The kids have been sick this week. The two of them timed it perfectly such that just as Charlie got well enough to head back to school, Liz has reached peak illness. Nothing big, just a little bug that gives sore throats and fevers, but man does it make kids moody and needy. Sure it was all fun and games when all Charlie wanted to do was watch cartoons and snuggle on the couch, but Liz? Not so much. This had made her very angry (the kids has some real Rage right now) and, best of all, sleepless. After all, what better way to overcome illness than to go on a three day sleep strike.
Not to be a whiner here, but this means that I have not slept without a kid in my bed in six days. Liz has slept maybe 10 hours in the past three days. I can't remember the last time I slept for more than 45 minutes uninterrupted. I am definitely bordering on insane from the tiredness and keeping up my nursemaid skills is taking its toll. I know this is not unusual, million of parents are having the same experience right now, but it still sucks, you know?
Did I mention Chris is in CA all this week for an "innovation workshop"? Yup, he left the morning after Charlotte spend the night throwing up and won't be back until tomorrow morning. So yeah, make that 24/7 unmitigated kids time, with no back-up. Again, this is not the end of the world, people do it all the time. Hell, I used to do this for months at a clip, never mind a week. None the less, I am frayed. Unraveling even.
Ironically for all this whining, I am mostly disappointed in myself. I mean come on now, this is baby-town frolics compared to what I used to do as a Submarine wife. I've done pregnancies, newborns, stomach flues, UTIs, plane flights and so much more all alone with not too much trouble. Why is this week killing me so? I know I am stronger than this, I know I shouldn't be felled by a handful of rough nights and a clinic visit or two.
I fell very conflicted over this. In an odd way I feel like I am losing a part of myself as we transition from the Navy. As if somehow I am starting to lose my "edge." That I have become less independent and capable as I have enjoyed the lovely co-dependence of having Chris around. Things that I would have handled as a matter of course in the past seven years now seem to be knocking my feet out from under me, and I don't know why.
On the flip side, thank goddess I can enjoy the luxury of struggling without my husband. I should be jumping for joy that, for the first time in my marriage, I am able to say "hot damn it is hard with him gone" and not have that hard truth be dangerous. These are words you never say, not to yourself, not to anyone else in you position, because that acknowledgement makes it far too real. If you admit that this is not a good idea, that you struggle without your husband home or that you feel you might not be up to the task, a pall is cast over the many long months of deployments, patrols,underways and long in-port work hours. You can't dwell on that and survive.
Except now I can. I can say that. I can allow myself that feeling. If I want to, I can be the woman who is at loose ends because her husband has to travel for three days. That is liberating in ways that the English language is unable to accurately describe. But, it is also crippling. If I admit that, am I somehow less than? Because this week has been hard, because I am near tears from exhaustion as I write this, have I lost a part of what made me so very...me?