I picked my youngest child up tonight, her eyes exhausted but happy.
“No more New York, right Mommy?”
Her treasure, presents brought back after a long summer of separation and heartache, doesn’t make up for the time we lost. The time I should’ve gone apple picking with her class. The time she had an accident at school and needed a hug from her mom at night so she could pluck up the courage to go back in the next day and not be the kid who wet her pants.
I am so achingly aware her older siblings don’t have who to go to for this. Wet pants would be shameful. Ridiculed. A bullying moment. While I can’t live every minute of the day in the feeling of missing out, it has made coming home dulled and less joyful than it should be.
Still, though far from perfect in the wet night, there is a peace. The windows are slightly open. The breeze brings fall air and the smell of fresh rain through the room. The fan hums. Sheets feel familiar and soft against a tired body. Her dark hair cascades against her pillow and teddy bear as she snuggles in.
For a moment, I can smell my older children. They’re freshly washed and in pyjamas. Kisses. Shema. They snuggle in too.
I wake up from the daydream. 33% of my heart is functioning. But it’s working. It has love.
And in that 33% I find some peace. Enough to sleep and go to the place where my heart is fully functional, even though it’s a fleeting fantasy.
This decision was right.
I’m in my tiny home with a tiny heart broken in pieces. But at least I still have that.