These last few months have been hard on our family.
Wee one manages to do well during the week. It was a hard transition , at first, when Hubby was gone during the week. But he seems to have settled into the new routine of our week days. One of the things I have managed to do is keep a pretty firm routine to the day. I make sure he is outside as much as possible. We keep a pretty good nap and bed time schedule. We have Story Time at the library and Sunday school, soon winter playtime at a local gym will begin. I am working with him to make Christmas presents. He helps me cook. He helps me hang laundry. ( okay, really, he helps me get exercise by scattering laundry about, but he means well;). Weekends are difficult for him. This is when he expresses his anger toward his Dad being gone for the week. Gotta let him have his feelings. But it is not easy for Dad who misses him. So we are just trying to make sure that he has time alone with Dad each weekend. We reinforce lessons on manners and speaking kindly. But we also have to take time to listen. he tells his Dad, " I miss-ed ya Tad"
Teen is busy. He goes to Portland every other weekend to be with his Dad. He has started his peer leadership program again. He is taking a photography class at Maine College of Art in Portland; so we drive him down on the weekends he is not with his dad. He has volunteered to cook one dinner a week. He tends to the animals, takes care of his chores without complaint. He has begun to babysit his younger brother if I need to go to a town council meeting, or needed to run a quick errand. He is a good kid.
Hubby and I are muddling through. We feel the weekends are too short. We have date nights. We try to make a point to "just be" as a family. But time is so limited to get all the things on that never-ending to-do list done; that many weekends are busy either playing catch-up or putting out a small fires such as fixing a vehicle, patching a leaky roof, or just getting more firewood put up.
I know that Hubby is sad. He worries when the neighbors act up because he can't be here. He misses his family, his bed, his dog. We Skype every night and it has helped but it can't replace his presence at our dinner table, his extra pair of hands after a long day, his adult conversation about the books we are reading.
But I am reassured. As a couple this has been our first big challenge. We've been married for 4 years. There were some growing pains at first but we had never been challenged such as we have been recently. And I think we are doing okay. I am not so bothered by the underwear on the floor as I may have been in the past. Everyone is doing the best they can under the circumstances. And silly as it may seem to this otherwise frugal family we buy a lottery ticket every once in a while just because...it only takes one ticket to win and maybe we could win. We need to daydream about the easy fix, even if there is none.
When this is all over...when we have sold our house, found a new home; when our family can be together, when we have settled and all this struggle, fear, frustration is behind us, perhaps there will be more lessons gleaned from this time in our lives. For now, I am grateful to know that my wee one can express his emotions, that my teen is maturing and a good person and that my marriage is strong...underwear on the floor and all.