Home > Family, Los Angeles, Parenting > Crying with my hands

Crying with my hands

I wept the moment I saw the school director’s sympathetic face.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

“Could I get a hug?” I asked, eyes suddenly overflowing.

“Sure,” the director answered while walking around her desk.

After she hugged me, we talked briefly about the dozens of logistics I’m constantly juggling mentally as my older son prepares to start first grade next month. 

As things stand, the school that’s been my second home for two and a half years will no longer be my second home. My Li’l D will go to school somewhere else, somewhere close to home–aka, far from my office.

I can only barely tolerate my three-hour drive today because I share half of it with my sweet, boy-shaped chatterbox; I dread even imagining it without him. Without his silly questions and his earnest ones mixed in with giggles and sighs of exasperation, that long, slow drive will be emptier. An already disheartening 10.5 hours away from him daily will morph into a crushing twelve. I will be away from home and away from him one-half of every single day.

My husband is sad and grumpy between jobs. When he does start his next job, it will also require he drive three hours away–the opposite direction. We can’t both keep driving six hours daily forever, but there’s no quick escape from those six total hours of traffic torment.

I’m witnessing other changes unfold and wondering how I make my life be more comfortable now, not two or ten years from now. (I don’t need suggestions; I process and discard potential solutions at a rate of 20 per second.)

I finally thought up one solution that might ripple out to lessen total stress, but I have to get approval. Which I’m seeking.

But what’s the point of this all, even?


It felt so good crying with my eyes earlier, just letting it flow, that I hoped it might feel half as good to cry with my hands.

My shoulders do feel a little lighter, but I’d still wager I’ll soothe myself to sleep tonight

reminding myself that even Amazons cry.

  1. July 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    You are a survivor. You will find a solution and will make whatever situation you have to face do-able. Quality time with your kids will still be so very precious! Hang in there.

    • July 30, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks, Patti. Your words ease my heart immensely.

      (BTW, I didn’t get a chance to watch the videos you shared last night, but hope to do so tonight.)

  2. July 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I needed that reminder, too. My kids are starting at a new school in two weeks. I feel your pain.

    • July 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      I remember reading about that–if I recall correctly, you’re leaving a great school for greater constancy over the longer haul? It’s hard to leave people who’ve shown such love for your kids, even when the next place looks well prepared to carry that torch …

      • July 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm

        Yes, it should be a better place in the long run! I meet the majority of the staff at the new place next Thursday..

  3. July 30, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    ((Hugs)) Sometimes there isn’t just anything else left to do.

    • July 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      *big hugs*

      Really … hugs are perfect right now.

      I am so glad I’ll be seeing friends this weekend. Reading someone else’s blog today about missing friends reminded me of being in Japan … how I’d be covered all day in kid hugs, but still felt starved for hugs, because there’s a difference between hugs offered by kids looking up and by friends looking at you head-on, engulfing you in a hug at your own level, and showing everything’s gonna be just fine in a way that words somehow never quite touch. Not the same way.

      So, yeah. Hugs. I’m for ’em, and receive (also return) them with thanks. ♥

      • July 30, 2015 at 7:19 pm

        Well then extra, extra ((hugs)) sent your way!!!

  4. July 30, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Out of curiosity, has Li’l D inherited your iPad yet? I wonder if a (private) co-authored vlog (offline or accessible via your phone) would be a fun endeavor to undertake. Snippets or mini-journal entries, format is up for debate. I know you don’t want solutions, and this isn’t intended to be one. It’s just a fun idea that popped into my head for reclaiming that lost time in another fashion that I think Li’l D would take to like a boss. 🙂 *hugs*

    • July 30, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      It’s his as of last week. That is a fun idea. It reminds me I made him another iPad-related promise when I handed it over, so I should get on that … tomorrow. 🙂

  5. July 30, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I am experiencing a similar shift in my routine, and a similar amount of hours (impending) away from my older boy. Sending you lots of good vibes! Sigh…

    • July 31, 2015 at 4:51 am

      Sending the same back! I have faith in our ability to adapt, but sometime it’s good to look at the truth–that it’s an adaptation, not a rightness–and make peace with that …

      Rooting for you!

      • August 1, 2015 at 6:20 am

        Thank you, Deborah 🙂 that is so well said and true!

  6. July 30, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Some days tears are a toxin which needs to be shed. Cry all you need.

