It started with an earthquake and ended with a hurricane (downgraded to a tropical storm) with a smattering of tornado warnings thrown in. Good news is we're ok here.
I have lots of blog fodder for weeks to come about the last 2 weeks. However, I can't bring myself to write about that right now.
Tonight I am sad. Heart broken. My whole family is sad. Why you may ask. It's not because of Hurricane Irene, though she did a number to our community and those surrounding us. No, its because of life changes. A big one is the start of the new school year next week. I plan to pour my heart out about that in the next few days. Tonight, my heart is heaviest because we dropped my stepdaughter off at her mom's earlier.
As many of you know, she spent the month of August with us. This is a first in the 10 years she's been in my life. I haven't blogged about anything about it besides the fact she would be with us and how excited I was. I wanted to enjoy and absorb the whole experience with open eyes and heart.
At 17 she can be (as she proclaimed) a teenage drama queen. There were definitely moments of that. They make me fear my kids teenage years. There were moments where I wanted to say, what the hell are you thinking?! Such a moment....the night Irene was hitting, she actually asked to sleep over a friends house. No way! We want you with us. I don't know what her friend's mom was smoking to even consider having friends over. Maybe I'm the crazy mom. Who knows. All I do knows is the basement in her friend's house flooded and the fire department had to come pump it out.
All those moments were minor and typical of an average family with a teenager. She frustrated me and made me want to cry. A few times I did actually, and I then vented a time or two on Twitter about oblivious teenagers (or something like that). Sometimes I felt things too personally because that's how I am. I usually feel better when I get it out and have someone to commiserate with or who will offer me insight and guidance.
However, I wouldn't have changed a moment. I think the ups and downs brought us all closer together as a family. I think she sees us more as family, if that makes sense. It's tightened our bond.
We had a wonderful August. Lots of fun and laughter. We had picnics, movie and game nights, late night chats and long trips to the new ice complex my son is playing hockey at. Every memory brings a smile. Even the ones that drove me nuts or made me question her sanity. *Laughing* We never fought though I'm sure if I had been her mother she would've given me a piece of her mind a few times. Though, I feel we've always had a good relationship, I think this month really helped us see the other clearer.
I hated letting her go. I didn't cry but I sure wanted too. The pin pricks of tears were building up but I forced them back. One of a mother's hardest tasks to do sometimes. I didn't want to upset the kids. They were already upset and sad enough. I was amazed to see her eyes red rimmed and tears pouring down her face as I pulled into her mom's driveway. She was so sad to be leaving us. My heart ached for her because I know she was torn in two directions. She was happy to be home but realizing how much she'd miss her home with us.
She hugged everyone tight and told us it was her best August ever. I think we were finally able to bond on a higher family level. I am filled with great joy and sadness.
When we got back home I found a very touch, heartfelt post on my Facebook wall. Only a teen would think to post something so personal and intimate there. I think it was her way of not only telling me, but everyone in our world how much she appreciated her time with us.
Here's what she wrote:
I wanted to say I seriously had the best time this month. I feel like I got so much closer to you and daddy but I feel like I got soooo much closer with the kids, especially B (goalieboy) I don't know why. But thank you so much for dealing with all my diva teenage moments because I know I have them. Tell daddy and the kids I miss them so much. I can't believe the month went by so fast, its not fair. But I love you guys and I'll see you soon.
My son kept saying how much he missed her. Over and over again, all night. It broke my heart. He feels certain things so deeply. This will weigh heavy on him for a long time. I think he almost feels abandoned. l am sobbing now as I type this. They use to be so close when they were younger. I think my daughter felt left out at times. But as my daughter has gotten older they've bonded over girl things in the last few years. And now my son has felt left out. There's no easy balance to it all.
She spent lots of time reading with him, playing Wii with him and just talking with him. I believe he's very open with her about his thoughts and feelings. I'm glad he feels comfortable enough to open up to her. He needs that. He has low self esteem at times and he keeps it bottled inside.Sometimes, I see some of a younger her in him. She can reach him at times. It's wonderful for them both. Her words made me tear up more.
I wrote back that it was the best August for us ever. I wish it could last forever. We had our moments but that's what family is all about. I appreciate everything she did to help and support me. I am forever grateful to have her in my life. I love and miss her terribly.
I pray that this month lives on for all of us and is not forgotten or taken for granted. I want to build on it and make our family bond stronger. We were not truly saying goodbye but until next time. I am grateful that it will be in a little less than two short weeks.
In my eyes, family is everything. Hold on to it tightly.