Friday, June 22, 2012

A Piece of My Heart

Sorry this space has been so quiet lately. Partly because I have nothing to say that feels new and fresh and not a repeat of something I've said before. Also because it's just so busy here. Isn't it summer? Aren't these days supposed to be lazy? Well, maybe for the kids, but for this mama here, it's as hectic as ever.

One never realizes how much one depends on someone until they're gone. In my case, my oldest girl, Evelyn, has gone to stay at her Grandparent's house for a week. Oh, those first few days were just so sad around here. The younger girls weeping and missing Evelyn so much. They are taking turns sleeping in her bed and counting the days for her return (tomorrow!). 

I know it was hard for Evelyn, too, to be apart from us. She called every night and every morning in tears, filled with homesickness. I wanted to drive those two hours like a crazy mother to rescue her crying baby and bring her home. We almost did, halfway through the week, thinking maybe 4 days was long enough. But we kept the car keys on the hook, took deep breaths, and repeat after me: "She will be fine. We will be fine." And she is. And we are. One tiny step closer to the day when she flies away from the nest, but I won't think about that now.

She still calls daily, sometimes twice, and now they are happy calls, full of chatter and what they did that day. The little ones jump up and down, hardly containing their excitement at being able to talk with Evelyn on the phone.

At home, with Evelyn gone, the first few days was lots of talk about boredom. "I'm bored!" Sylvia would cry. "There's nothing to do!" Gretchen exclaimed. They sat and moped and missed Evelyn's leadership and ideas of games to play. Eventually, they developed their own rhythm together and learned to figure out ideas of their own. I brought out the embroidery stuff and they both sewed pictures-- for Evelyn!  Gretchen has learned to play with Sylvia instead of teaming up with Evelyn and leaving her out. The girls are also paying more attention to Peter, helping him more, when before it was mostly Evelyn tending to Peter.

Peter has always marched to the beat of his own drum, so it almost seems like he doesn't miss his big sister. Almost. He gets upset seeing one of the girls sleeping in Evelyn's bed. He protests and demands they get out of "E'lyn's bed!" He'll see something and point out to anyone nearby that it belongs to "E'lyn"!

It's been good for all of us, this little separation. We've discovered how much we value Evelyn's presence and her help, her leadership and her guidance with her siblings. Her sisters have learned to do things on their own, rather than depending on someone else to tell them what to do. Her absence has, indeed, made our love grow stronger for each other.

She comes back tomorrow, to a birthday party for both her and her little brother, Peter. Not a surprise party-- she helped make small party favors, but she won't see us decorating the house and get a peek at the cake. It will be a wonderful party and the best gift will be having her home again!

 Welcome Home Evelyn!

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