4.20.2008

Flying Solo

So, right now Jeramy is in Europe for business - London, Paris, Bordeaux, Zurich. This is his longest trip he's taken - 13 days. We only have five left. Actually, what I really mean is - there are still five whole days left.

When he leaves on the longer trips I kind of feel as though I unravel a little. If my life were a book during those times, it would definitely be "She's Come Undone" (which, btw, I have never read but heard is great.) It's not that I completely fall apart - that sounds so big and dramatic. I feel more like a sweater with a loose thread that is slowly being pulled. Day by day life goes on and I hardly notice that my sweater has a hole in it. Then one day I look down and realize there is a huge hole and my sweater is ceasing to exist and that's when I switch into what I call "survival mode." This whole analogy is really silly but it's my best attempt to explain how I feel.

I'm learning that with these multi-week trips it's almost always the weekend that is my trigger into survival mode - which, basically, is me just trying to take care of the basics and survive. Nothing more. The house tends to get a little dirtier, my patience seems to fall a little short and I start to feel a little less like myself. Getting by is not a way to live life and I don't like living there - even just a few days at a time. My kids are bathed, fed, entertained and put to bed with hugs and kisses (okay, a few nights there have been some frustrated threats and a few tears - all of ours - mingled in with the hugs and kisses) but I feel like I get a little lost in the process. I've finally realized that it's not because it's so emotionally and physically exhausting to be the sole caregiver to two energetic, vivacious little ones. It's because I miss my husband. Simple as that. I can do thirteen straight bedtimes by myself and have my kids needing me from the crack of dawn until the sun goes down and do better than survive. But I cannot go thirteen days without a real conversation or an embrace from Jeramy and not feel like a part of me and my life has gone missing.

And even though I vowed I would not be living in survival mode this time around and worked very hard to try and prevent it - hard workouts, healthy eating, early bedtimes (ok, not tonight), some house projects to serve as distraction, diligent scripture study and sincere daily prayers - (always pleading for an extra dose of patience) a few babysitters lined up - in the end it doesn't matter. Because here I am in the place I tried so desperately to avoid. And it's occurred to me that it's okay to be here - of course this is where I am. I'm here because I have an amazing husband who is a big part of me and I miss him. This destination is inevitable. So, I will go on surviving for five more days until Jeramy comes home and will then turn my back on merely surviving and look forward to thriving once again.

Well Finn is awake crying (again) so I will end this post. Poor little guy is cutting five teeth right now - four are part way through and one is right there. He's been miserable and, well, let's just say it hasn't helped my cause this week. He's been such a trooper. Time for more Motrin and snuggles!

12 comments:

Irlenborn family said...

I feel your pain! Dustin used to have 2 week trips quite often. Luckily they are now only 1 week most of the time. By the way feel free to come visit us anytime!

Cheryl said...

I also feel your pain. It's so hard especially with a sick baby. I've wondered how you do it so often. When I was in Utah without Ben I was miserable. I hate it when he goes away and it is never for two weeks at a time. I loved your Easter pics. You look great! It was so fun to read more about your Australia trip.

Emily said...

Thankfully for me, I can't feel your pain. Eric was ridiculously busy during dental school and residency, but he always came home each night. It sounds like you had a great plan, with some scheduled alone time, but nothing can compete with the real thing. Hope Jer knows how lucky he is--and okay, because he's my bro, you're lucky too!

John & Shauna said...

I love the sweater analogy. You are such a great writer. Can I help you with your kids some day this week? We would love a cooper-leavitt playdate.

Brad and Colleen said...

I know you don't feel like it right now but you are such a strong woman, and your kids know it too. I used to think I was crazy to pray for extra patience, on Brad's really long shifts, but now I feel like its a must somedays to get through the day. You need to blow up and frame one of your pictures from Hawaii, and focus on how much fun you are going to have. You guys have such a great relationship, it is hard when half of you is missing. Hang in there, you can make it.

Carley said...

Well maybe you can look at it this way...at least you were blessed with such a wonderful husband that you can't live without him and that you want to be with him all the time. When Charlie would go out of town I missed him so much, but I didn't have kids to take care of. I don't know which is better, having kids to keep company (and take care of) or being alone.

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Sverre said...

Ok , the day I see Tamara unraveled....you handle these out of towners better than anyone I know could. Sverre is IN town (meaning I have no excuse) and I just had to frantically shut my windows because I realized I was becoming "unraveled" at my kids, but it was coupled with a REALLY loud voice:)
I see you have a new friend from "tv digital" sweet. hugs from brasil:)
call me if you want to switch kids for the day:) Erin

Tiffany Garfield said...

You are the greatest!! You're post made me tear up! haha. I remember being away from Noah for weeks--the longest was a month and I was dying and I don't have kids. You are awesome! I bet all your house projects turned out great--you're so creative! Well, Hang in there! Love you, Twink

Jeff and Katy said...

I love that you feel this way! I feel Jeff's absence when it's just a few days (his trips go 5 days max), so I can't imagine going more than that! You're a rock, and it's a testament to how fabulous your marriage is that you feel this way.

So enjoy the incompleteness, because it just shows how complete you two really are!

Tiffany Garfield said...

Come back!

Tiffany said...

Are you still flying solo?