*written the evening of Sunday 30th November *
My parents have just left for the airport, well, two hours ago I watched Hubby drive them away as Little Man and I waved from the driveway. I broke down almost immediately and suddenly felt so alone.
You see, while Hubby is away on work trips we get into a lovely little routine that seems to work for everyone. The Mothership kept the kitchen clean and stacked the dishwasher at night. Dad took care of the garden, remembered bin day and made our lunches. I did the clothes washing and took care of LM. It was easy, it was natural, it was fun.
The Mothership got into the routine of bathing a grubby Little Man after we’d got in from our park trip in the late afternoon. This gave me chance to straighten his room and get his bottle and pajamas ready. Small tasks that normally have me running around like a maniac at 6:30pm.
I’ve cried my little heart out for the last two hours. At first I couldn’t bring myself to go into the garden as Dad normally watered the vegetables in the evening but I promised him I wouldn’t let them die. I can’t see all of his hard work go to waste (this obviously makes more sense if you know how hard my Dad has worked to make our garden habitable these past few weeks – post to follow shortly).
I sat on their bed and took in the empty room. I opened the draws to really check that their stuff had gone. I took my time to look around, to look at how they had left everything, to wish they were still here one more night and then I do what I know I need to do. I strip the bed and take the sheets into the laundry. I gather up the used towels from the bathroom – all ready for my day of “keeping busy” tomorrow. I pick up The Motherships dressing-gown ready to wash and then hang in the guest wardrobe for another year of waiting. I erase as much as possible because if I leave it any longer it becomes too hard. I can’t keep seeing a made-up bed or how they left the guest room as neat as possible. I need to clean, for the room to lose it’s identity of “Grandma and Grandad’s room”.
The thought of tomorrow is overwhelming. Getting up and showing LM the empty guest room and explaining again that Grandma and Grandad have gone home. Showing him a plane in the morning sky and telling him that they could be on it. The quiet may become all consuming, the lack of familiar company is already upsetting. I know it will be hard for me to get on with my normal routine this week, to go grocery shopping when we all were there last week discussing what we would have for tea. To nip into Big Dub for a wander when we all wandered there a few days ago. To carry on in the garden without guidance or conversation.
When they left I felt panicked. My safety net, I thought. Please don’t leave me. You don’t realise how much you need your folks until they are thousands of miles away, in fact I’ve only just realised how much during these past few years. I feel like time has been wasted instead of simply enjoying their company. Petty squabbles and needing my own space has been replaced by a desire to be side by side with them daily.
As much as Hubby and Little Man are my world I’ll always crave the ease and comfort of my parents presence as well. I think everyone does even if they won’t admit it. I trust my parents as they do me, they still treat me like their baby and sometimes I need that type of love and care. When The Mothership embraced me and said that she should have been here through the miscarriages I felt the weight from shoulders drop, the tightening of my chest loosen. In fact just thinking of that moment brings tears to my eyes. When we opened our early Christmas presents and I was met with an awesome photography book and was informed by my Dad that it was for my inspiration, I knew that they both believed in me. No matter what anyone tells me I still need a certain something from them.
I can joke with them, take the mickey out of The Mothership’s Hobbit feet and passion for all things bowel related (if you’ve been reading a while you’ll already know about this), I can ask my Dad about the inner workings of composting and how best to clean a paintbrush. I can be myself, as strange and outspoken or quiet as I want to be and still know that I’m loved. A very dear friend once said to me “every family is weird, yours are just your kind of weird” and not only could I agree with her more, but jeez… I sure will miss it.
Until next time,