Monday, June 21, 2010

the kumbaya of women

I've been single parenting for awhile now. J's been in the jungle and we girls in the States, working here to pay for the house building there. It wasn't an easy decision and there are hard days, bad skype connections and a missing so deep. A wondering of what the hell are we doing and an excitement underneath because we are creating this place in the middle of nowhere, from near and from far. We are still committed to this thing.

So it's mostly been me and my girl, made possible in part by the flexibility of friends and women who have become friends. Like my boss, who when it gets late in the day she says oh i know you need to go get your girl and she means it and it's okay. Or the friend who takes my child about once a month, out for lunch and a movie so I can run errands or simply do nothing. Or my mom, who we visit when we can and who will take completely over, leaving me behind in the best possible way.

But mostly it's just been me and my girl, something I thought would be harder than it has been, we have good days and not so good and I occasionally beat myself up for not doing a better job and sometimes I'm a slacker and sometimes she talks back but mostly we do just fine and while we miss the third leg of our little stool I also realize how precious this time is, the ease with which we move through our day, the simple routine of two. The bond we share and now share even more.

On a bad day she might look at me and tell me she thinks I'm being mean because I miss daddy and that's okay but I don't have to take it out on her. Or on a good day she'll call us sisters and hug me tight. Or today, she handed over the contents of her piggy bank so we can buy anti-malaria nets for kids who need them, or yesterday when she told me my outfit looked really, really bad but in a really nice way. And through it all, distracted or not or busy or not I look at her and I watch in wonder, because I can't believe how lucky I am and how much I adore her, how amazing and brave and nimble she is and how we are in this together, laughing and stressing and hugging and teasing and learning and crying our way into what comes next.

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11 comments:

Amber said...

These kids really are awesome, aren't they? I stand in awe of the whole thing, for real.

Gwen said...

I so get this. My girls are awesome. Parenting them alone is hard.

I hope you guys get to be together again soon. Stools really do need their third leg.

slow panic said...

beautiful. i just read something about letting them go to become themselves and it seems like you to have found and are finding the balance

painted maypole said...

oh.

just today my husband moved to Michigan to start our new life there, and my girl and I are still here in Louisiana, trying to sell this house.

祁禾 said...

very nice blog~~......................................................................

luckyzmom said...

Many mothers manage to balance like a circus act or grow another leg for their stool when necessary. You are doing a great job.

lildb said...

Jen. Beautiful Jen.

It's really effing great to read you again. And I am here. Witness to your strength even when you feel stumbly and also when you feel lioness-proud.

Love you.

krista said...

i feel a bit on the opposite side of the spectrum today. i am the one working full-time and my man is the one home with her all day. they have started to have inside jokes and i simultaneously crack a bit at the ribcage seams and swell with the idea that she is getting exactly what she needs right now.
i hoping for my turn, though.

gah. i'm talking about me and here i was, wanting to talk to you about how much your posts make my mind relax into awareness.

my words. failing.

bgirl said...

must be bittersweet in many ways. sending love to you on this journey within our journey.

Expatriate Chef said...

You do such a great job of expressing things I feel, too. Doing more of the parenting, I get more responsibility, but I get this kind of bond, too. Thanks. Hope you are doing great, kiddo.

Binky said...

You two are an impressive combo on all the days, the good ones and the bad.