Sunday, March 29, 2009

Alright Already!!

I've been avoiding writing about the week that my girls were here and I've been wondering why. First, I though I just needed a little time to download. After about a week or so I started to blame it on the pictures. I'm not able to load pictures where I want them on my posts, they all end up at the top of the blog. I've tried everything to figure it out and can't, so you are just going to have to slog through all the pics before you start reading. (Although, if you've gotten this far, I guess you already figured that out.....)

Anyway, I guess I've been avoiding it because the whole thing is such a life changing experience. Not like, "I read that new book and it was life changing...." but really, really life changing. Not visiting with the girls, but having been away from them. I mean, I had these people in my body for nine months. I was with them every single moment of their lives for years. I taught them how to talk, walk, tell their colors, use the toilet, get a glass of water and bowl of cereal for themselves. I dressed them, taught them to dress themselves, shopped for them, took them shopping and helped them learn how to make decisions for themselves. I also let them make the decision that they wanted to move to Alaska and be away from me. Until last Sept. 17 we had never been away from each other for more than a week or so at a time.

Katie chose to move to Alaska, she felt it would be an awesome opportunity, (she fantasized about being a rescue swimmer like Kevin Costner in that movie, "The Guardian") We made Jessie go because she was starting to run with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble here. It feel weird to say this out loud but it was sort of a relief. Jessie and I were at each others throats all the time. Every day was a constant battle between us. It seemed like I was bombarded with things that they needed at every moment, shopping, makeup, face wash, rides to friends houses or the movies and the constant, never ending need for tampons....Between me, Becca, Jessie and Katie we should have had stock...

I don't really remember the first few weeks after they left, I think I was occupying myself with setting up house alone for the first time in 20 years and trying to make a family life for Kyle and Becca. About the second month, I started to get frantic phone calls from both girls begging to come home, crying and unhappy. I spent my time between phone calls from them and running to my lawyer begging for her to get my girls home. She responded to these requests by doing unknown lawyerly things that cost thousands of dollars and got me nowhere...
By December I was hitting bottom. Rob had sent tickets to Kyle and Becca to go to Alaska and my lawyer was unable to draft a motion for my girls to come home to me so I was facing my first Christmas in 18 years with no one, no children, no husband, nothing. Fortunately, my parents stepped up and made plans to occupy me for the holidays. Unfortunately, I contracted a particularly nasty stomach flu on Christmas Eve and lost the significance of the holiday since I spent most of it with my head in a toilet....I wasn't selfish about it though, I shared my misery by infecting both Dad and Ellen with the same bug. I never made it to Mom's and the Christmas Day Dinner in Bartlesville that I had promised to participate in.

That was the worst, Christmas. And Thanksgiving. After that was over I was able to start looking forward to them coming home for Spring Break. By the time they got here, I hadn't seen them for almost six months. That just kills me, six months without your children? How do you deal with that? I missed them so much, Jessie's bizzar sense of humor, Katie's ability to be so sweet when she wanted to. We used to fall asleep together in my big bed, I'd make them play with my hair and we'd curl up like puppies until Rob came to bed and kicked them out. I love my dog Bueller but he doesn't smell as good and he never plays with my hair. He's the only one I have to sleep with these days. Plus, he's a basset hound so I actually have to pick him up and put him on the bed...

Becca pointed out to me that my house had become a shrine to my missing children with pictures of them everywhere. She was right. The pictures were just a small token of them and it seemed I couldn't get enough.

I took the girls to see Grandma before they left, I knew it was possible that they would never see her again. They spend the night with her at her house. Sam was there too. Grandma had her accident the next day after we all had breakfast together at Tally's cafe and never returned home. My girls spent the night with her the last night that she slept in her home and I will be forever grateful that they had that time. Plus the fact that they spent her last night at home with her made them feel better in light that they were unable to return for her funeral. They loved her so much.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. They arrived home taller and even more beautiful than I remembered. Now all of my children are officially taller than me, but that's ok, I'm used to being the short one. We spent a week shopping, visiting with Momo and their sisters and brothers and friends. Jessie got really sick about three days into it and spent quite some time sleeping in my bed while I took care of her and sucked up her germs along with her presence in my bed where I could grab and hold her any time I wanted. She called it "creepy" that I held her while she slept. I called it heaven.
I was a fairly jealous parent while they were here. I wanted every second I could get with them but by the end of the week I was tired and ready for some down time. They are wonderful, bright, funny, beautiful and smart. They are also exhausting. I wonder what kind of parent that makes me? I was actually ready for them to leave. I know they'll be back at the end of May and I get to have them for five weeks (if I can take it) but I probably won't see them until next Christmas after that, and that's a LONG time...

I know there's a lot more to this story but That's all I have the strength to write about for now. Stay tuned for more Tracy Takes Over............


  1. The pictures are wonderful, the girls are beautiful, and we don't mind that they are at the top.

  2. From Max
    Dear Tracy- Somehow I just knew that this was no ordinary post when I opened your blog this morning- so I stopped- didn't even look at all the pictures- and finished dressing for work- got another cup of coffee and then returned to the post. I'm not sure how to feel about early Monday tears as the start of a week- but your post still has me in tears- those tears that are both sad and personal and happy. The love absolutely leaps from the page- real love- not that fake "isn't life so wonderful" love. Wow! You pulled me up from this second floor sitting room in Ohio and placed me right in the middle of all the feelings of that week- and the surrounding lives that made those weeks. And I know how you feel- I mean really know how you feel- though the kids didn't go so far away with my divorce (they were 9 years, 7 years and 1 year old)- divorce rips the heart out and then shreds it when it comes to mothers- not because you miss the man- that went away very quick- But it is that separation from those children that are so forever at the center of you very being. But know I'm thinking of you- and admiring you- and reaching across these miles- and am so grateful you took the time to tell the story in a real way- a truth telling way. And in a minute I'm going to stop crying- and finish getting ready for work. Forever your Aunt Max

  3. Tracy,
    ..."They are wonderful, bright, funny, beautiful and smart. They are also exhausting. I wonder what kind of parent that makes me? I was actually ready for them to leave."

    I think that makes you like every parent on the planet. The reason why kids are the most rewarding thing you can get out of life is because they are also the most work. They fill your heart the most because they can hurt your heart the most. Your kids are all great, smart, fabulous, funny and sweet. They are that way because of you. I think this is a time of great transition for you. You are transitioning from years of giving everything to everyone else, to finally having some time for yourself. It's not a bad thing, as long as you take advantage of the time you have to learn more about yourself, learn how to love yourself more and learn more about what you want and need out of life. I think you are fabulous and I hate that I missed their visit, but I'm thrilled you got to see them. No matter what happens, you will always be their mom, and they will always, always need you. Always.