And on my way home from the second to last day of preschool, “Love is a Battlefield” came on the radio. I was already in a world-weary state from the all-nighter I pulled back on Friday, the 16 hours of driving over the weekend, the meeting friends, the sitting through classes, and the going to an amusement park. So my world-weary state was mostly caused by the accidental all-nighter this weekend, which by the way, didn’t work for me at 18 either, so it’s not an age thing. I refuse to call it that yet.
When “Love is a Battlefield” came on the radio, I did what many others have done before me. I let out a long drawn sigh and said, “Yeaaaah. Preach it, Pat Benetar.” And what heartbreak was I even talking about? Who knows anymore, anyway?
I’m stepping on mines here, left and right. Explosions here and there. Meeting blog friends. Saying goodbye to blog friends. The second to last day of preschool. The last day of preschool. Up ahead, I see preschool graduation right next to Des’ birthday. Double detonation. Followed shortly by a big, scary job and what would have been my father’s birthday on June 15th.
Then the battlefield smooths out into long fields and hills alive with the sound of music, with some mines alone the way. The day my father passed away, which also happens to be the day my grandfather passed away. Same. Day. Did I mention it’s the same time we celebrate ten years since I first laid eyes on their father – in an airport late at night. In NYC..because..where else?
I love summer. Have I mentioned that? When it rains, it pours. The bugs fall from the sky. So do the frogs – I saw that once in Maine. The humidity is ridiculous. I mean, just why? The landscape is strewn with mines and I never really avoid them anymore. I just walk calmly and let them explode in my face, but mostly, I’m wearing protective head and body gear anyway. And I have a lot of loved ones around me. And the sense of happiness I feel, mixed with the sense of excitement and nerves I mostly always feel in summer, make me know I’m doing something right. I hope it’s always like that. The tickles in my stomach that tell me something is maybe bigger than I thought. Or just as big and right. I don’t want to stop feeling this way, mines and all.
Yesterday, Scarlet and Cassidy had an argument before dinner. He was about to go out to buy ingredients for our many potlucks this week and he left. She was crying the kind of crying that leaves little room for breathing. I found her in that state and I didn’t do much more than rub her back and make her a grilled cheese sandwich. She said, “I didn’t get to say goodbye.” I murmured acknowledgments and comforts, all the while knowing that the best comfort was about to walk in the front door.
I thought for so long and so hard about how my father never did – come home. From the hospital. And I certainly never got to say goodbye. Seeing what an argument and an abrupt exit did to my four-year-old girl only sheds light on exactly how deep it runs for a four-year-old girl to lose her daddy suddenly. It makes me want to lift her tender heart higher & lighter, because we can.
On this week of Des turning two and Scarlet graduating preschool – the emotions run too deep to think about in the forefront of my mind. We’re two and nearly five years gone from their births. We’re two school years gone from when she entered this small and intimate school, where she wasn’t the only one cocooned in safety and warmth. I was too. This was my place. I’ve been running ragged for two months now. I’m slightly torn apart at the seams. It’s all about being two and five years gone.
When I was nearly four, my father passed away. When I was nearly five, my mom was remarrying and I was gaining a new dad, two brothers and a sister. Not to mention a new home. When I cry or feel anxious about Scarlet turning five and graduating preschool, a lot of it is my own memories of what can be lost. She is excited and most of my heart feels pure excitement for her growth and her journey. I am so damn proud of her too. She is a butterfly, ready to emerge. I am a butterfly, ready to emerge.