I’m so sad tonight. I know it will pass. I’ve got lots going on this weekend. I planned it this way on purpose to force myself out of sadness. I know we have lots to look forward to. I’m happy to say as I have watched and waited, that Martin has been a man of his word. My ill-at-ease feelings have subsided. It’s not an easy thing we are attempting to do. It is downright scary, like walking through a mine field. But somehow with the Lord’s help we are not only getting through it but we are making it look somewhat easy.
This trip marked a new phase in Martin and my relationship. We have “integrated”. His kids have seen me in the morning, after I’ve driven over 5 hours in a straight shot and after a day at Disneyland. I think they know me pretty well. Martin and I did our best to include everyone in everything or at least make sure everyone knew they were welcome. His kids were up for anything. My kids would often wander away to their computers to seek solace, or shade. But all in all we had a great time all together.
It’s just that Martin and I did not get our fill of each other. We didn’t have much time alone at all where we could talk freely or be openly affectionate. And because it was his girls first time out we weren’t as relaxed around them as we are with my kids. Martin hasn’t had much time with his girls in the last two years so they were settling in to each other as they were getting to know me.
He and I would often look at each other from across the room as if to say, I miss you – even though we were together. But we did miss each other. We were last to go to bed just to be able to be alone and first to wake up every morning, but it wasn’t enough. We were left wanting.
Even our kiss goodbye was short and polite. Nothing like the tear-jerking declarations of love they usually are. But we knew it would be like that. We knew this trip had a different purpose. Integration. And that takes time and patience. So we committed ourselves to it.
On our way to the airport I asked the girls what their favorite part of the trip was. That got the memories flowing and everyone said something different. At the end of the conversation Martin said, “Thanks for arranging such a nice week for us.” And I looked at him across the borrowed Suburban that I am now adapted at driving, furrowed my eyebrows and said, “I would do anything for you.” As I said the words I looked up into the rear view mirror and saw one of his girls looking back at me. She had heard what I said and I’m sure also noticed the tears that quickly started flowing out of my eyes. I quietly wiped them away and took a few deep breaths so as not to descend into a blubbering mess.
But after I hopped back into the truck and drove away from them at LAX I was literally sobbing.
100 more kisses would have been good. I’m never full up. 1000 more hand squeezes and 1 million more hugs might have tied me over until August or September. It’s going to be a very long summer.
My daughter has never been as affectionate as me. We would hug and I’d keep hugging and she’d start pushing me away. She would settle down better at night if I just laid her down and walked away than if I cuddled her. When she was about 3 I would give her kiss after kiss at bedtime and one night she put her hands on my shoulders pushed me away and said, “Mommy, I’m full up of kisses for today. No more. Try again tomorrow.” It killed me that she wouldn’t let me smother her with kisses. I was left wanting then.
And I am left wanting more now. More. More. More of everything. More time mostly. Time to be still with each other. Luckily we match each other on this level. We both need more and yet we are committed to seeing this through. It amazes me. But one thing I know. When we begin to take each other for granted in the years to come, we will have this time to remember us back into appreciation for the little things. Like warmth, breath, wiping crumbs off chins, smells, and having a finger to hook your finger onto. We will be able to look at each other and mean it when we say, “At least we are together.” It will mean a world of difference and hopefully the wait won’t be too much longer.