimes tearful bursts. Sam gets angry, but only after a really big amount of stress. Hannah, my middle . . . she just lets it all out and deals with it. I . . . well, I write. We all deal with stress and grief differently. Noah, he doesn’t want to deal with it so he will often get a bit melancholy about things.
Like when his sister leaves for school again.
The funny thing about that is the fact that, in spite of all that, we do just fine. Technology is pretty amazing . . . we’ll use Apple’s FaceTime to video chat with Abbi. That . . . and we have kind of hit a stride. So this year, as opposed to last year when she first left . . . it’s just not quite so bad. We realized that things went along just like they always had. The story keeps being written and we wind our way on and off the road like always. She’s with us, just not always with us physically. We have holidays and we have daily or almost-daily conversations with her. We text, we talk, all of that.
So Noah moped . . . a lot. That’s what he does. It’s not annoying or awful, it’s actually a bit heart wrenching. But then when I come home . . . like today . . . and I say I’m making homemade chicken tacos and he lights up. I say we’re watching the premier of the new Doctor on Doctor Who and they explode with excitement.
The routine is what it is . . . sometimes the routine is to throw out the routine, like today. But at the end of the day he sees me doing laundry, baking cookies, and making their lunches . . . like every other day . . . and the nerves . . . they go away.