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FTIAT: Seven Days

Kasey (Single Working Mom) writes about life exactly as she lives it, addressing maddening, depressing and uplifting matters alike with candor and grace. What gets written on her blog is only half the magic of following her blog, though; the remainder falls into the equally candid email exchanges we would never have begun but for her blog! I am always delighted to read her words, no matter which forum they reach me through. 

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Seven Days

All week long I was living in the town of Anxiety.  Stressed to the gills about taking my daughter, Maycee, down to Grandma’s for the rest of the week, while she was sick, for a “vacation” we had planned long ago before summer began.  She had a myriad of illnesses hit her at one time, two emergency room visits; I had already missed two days of work, preparing myself to miss more if her fever didn’t subside.  After a follow-up visit with the pediatrician, ear infection was gone, her fever was denounced as not much to worry about, and the cold, well, it was just a cold.   With the game plan in place to proceed with grandma’s visit if the doc said all systems go, we were in the car, bags packed with Blanky, Bluey, and Crystal Kitty, heading south to meet her dad for pickup and transport.  Maycee was excited to be going, ready to have some change of scenery after four days couch-ridden at home, but within a short amount of minutes she was crashing out in the back seat, tired and plainly spent.

I am blessed.  My daughter does not get sick often.  Perhaps over seven and half years she has been really sick—REALLY SICK—about three other times.  The last one was pneumonia/croup that took us to the emergency room when she was three years old.  I was separated from her dad then, but still living within a close distance to him as well as other family.  I worked mainly from home along with two other part-time day jobs that were not very restricting at all to parenting.  I was able to be at home with her without much concern or fear, knowing all jobs could do without me just fine.  It was a different time and a different place, a different life.  It seems like another world away, really.  She recovered from that scary illness in about a week.  Not too long, and with marked progress.  This time, at this age, the same end result was not occurring, and I now live two and half hours away from her father and my family, work a day job, 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, and manage all life’s complexities in isolation.

I had so many ideas for this guest post.  In fact, I had settled on one FTIAT subject with emphatic decisiveness, mulling over what details I would include, how beautifully I could string the concepts together…hmmmmm…but that just wouldn’t be me.  Not in the blogosphere.  Not in my head.  Because of this: when I grasp the hour or two I steel for myself to write I MUST simply write what is pressing on my heart at that very moment.  I could be no truer to those reading if I did not write this way.  And, the blogs I gravitate toward do the same.  I will say this then, I’m fairly certain I will one day post my original FTIAT planned subject matter when it hits me…But today, for this guest entry it boils down to this: DRUMROLL PLEEEEEEEEAAAASSSSEEEEE…

I AM SO VERY THANKFUL FOR MY DAUGHTER, MAYCEE.

She made it through the week at Grandma’s with a lot of difficulty but some recovery.  Then, it was off to her dad’s for the weekend.  All totaled I was away from her for seven days.  Seven days too many.  As a single working mom I certainly cherish a few quiet moments “childless”.  I scramble to get chores done or tackle a larger house project that I’ve had to put off.  I sleep in (if I’m not under guilty duress) until 8AM and slowly drink a warm cup of coffee rather than quickly drink half of one, cold.  But, if you put a hidden camera in my home during my first night of imposed “freedom” this is what you’d see (fictitiously narrated by any of your favorite announcers):

There she is, Kasey.  She’s just standing there.  In the middle of her living room.  Looking around.  What’s she looking at?  Oh, there she goes, now she’s going to the kitchen.  Wait, she’s back.  She’s back in the middle of the living room.  Staring.  At the walls?  It’s midnight.  Why doesn’t she go to bed?  What is she doing?

Because without my daughter there is too much space for me.  Because without the hours filled to the brim of 9:00 at night with work, camp, childish whining, scolding, questions, giggles, and hugs I hardly know what to do with myself until a day or so has passed.   This I’ve come to recognize with immense gratitude!   I’m so very thankful that I do not live solely for my own self any more.  That although this single mom-hood life isn’t what I’d wanted or planned for, I wouldn’t trade it for anything if it meant not having my little one.  I wouldn’t want to go back to a life where the world revolved around memyselfandi.   Other mommy-friends say, “Oh, I would love it if I could have a few days to myself.  It’d be so nice.”  Sure it would. Sure it is.  I need re-charging; we all do.   But more-so than the pleasure of solitary confinement, when I’m away from Maycee for days or a week at time it reinforces my sense of gratitude for this amazing gift I’ve been given.  I’m a mom, I’m a mom, I’M A MOM!  Rejoice and be glad in it! HALLELUJAH!

