Saturday, June 29, 2013

First Good Cry

Today marks Day Seven.

Today also goes down in history as the first time I cried.

It all started innocently enough. I was sitting at the breakfast table, reading a book. (Okay, okay: I was probably on Facebook. But for the sake of my intellectual reputation, can all we agree that I was reading a book? Or at least the New York Times book review section? Thanks.)

Anyway. I was reading my book when Ainsley walked in the kitchen. She had recently applied makeup from her new toy makeup kit, and the least offensive way I can think to describe the look is "blue raccoon hooker chic." She had blue shadow caked on her lids, under her eyes, across the bridge of her nose. And the lipstick! Bright pink, smeared carelessly across the lower half of her face.

She stood in front of me. "You know something, momma?" she asked pensively, examining her own small fingernails.

"What, baby?" I replied, trying to ignore the blue streaks. And the pink streaks. God. The pink.

She stood for another beat before her whole face crumpled and she started sobbing.

"I miss daddy," she bawled and threw her arms around me, blue-pink face buried in my neck. "I just want him to come home."

I pulled her onto my lap and we rocked together for awhile, arms around each other. I whispered all of the not-helpful things into her ear, about how her daddy loves her more than anything, and he thinks about her all day long, and he'll come back as soon as he can, and on and on. She listened for awhile, sobs becoming sniffles, and finally asked, in a tiny voice, "but what if he forgets me?"

I kept it together. I did! We talked, arms still around one other, until I finally convinced her that she should draw a picture for daddy so he would know she remembers him, too. She skipped off to get paper and crayons, happy again, albeit with horrid teary blue streaks across her cheeks and ears.

While she was drawing, I got in the shower, turned on the water, and did my own bit of sobbing. For my poor sad Ainsley, who worries her dad will forget her. For the other kids, who are dealing with it in their own ways. For my husband, who misses us terribly already. And of course, for me, because now I have to explain the unexplainable to a 5-year-old.

No, sweetie. Your daddy will never forget you. Not a chance.


sclawgrl said... [Reply]

I just had a good cry myself reading this. I hope this time passes as quickly as possible for you all.

Lindsey said... [Reply]

You're doing fine. Crying is fine and crying in the shower is very efficient...tears wash right away. You'll feel better tomorrow or in a couple of hours or a week but something else will you hit you sometime and you'll cry again and that's ok too. It's love love love and you are all lucky to have each other. He'll be home before you know it but in the meantime, if you need an ear, don't hesitate to hunt down this particular stranger. I might have been where you are now and even, maybe, where your husband currently is...just last year. Take care.

Donna said... [Reply]

Thanks guys. So nice to have friends thinking of us....

Brooke said... [Reply]

God bless you guys

Nicole said... [Reply]

Hi Donna, I just stumbled across your blog. I'm one of the former CLOs in Baghdad. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a staffing gap this summer, but once the incoming CLOs arrive, have your husband go ask them about the United Through Reading program. Sounds like your five year old and her father (and you) might really benefit from it. Good luck getting through this year. It goes by fast, even if it doesn't always feel like it!

Please. Write your own stuff.