I've been wondering why I'm losing sleep over politics and government. It's been annoying me. The past few days I've been reminded that when I'm afraid, I get angry. There aren't many things that I'm afraid of, so when fear does creep its way into my mind and heart, it can wreak havoc. I loathe fear. All the reasons why are a post for another day. Last week, it became crystal clear to me that my fear manifests itself as anger. And who better to fuss about than politicians and journalists? But, it's not so much politics, government, the media's blithering or their irrational, obsessive love-fest with our Celebrity in Chief that's the cause of my sleepness nights. It's not really even anger keeping me up at night. What it all boils down to is fear.
It's the upcoming move. I'm afraid to move again. Sounds ridiculous for a girl who's moved 8 times in 16 years to suddenly be afraid of move number 9, doesn't it? Ridiculous as it may be, I'm afraid. And I can sum it all up in just 2 simple words: my children. Let's start from the beginning, shall we?
Victoria: This upcoming September 25, my daughter would have turned 13. With each move, in some ways, I face her death all over again. Obviously it isn't with the excruciating intensity and sorrow of a recent loss, but it's there...a silent, painful rip at my heart. It actually makes my chest hurt. I dread the first walk into church, school, wherever. People believe they are seeing my family. No one knows my oldest child is missing, that my family portraits are incomplete. And, do they even care? No. Because they don't know to care. How can anyone know? They make simple, benign statements. Something like: "Oh, these must be all of your children." Cue the knots in my stomach and lump in my throat. Cue the screaming in my head (because my heart is yelling up to my brain that it's forgetting someone): "No, these are not all of my children. I have another child, I have another child."
But, once again, the brain will beat the heart as I reply: "Yes, these are my children."
I can't really explain it. All I can think of is that it might be like you introducing your children to new people, you acknowledge all but one. But not only do you ignore the one, you also pretend the child doesn't even exist. Because if you don't play the pretend game, everyone wants to run out of the room since you've made them all so uncomfortable.
I fear facing the loss of my daughter again. I fear the moments when my heart and head battle it out....you have four children...just say you have three...you have four children....just say you have three.
Next, we have Eleven Year Old: He will be leaving wonderful friends. I have shed countless tears, in the privacy of my closet, over the past week. This past Friday was my boys' last day of school. My heart ached as my oldest son barely made it through the door and into the living room before the tears began to freely flow. He knows he will make new friends. He knows this is just one more great adventure....his head knows, but his heart is taking a beating.
He has four of the greatest friends a mother could wish her kids to have. These four boys are sports fanatics, athletes to the core. My son is not. He can play sports, but he doesn't really love it. He plays basketball with them at recess, not because he necessarily loves to play, but because he appreciates their interests. And they in turn, appreciate his. My child is an artist, a writer, an actor. These boys made it a priority to show up at art shows and contests, making sure Eleven Year Old always felt supported. One mother cried as she said to me last week: "He has taught our boys that it's totally cool to write stories and draw. There is life beyond sports." Of course, I cried as I responded: "But your boys have taught him it's ok for him to just be himself, and that it's completely cool to be a little different."
My son had a truly amazing teacher this year. Mr.Thompson changed Eleven Year Old's life in a dramatic way. He taught my child life lessons stretching far beyond the academics. He insisted that my boy stay true to himself, to stand up for what he believes in, and to be proud of who he is. When my son started a petition requesting "free seating" at lunch, a few teachers tried to shoot down the idea. They told him he couldn't do it. But, my son's teacher stepped in and asked why. Here was a child trying to make a difference in a school of over 800 elementary kids. And, he was doing so in a most respectful, thoughtful way.
Mr.Thompson encouraged my son to do what he thought was right, and to never be afraid. Because of his support, my son found the courage to keep going with the petition. He even went to the office and requested a meeting with the principal. It worked, and the kids got their free seating. This may seem like no big deal, but it made a difference in my son's life.
I fear we've used up our good karma. I am scared that my "a little different" artist son may not find friends like he has here...especially as we venture back to the South, where baseball is king. I fear that my child may never have another teacher like his 5th grade teacher. I'm afraid of middle school, especially middle school in a new place.
And then there's Seven Year Old: This kid loves life. He is as laid-back and go-with-the-flow as any boy can be. Often, he acts before thinking things through. He is rowdy and silly, but has a tender little heart. He cried on the last day of school also. I can see that he's a little nervous about moving, but doesn't want to admit it. He had a fantastic teacher this year too.
I fear we won't be so blessed in the teacher department next year. Maybe we've used up our fabulous teacher credits. And this boy needs a loving and patient teacher. One that is equal parts firm and caring.
And last, but not least, Princie: We've made such progress with her. She'll be starting Kindergarten in the fall. We are leaving people who already know and love her. A school community that was happily looking forward to her arrival.
I fear the move is going to throw us back to where we were 2-3 months ago. And I won't lie, I am terrified. I don't want to go back there! It was painful and heartbreaking and beyond exhausting. I fear we won't find people so willing to help her, so willing to love her.
That's it, in a nutshell...albeit a very big nutshell. It's fear. And I loathe fear. But, in the midst of the fear (if I take a moment to be still), I have glimpses of peace and comfort. Reminders that I'm not completely alone. Last week, Misc.&Etc. posted about fear. And, if you don't already know, Snarky Mama FINALLY posted on her blog. HOORAY! Her first post? All about fear. She & I never discussed any of this.
Then I received this beauty from Seraphim...a reminder that no matter where I go, no matter how many people don't know....someone, somewhere, does know...and is remembering my child. I'm not too proud to admit my emotions are running high lately. No surprise this made me cry. It's so beautiful. Thank you Seraphim, thank you.
The movers will be here in just three days. So, I'm signing off for now. I won't be back until I am moved and can find the computer; although, I could hijack Eleven Year Old's laptop if necessary. And while I'm gone, I'll be fighting the fears.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:6-7