We went 'round and 'round about it like a half drunk polka, pushing and pulling and stumbling over our feet at high speed. "It's not my decision!" I would insist, my arms flailing around and my face flush with annoyance.
"But it is, because you're the one who will have to handle it all alone when I'm gone."
"But I can't say no or yes here, honey. It's your choice!" More flailing about on my part, wanting him not to take it, knowing we could use the money, fearing the long stretch of time without him, knowing that the extra cash would smooth out the month.
To be honest, it has gotten easier over the last six months. I can handle his absences without feeling like I'm drowning now. I can put girls to bed and wake early to cuddle; I can make the meals and clean them up and float from room to room in a haze, now one I can actually see through instead of the dark pea-soup haze that had me lost for so long. It helps that I finally accepted that I need help during these times and have a teenager set to come a couple of times as well as sitting down with Vikki to work through spending time with her help. She doesn't have to DO anything, per se. Just having her here makes everything so much easier for me.
But he decided to say no and enjoy his birthday at home with the party I'd already planned for him. He decided to give us those three days and just be gone for the week, rather than ten days. I find myself elated and fighting out the extra tinge of guilt I know I shouldn't hold in my pocket.
And you know what else he's done? He's taking me to the mountain this weekend where there's a foot of snow and miles of silence, no internet and bad cell service, and another pair of friends we adore. The girls are staying with my mom and then friends and for two mornings I will wake without them at the bedside, asking to climb up and cuddle (which actually means pulling on my ear while wiggling like a puppy). I'm looking forward to missing them a little and then coming home to hear the stories of their grand mommyless adventures. I'm looking forward to spinning 'round and 'round with them in a place of joy rather than exhaustion, tripping over our feet and finding ourselves a pile of giggles on the ground, just like a half drunk polka.
I think that'll be the new theme for our family: half drunk polka.
What dance best describes yours?