Friday, May 31, 2013

Most difficult time of the year

For the most part, I've learned to weather big seasonal events without Steve pretty well. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, my birthday.

I'm still working on this season that stretches from the last couple of weeks of school straight through to early July. Last day of school, Katie's birthday, Cooper's birthday, our wedding anniversary.

I hesitate to even share, because some of you may be thinking, "Can't you move on now?" I'm afraid that someday people are going to run out of patience.

But I can't ignore this difficult season, and I'm working on not being too hard on myself and instead acknowledging that it's tough.

The last day of school has always been one of the saddest days of the year for me. School was my refuge when I was young, and I hated saying goodbye to teachers, friends, routines and security. Those emotions are compounded when you're a mom, and you're saying goodbye to teachers, friends and routines that are meaningful to your children AND you're acknowledging that your children are growing up. (Which of course you want them to do, but good gracious it all goes so quickly.)

So, when you take the end of a school year and pile on top of that it happening without Steve, it can be emotionally messy.

I barely have time to recover from that and then we're celebrating Katie's birthday (she'll be 8 -- 8! -- the same age Cooper was when Steve died) and then Cooper's birthday (he'll be 12!) and the day after that is our wedding anniversary (19 years ago!).

A big part of this whole grief journey is adjusting to the differences between what Steve and I wanted, expected, planned for and prayed for and life as it actually is.

It's accepting that I'm not a stay-at-home mom with a flexible freelance schedule, that I'm not home with Cooper and Katie during their summer break. It's continually accepting that I'm the only adult at home, the only truly responsible party for all things related to home, yard, car, school, health care, discipline, finances and much more.

It's means trying to complete an online registration form that requires two parents/guardians listed, and the only solution is that I list myself twice just to get the form submitted. (Cooper has two moms! Tyra and Tyra.)

On the drive to school this morning, I told Katie that I was going to do my best to attend part of her end-of-the-year party next Thursday but that I wasn't sure I could attend the entire time because of work. I've already rearranged schedules for field day, jump rope club performance, bad-weather makeup day and more.

"That's OK, Mommy," she said, "because I'll know you tried your best."

That's what I'm focusing on these next few weeks -- trying my best with some self-imposed grace when I get overwhelmed.

Tyra & Cooper, spring band concert
Katie & Tyra, spring violin recital

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