I picked Maycee up today at 4:10PM.  The hours did not move quickly enough for me.  I called her every day she was away; sometimes twice.  I parented through Grandma and her dad by phone.  I wanted to climb through the receiver to give her hugs, give her medicine, give her all of me, but I couldn’t, so I’d say, “Can you feel it?  This is Mommy giving you a hug. MMMMMMMMMMHMMMMMMMMM!”  She’d reply, “Ooooooh, that was a good one, Mommy!  I could feel it!”    I picked up Maycee today, and when I got into that McDonald’s parking lot she was holding her dad’s hand until she saw me.  Then, the smile grew bigger and bigger, and she let go of Dad’s hand in anticipation.  I quickly parked the car, jumped out, and grabbed my girl.  Crying, I hugged her so tight, told her I loved her, how much I missed her.  This time even more than the rest, if that is possible, because I had to trust her recovery within the village it takes to raise a child-not my own hands.  She said to me, hugging me back, “I missed you, too.”  And, I was so very, incredibly thankful she is mine, and I am hers: Maycee’s mommy.  HER ONE AND ONLY MOMMY.

This drive home there was no Scooby Doo movie playing in the backseat, no DSi games going, barely any music.  Just loads of relief and love you could feel through the seats and carpet and windows of the car.  Talking, catching up, as if we didn’t talk fast enough we’d lose our breath.  Mother and Daughter.  Laughter that swelled with each mile until we reached the Yellow Submarine, and Maycee said, “I’m going to let you get out of the car and get to the door first so I can run right in [to our home, that is]!”  And For This I Am Thankful.

I am also thankful for you, Readers.  In this life, today, be happy, and as always, give a chuckle.

last : A Moment of Clarity | Take A Sip (11/18/11) : next

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  1. November 4, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Ah, what a sweet post. I don’t have children, but I imagine it must be distressing to have a sick child. Sounds like you have a delightful daughter and a wonderful relationship with her. I look forward to checking out your blog. Thanks, thank, thanks. And happy weekend!
    Kathy

    • November 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Thanks, Kathryn! Whether we have children or not, I think we all connect with sentiments from the heart regarding family. Maycee is terrific, and I am so happy you enjoyed the post. I also look forward to “seeing” you on Singleworkingmomswm! Happy weekend to you, too!

  2. November 4, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Mom to mom, the only way I can think to describe your post is “exactly true”. I think you’ve done a beautiful job writing on the worry and gratitude of a mother 🙂

    • November 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Thank you, Tori. We write best about what we know, eh? Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  3. November 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Another great edition of FTIAT! I understand this as a parent having the lion’s share of custody, if not as a “mom.” Part of me has to wonder what Maycee’s dad felt during all of this. But this is a great post from your perspective as the primary caregiver. This one line is what stood out to me the most:

    Because without my daughter there is too much space for me.

    Yes. That sums it up succinctly. Thanks for the lift-up!
    (Reminds me of this post: Losing My Kids for the Summer.)

    • November 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

      Hi, Chris, and thanks for your perpective and nice comments! Yes, I often wonder what/how her dad thinks, as well…but, self-admitted, he enjoys his weekends with her and that is about as much as he says he “can do”. A very good man, just not as “into” the parenting side of things. With that said, we do pretty well, and he knows he can have as much time with Maycee as he wants. As the majority custodoy parent, whether mom or dad, it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking care of your child for any length of time. I’m thankful this doesn’t happen often, and I am going to visit your blog right now! Thanks for reading and sharing!!

  4. November 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I grew up with a mom who mostly saw me as an inconvenient nuisance. I never really knew that feeling of the most-important-person being grateful for me, and I learned to search for it in other places. When you put it into heartfelt words this way, it gives me an opportunity to be nurtured with the same love you give Maycee. So today, you were grateful for me, not as a reader, but as a daughter. You missed me when I was gone, felt vacant without me, and hugged me tightly when I came back. For this I am thankful. ♥

    • November 4, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Wow, what a beautiful comment, and I’m happy that you were able to receive some love and care from it. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy blogging: connecting and sharing with others from all over this amazing world. 🙂

  5. November 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Awesome post, I love a bit of phone hugging. Kids are fab, my house is so quiet on the rare occasions they are not around, just doesn’t feel right.

  6. November 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    You have been truly blessed, Deborah. Maycee is a treasure and I’m sure she’ll be a shining light in this world just like her Mom.

  7. November 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Very lovely and moving post. I’m so glad you appreciate these days, because while every age has its blessings, children truly do grow up too fast.

    • November 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      Yes, pegoleg, they do. It feels as though it was yesterday that I was rocking Maycee in my arms to lull her to sleep, reading my favorite stories to her, and now, she reads them to me! Thank goodness for photographs, home movies, journal entries, and blessed memories to keep those past emotions right there on our shoulders.

  8. November 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    As soon as I saw your daughter’s smiling face in the first picture, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through the rest of your words without tearing up. You’ve perfectly captured what it’s like to be a mom–Blessed. Even though I have days when I want a little time alone, I find that after a short while, I’m missing my kids. I think, what are they doing? are they smiling and laughing? then I rush home to see what I’ve missed. Thank you for this post.

