Picked up Timothy and Ada on Saturday night.
I missed them so fracking much. When I miss them, I think about all the cosmically precious things they've ever done.
I would like to tell you the magical tale of Ada.
Ada is my youngest-slash-oldest child. Let me give you examples of what I mean:
Mommy in Trouble
When she was TWO, there was a night, like many many many many many many nights, when I was putting all the kids to bed, and I had quickly become the Wicked Witch of the West. After much screaming by yours truly, the worst mother on the planet, Ada said very calmly, "Mommy, can you come talk to me privately."
I'm not exaggerating.
I followed her to the top of the staircase where she sat and then patted the space next to her, meaning sit here, mom.
I knew where this was going. I could just feel it. I was in big trouble.
"Mommy," she began, "I really can't have all the yelling at my brother and my sisters. I don't like it. It makes me sad. Could you please not yell at us?"
I'm so sorry, Ada! You're right! I'm so so so so sorry! If I had gotten my nachos and a coke or some straight-man sex today, I wouldn't be yelling. I mean it. It's not you! I'm weak!
She is currently 7. She is 7 with the soul of a 45 year old Marriage & Family Therapist.
The November after my divorce, my mother was getting ready to move away from Cedar City. One day Ada and I drove by her house, which she'd put up for sale, to stop and say hello. But just as we pulled up to the curb, a realtor and a strange family were getting out of their cars for a showing. I put my van in park and started sobbing. Ada was in the back seat.
"Why are you crying, mommy?"
"I'm just so sad that Mamaw is moving away."
"Mom? You know, when I'm crying it really helps me to take some deep breaths. Wanna try it with me?"
Some deep breathing thusly ensued, led by my teeny tiny breathing coach.
About a month later, a time which I loathe to remember, I was crying CON-STANT-LY. I was already suffering from my first post-divorce broken heart (that story will eventually be a post- promise). I cried while making ramen. I cried in the bread aisle. I cried while pumping gas.
During this time, I'd taken the kids to Wendy's. I started crying. Ada got up from her seat and walked over to me. She whispered in my ear, "Try the deep breathing," and returned to her seat.
Just in case you weren't aware, Mormons don't drink coffee. So my kids had been taught not to drink it/that we don't drink it. Well, I'd been a closet coffee drinker for about 2 years, when last winter, I was sick of trying to hide it. I made myself a cup, went into the living room where the kids were, and came out to them.
"Hey, guys? Um...so I just need to tell you that I have made a choice to start drinking coffee...and that's what is in this cup."
My children had blank looks of apathy on their faces, except for Emma whose expression was more like I really can't stand it when you talk, ever. Then Ada piped up, "That's okay! You know, people make choices, and it's okay."
Why had I not been going to Ada every single time I'd felt nervous or guilty or suicidal????
Coming Home From an 8 Hour Day and Crumbling
Only about 6 months ago, I walked into my town home around 9:30 pm after working both jobs. This was before my older girls had gone to live with Matt in California, which meant you couldn't see the carpet for the mess of clothes, wrappers, dishes, nail polish, cat poo, Nazi propaganda...
It was the mess and something else that I can't remember that prompted me to traverse over to the couch where I slumped and bawled- my face in my hands, shoulders moving up and down like a cartoon character, no deep breathing going on.
Ada walked over to me and started stroking my back saying, "It's okay. I know you're stressed. I'm so sorry you've had a stressed-out day."
Then she moved my hands away from my face.
"Look at me, mom. Tell me what's wrong."
I looked at her and didn't know what to say.
She continued, "Do you wanna go upstairs and talk about it?"
I followed her up to my room. She jumped on my bed, patted the space next to her, and said, "Start at the beginning. Tell me everything."
You know, I think Ada gets it. Somehow she knows she's a Tolkien elf or some such impossible creature. We were walking past some cute baby clothes recently when she pined wistfully, "I wish I was a little girl again."
Last night, she slept with me, telling me how much she missed me and loves me before she drifted off. We fell asleep holding hands, fingers entwined.