    • July 31, 2015 at 4:53 am

      Crying often feels cathartic to me, but I had no idea that even two minutes of it could feel so freeing! Makes me think I should find little opportunities to cry more often, to let out some of the pressure before the One Enormous Cry. *hugs*

  7. July 30, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Goodness, that’s tough. I really hope you can come up with a solution that makes things better/easier for all.

    • July 31, 2015 at 4:54 am

      Thank you! I think I will. I can’t quite pinpoint how, but typing this all up somehow made it so much more apparent that I would. 🙂

  8. July 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I get bothered that school eats up 7.5 hours of LM’s day, can’t imagine how tough it must be with that commute and both of you working. Sending you major hugs. ❤

    • July 31, 2015 at 4:54 am

      I felt a physical sensation of weight being lifted from my shoulders reading this. THANK YOU! Big, big hugs. ♥

  9. July 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Awww, I love you LBS, and you are indeed an Amazon, a Superwoman – but it’s definitely okay to not be a superwoman forever. Even Wonder Woman and Superwoman (I know, I know, she’s “Super Girl”) have alter egos, so they get lots of breaks! You should get one, too. All that’s to say… I love you, and you got this. ❤

    • July 31, 2015 at 4:56 am

      Got another something in my eye reading this. It reminds me of that conversation with El where I said, “My mom had to do it all alone, and I can, too!” and she replied, approximately, “Your mom didn’t live those hardships so you’d go and live the exact same ones! She lived that way so you could have it better.”

      Along with Wonder Woman and Superwoman (stickin’ with that), I’m pretty sure what Thunder Thighs would say, too. Love you, BLS. ♥

  10. July 30, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Hope you find a solution that works for all of you, Deb. Driving for so long would make me crazy, I truly hope there are places closer to home where you could find work.xx

    • July 31, 2015 at 5:00 am

      Thank you. ♥ I emailed my manager from the car last night to get discussion rolling. My fingers are crossed. And you know? Somehow, after last night/this morning, the possibilities seem limitless. Nothing’s fast, but I’m on the train the right direction. (As I type this, I wish yet again your time apart were measured only in hours …)

  11. Deb
    July 31, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I wish for you a quick resolution with a peaceful, happy outcome for everyone. Being a parent is wonderful, but the things that adult life throws at us can make being a parent suck as well.

  12. July 31, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I remember when I took my new job, which was a massive pay cut, but it was one that was a work from home… and I had to really think about my decision, and could I live on the smaller salary – and could I adapt to the technology, to the remote calls, to the external server and no tech support – and it came down to the fact that it would allow me to be there more for Mr. T, and that tipped the scales 🙂 Life is hard, decisions are hard, and you never really know if you are making the right one. But the really good news is, it’s not permanent. You get to make new decisions over and over again, and I know that y’all will find the ones that are right for you. Until they aren’t. Then you get to go through this all over again 🙂

  13. July 31, 2015 at 9:47 am

    That commute is just killer. I NEVER experienced what you and your sweetie are going through, but I did my hour on the highway when we lived in the ‘burbs. When we decided to start a family and move to a small town, we knew we were giving up a lot in terms of salary ( a BIG drop in $$) and big career opportunity. I won’t say I don’t sometimes regret it – I do. But being able to dash over to the kids’ school to see their little kindergarten plays, or be the library mom on my lunch hour, or know that their babysitter was somebody my husband went to grade school with – I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
    I’m hoping all good things for you, sweetie.

  14. July 31, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I feel your pain. Most of my children have left home to create lives of their own. I have only one left and she is starting Jr. High in just 3 weeks. Be grateful for the time you have had with your sweet little man. Skype and Facetime are great for a quick I love you and midday check in. Not solutions, but something to ease the separation. You are a good mother, don’t forget that. With time and seeking other opportunities will present themselves. Happy thoughts and prayers your way.

  15. August 2, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Yes, Amazons too.
    You know Wonder Woman was an Amazon, yes?

    Wishing you strength, and healing in your tears…

    • August 2, 2015 at 10:25 am

      I have found such healing this weekend. Just wrote about it, and feeling even more inspired (and tearful) thanks to your words. I am grateful for your compassion. ♥

  16. August 3, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Even Wonder Woman cried. No platitudes or suggestions coming from the peanut gallery. Take a virtual hug though.

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