October 8, 2104
It is amazing how resilient children are.
I took the kids to Portland this past weekend for a bouldering competition that Isabella was participating in. They were delighted by the simple fact that we were staying in a hotel and were especially excited that the hotel had a pool (it was a tiny little boring indoor pool, but still they were THRILLED). I realized that most of our vacations have been camping vacations and a hotel is a rare treat. We enjoyed the competition (Iz did great) and then toured Powells, the Saturday Market, and Voodoo Doughnuts. They loved all of it! Before we even left Portland they were asking when we could come back and could we please stay in the same hotel again because that hotel was “so amazing”.
While we were walking around town, Iz caught a mountain view and we chatted about it a bit –
“What mountain is that?”
“I’m not sure, but I think it’s Mt Hood.”
“Do you want to climb it someday, Mama?”
“I’ve always wanted to climb it, but it has glaciers and since your dad died I’ve agreed not to climb on glaciers any more.”
“Yeah, because if you died then we would be orphans.”
“Well I’m not going to die, because I know I need to be extra careful now that your dad is gone, and my number one job is to take care of you and Melanie. I am not going to die until I’m old.”
Isabella then squeezed my hand. Not with fear, but with confidence, security, and frankly – gratitude. I could feel that she knows she can count on me. She seems to understand the gravity of it all. I would and will do anything for my girls.
On my end, the weekend was more draining than fun. It’s hard to go on vacation solo with your kids. If I wake up early in the morning and they are sleeping, I can’t even go to the fitness room for 45min. There is no option for a break or an escape. Also, John used to do all the driving. I absolutely hate driving, and the 7 hrs of driving I did over the weekend was an unwelcome reminder that I have to do everything now. I found myself looking into a future of vacations with the kids by myself. I feel tired at the idea and it sounds like more work than fun.
However, I will do it. I will give my children wonderful vacations. I will continue to do everything in my power to give them confidence that their one remaining parent will always be there. I will continue to take joy in seeing them feel confident and safe with me. They are so young – they deserve all of the fun and security I can give them. And when I get really tired and worn out, I will continue to lean on my incredible community so that I can get away for the solo time that I need. I am immersed in a true ocean of grief (it only seems to grow as I miss him more), but even through the grief, even when I feel completely and utterly alone, I remind myself – I am indeed not alone.