Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Things To Remember for Next Summer

I first began this post last Monday, intending to simply type up a list of the things we must remember for our next summer with the angel boy-O for next year, so that we can hopefully settle into a routine from the start, and not wind up spending/wasting so much of our time with him trying to establish a routine, just to have him leave once we've finally got it all settled. Instead of a list (which I still need to make), I wound up writing this:

This past Saturday, my honey-man had to drive the angel boy-O back to his mom and to his new life, living now in Ogden, UT. This had been his third summer spent with us in Vegas. A few have already asked why he's left already with August only beginning, but he needs time to reacclimate before his new school year at a brand new school begins, and to spend some summertime with his mom n' step-dad too.

Not too unlike the 2 previous summers, just as we all were getting on the same page with a solid routine going, he had to leave. I'm not sure if we'll ever get used to that aspect of his summer stays. This summer was the best effort thus far though, in that the boy-O had matured over the past year, making it an easier go, plus we remembered a bit more of what hadn't worked before, so there was less of a struggle when it came to making things happen. Plus --and this is a big plus-- the reality of having a needy baby sister gave the boy-O a fabulous chance to step out of himself --he's an only child, remember-- and to focus upon her needs and to experience the joy of helping and witnessing the growth of such a tiny person. And take that chance and run with it, he did!!! Ahh, gosh, it totally chokes me up. He was soooo good with his baby sister and he loves, loves, loves her so! And she adores him! Just ADORES him! As I'd shared before, he'd been the only one who could make her laugh (and she's still only laughed once for me). Yup, having the angel boy-O leave us this time around, it has got to be the hardest, most tearful summer's end yet for me. Knowing our time was nearing an end, as soon as we were in Montreal (17th thru the 27th), my honey-man and I, we were both taking turns tearing up on almost a daily basis, anticipating the inevitable separation from him come July's end.

While we were in Montreal, there was one evening the boy-O had made up a darling song and dance for his lil' jellybean sister and she giggled and glowed and squealed with delight as she watched his every move! He performed the lil' number he'd created for her at least 5 times. After he had sweetly held her face between his hands to gently kissed her checks and forehead goodnight, and I'd been given my goodnight kisses as well, I had to leave the house and go cry outside where no one could hear me, so sad the two darlings cannot be together all the time. I'm going to have to finish this later... I need a box of tissues. And it's 2am now.

Resumed writing on Wednesday the 5th: Our first summer in Vegas with the angel boy-O, man, oh man, that was a brutal summer, from start to finish. It wasn't all bad, no, but it was an enormous emotional rollercoaster! My honey-man had just moved to Vegas, and I was wallowing in insecurities, worried it would be a move he would surely regret by the summer's end. We only had the boy-O for 5 weeks, and I'm certain now that the boy-O was dealing with some deep-seated anger directed toward his father for his split life living between divorced parents. Plus, for the first time, my honey-man knew he was about to begin living his life without seeing his son for weeks and weeks at a time.

I cannot stress this enough: the emotional tension was high, high, high that summer of 2007. Unless we really make the effort to think long and hard about it, our minds draw a blank as to what else we did with him that summer... I know he and I painted his bedroom, of course, and we went hiking in Red Rock Canyon a few times and he had a couple horseback riding lessons. He had pirate-themed birthday party in Burbank, which I missed because I was in Europe. Of course, this here is a drastically oversimplified version of that 2007 summer, but overall, the summer is remembered as an awfully frustrating, painful, and tearful time for us.

Our second summer was almost a 100% improvement upon the first in that not only did we have more time together, we used the time more effectively, planning trips and activities and outings, eager to make good memories with him, to last us through the months to follow, during which we would see him so little. It did really stink though when I threw my back out and then wound up in the hospital for a week - - almost the month of July was a bust! Nevertheless, the summer was less stressful and we were better prepared for how painful it would be once it came time for him to leave us.

This summer though? It's easily been the best yet. We'd learned a thing or two from the first two summers, experiencing far less trial and error this time around, definitely. Over the eight weeks' time together though, we still weren't truly able to establish a routine until he was about to leave. That's why I'm hoping a list of pointers may help us next time around, to reduce the adjustment time involved.

Anyhow, the best thing about this summer was watching the angel boy-O with his baby sister... the absolute best! I am so proud of him. He was such a fabulous big brother to his baby sister. He was an excellent binky manager, quick to seek out her binky if she was cranking and in need of such comfort, and he'd retrieve her binky whenever she (or we) had dropped it. In no time, we found him doing what we do: Whenever the binky drops and a sink for a rinse ain't handy, he'd pop her binky intp his own mouth to 'clean it off' before giving it back to her. He was also her backseat traveling companion, always buckling up in the center seat beside her carseat. There was a few times he'd marvel over how startling it was to discover she was quietly staring at him after waking up during a car ride, and always breaking into a smile once he'd notice she was awake. On our car trip to Utah and back, he sang and talked to her, he fed her bottles, and he managed her drooly chinny-chopper, and he always let us know whenever she slept or woke up, or burped, tooted or did a number in her diaper.

In general, he was "our informer," often giving us play by play commentary as to whatever she was doing or whatever he thought she was doing; the two were not always the same thing. For instance, he was always very concerned about her breathing: "Um, I'm not sure she's breathing. She's not breathing! Are you sure she's breathing?" He was also her 'good morning' cuddler, eager to see her first thing after getting up for the day, before he'd even hit the bathroom or get dressed. He was also her director of evening entertainment, and, and, and... Crap -- he was? That's exactly why his leaving Vegas this time around has been so hard: I'm already refering to his presence in his baby sister's life in the past tense -?!? He was this, he was that... because he's gone now. We won't see him again until Labor Day weekend... she won't see him again until Labor Day. It makes me so sad. I had anticipated this would be hard, but I had no idea just how deeply gut-wretching it would be. I think that may be because I really had had no idea how perfectly the two babes were going to connect. By the time he was leaving, if she could hear his voice, she'd bend and twist her little body about to see where he was at. The other night, I was watching a video of the two cuties, and she heard his voice and looked about, trying to find him, and I burst into tears. I hope we find a way to keep the two connected. Right now, I miss him so badly, it's been hard to talk to anyone about it without choking up.

And my honey-man? Ahh, I can't go there. I'll leave it at this: We're both very sad right now.

1 comment:

alicia said...

Sounds like a challenging situation, but it's great that they connected so well. Wish I had better advice, but never been there. Good luck.