  9. November 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    You’re welcome, Maineiac, and thank you for the super nice comments. I’m right there with you. As one of the readers mentioned above, not all parents view their roles with gratitude, and each person has his/her battles to face that make any given situation more difficult than another. However, at the end of the day, it’s so worth it to take the time to recognize how precious our little ones are…and they won’t always be small, although, they will always be our babies. Hope you are staying warm in Maine! 🙂

  10. November 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Ooooh that’s so sweet! I want space constantly until I get it too. Then all I can think about are my kids and if they’re doing all right. It doesn’t happen often, but there’s something about just having them there within hugging distance.

    • November 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      Yes, that is the thing! Even when she is playing with her friends or in her room, I know at any given moment I can have that contact. She’s with her daddy this weekend, and luckily, with the weekends, time flies by and tomorrow (albeit an hour later) I’ll be with her again. 🙂

  11. November 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Your post made me smile with tears in my eyes. It is hard work being a mommy, but sometimes I feel like shouting from the rooftops, “I LOVE MY SON!!!” Even after a day full of temper tantrums. 😉 Motherhood is truly amazing.

    • November 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks, Jess. Completely agree on all levels. Maycee’s tantrums (well, now more of attitude) passes quickly compared to all of the many fun, silly, and wonderful traits she possesses. Joy!

  12. November 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Kasey: You are fortunate to have created that special relationship with your daughter. I love being a mother — and I am grateful for the lessons my son teaches me every day. That said, I know I have to let him go sometimes. Like when he goes to overnight camp each summer for 3 weeks because I know he loves it. And it is good for him. And it is good for me, too. 😉

    • November 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      Yes, true. It’s difficult to co-parent in different counties, but she now enjoys getting to spend time with her dad, and she does well when she needs to go to Grandma’s for a whole week. The reunions are always sweet.

  13. November 5, 2011 at 5:13 am

    I still remember my mother saying to me in the hospital “Enjoy her. They’re only loaned to you for a little while.” Now she’s 30.

    • November 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      I know from how much I love my own mom, that even as thirty-something I’m still her little girl. I heed people’s advice to remember she will only be little for so long! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  14. John Erickson
    November 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Great post, Kasey. While the wife and I don’t have kids, we do have (and always have had) dogs. Except for a short period of time after our collie died and before we got our current Mastiff. I can definitely commiserate with you on the “empty house” feeling. I may grumble from time to time, but that period without a dog was FAR worse than any number of 2am sick-dog calls. (How bad was it? I trained our adopted kitten, dropped in our house by her mother, to fetch like a dog. Yes, I really AM that diseased an individual. 😀 )

    • November 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      Oops, John, read below. My reply to your comment went to Karen by accident! 🙂

      • John Erickson
        November 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm

        No problem on the reply. We haven’t filmed any of the pets, just miscellaneous photos here and there. But the wife will be on winter furlough from her job in about a month, so that might have to be a project for then!

  15. November 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

    • November 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      Thanks, John! We have two dogs (weenies) and a cat and two remaining fish and two fire-bellied toads. These are also my kids, too! I get a similar feeling when I take them to the kennel for a weekend away. Sometimes we wait to pick them up a day so I can get the house in order before adding in the extra chaos. It is so weird with them gone, too! I totally want to see a video of your kitty fetching! Have any??? 🙂

    • November 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      Karen, thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂

  16. November 6, 2011 at 12:48 am

    How sweet… Kaycee looks like a happy child and that picture of both of you is beautiful… Keep on doing what you do… and never feel guilty about a sleep in or extra cup of coffee. You deserve it. 😉 I enjoyed your post. 🙂

    • November 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Thank you very much, eof737! A good cup of coffee enjoyed for more than a few minutes is indeed terrific…and luckily with the time change this weekend, a little sleep in was in order, as well. 🙂

  17. November 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

    This is so lovely. Your Maycee is a very lucky girl and as a child of divorced parents I can so relate to that transiton and the part where you pick her up and you just enjoy being together again.’As a mother I can only empathize of not being able to be with her when she isn’t feeling well, that’s the stuff that you just don’t anticipate.

    Thanks Deb, as usual your guest posts are lovely:)

    • November 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you, Shannon. I come from a divorced home, as well. The swapping back and forth (in my opinion) is one of the worst ramifications, and it makes me sad that our kids have to just get used to it. And…they do…but at least I know with Maycee, to this day she doesn’t like it. However, once she’s home again, without a couple of hours we fit back into what is the life we know…just like tonight. 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing!

  18. November 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I’m sorry I’m late to this one… I have to say how beautiful this is. I haven’t the right words, I’m sorry, but I had say how much it makes me remember my own daughter and all the love we have, too.

    • November 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you, Sparks! I sometimes don’t get to reading until much later, as well. I appreciate the comment, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  1. November 4, 2011 at 10:55 am
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