11 April 2009

Easter break can be a bit heartbreaking

April 2008 on our cruise

Yesterday I spent a nice "just the three of us" day with my children since they would be leaving in the evening to join their father for this year's April vacation week. Nia is a sweet, but challenging little girl because she does not eat much during the designated meal times which can be frustrating. However, there are those odd times that she comes back chewing and swallowing like a champion!

For breakfast I created a lovely batch of Apple-Pear Multi-Grain Pancakes (organic of course) accompanied by a perfect Pete and Gerry's sunny side up egg, one each for the kiddies. All of this chased with juices and vitamins!

We went to see the movie, "Race to Witch Mountain," which the children enjoyed and so did I since I dozed on and off during the entire middle and end. This all happened after there was no more popcorn to keep me busy awake chewing! LOL! Great movie! From there we ran some errands and returned home to do some chores and I made a late lunch. My goal, when I know they will be gone from me for a while, is to pack their little bodies with a lot of good nutrition. It gives me great comfort that I send them on their way strengthened in more ways than one.

I made a lovely Asian stir fry, laced up with veggies galore, chicken and noodles and a mild and lite amount of teriyaki sauce so that it would not overpower and over salt the dish. The children indulged to their hearts content, and to my delight, Nia ate 85% of the impressive quantity that I put on her plate. This warmed my heart.

After our late lunch, we decided to take photos with one another which would become very small keepsakes for the children to take with them for their vacation. Nia especially loved the idea so that she would be able to stare at her pics and feel close to me while she was away.

Onto baseball with Miles and luckily it was not raining...yet. While he practiced, Nia and I ran around the field, just playing, chatting, laughing and hanging out with some other friends. When it was almost over, their father showed up, so Nia and I left Miles with him and dashed home to do "girl things." I washed her hair, conditioning and the whole nine yards converting her into a fresh new gal ready to embark on "spring break" mania!

Now it was almost 8:30 pm, and I had to surrender to the fact that she was to leave me now and join her father and brother. Though she snacked a bit here and there, she said, "Mommy, I am hungry." I looked at the clock and I dreaded the idea of feeding her at that time of night, but I certainly saw the hunger in her face. We decided to stop at one of our favorite pizza parlors for their tasty "chicken fries." Fresh out the oven, hot and so aromatic....not the healthiest thing in the world, but definitely a "picker upper," and a quick "hunger pleaser!"

We drove up to the parlor and I got out of the car, and then opened the back door to let Nia out. She was excited. Lots of people were there, but luckily I was smart enough to call the order in before leaving the house, so they were ready when we got there. Nice folks in there.... Mario's Pizza! I paid for the fries and we were ready to walk out, get in the car, so that Nia could munch away at the fries.

I reached my hand out to Nia for her to hold as we left the parlor and she suddenly looked extremely sad. How did she go from looking so happy (anticipating the fries) to becoming so very, very sad in those few moments??? I asked her, "why do you look so sad?" And her eyes welled up with tears instantly. It seems she was trying to hold back but she could no longer. She, in her usual "Nia" style, did not respond, but her eyes spoke loudly to me begging me to keep asking her what was the matter.

I got it .... very quickly. She was feeling exactly what I was feeling, though I had to be a big girl and not let on even at this moment. I asked her, "are you sad because you are leaving me now?" She said "yes," and the tears were coming down harder now. How to fix this effectively?

I guided her to the front passenger seat and I pulled her close to me while I threw everything from that seat to the back seat. A bottle dropped and rolled a bit, and I asked her to picked it up for me. She got the bottle (which seemed to calm her a bit) and she seemed a bit puzzled, and then she asked, "what are you doing Mommy?" Everything was all cleared now, and I told her to get in and buckle up. Now I know I was not being extremely responsible at this time, but time was not on my side, and I did not want to deliver a sobbing child to my ex-husband for a whole host of reasons that you could imagine.

I dashed around to my seat, jumped in, closed the door and ripped open the bag with the steamy hot chicken fries. Nia now looked a lot less distressed. I put the fries between us and I said to her, "be careful, they are hot." She was so happy, grabbed one and as she bit off a small piece, she said, "Mommy they are not too hot." This was good.... she is getting better at eating hot food!!!

As I backed up and drove off, I told her that she WILL be ok. I told her to go on vacation and have a great time, and when she misses me, she should call me if she wants to, and keep her pictures of us close to her. She said, "ok Mommy." After she ate about 6 or so chicken fries (and no, they are not big), she said, "Mommy, I am full." Now she was leaving me with a big container of chicken fries. Oh dear!

There was something magical about the combination of the pictures we took earlier in the day, the chicken fries and riding in the front seat of the car for 8 MINUTES. It truly turned her sadness into JOY.

I knew not to cry with her though it was truly in my mind and heart to do so. This week I have a ton of stuff to accomplish... for myself, and inevitably for the sake's of my children. I will surely miss them during many moments of this very LONG... SHORT week ahead. We have great memories together, and we will create more great memories in the future!

Great memories, April 2008 -- in Florida and on our cruise !

1 comment:

Rosita said...

Aww, the mother/daughter bond is so amazing! I love the way you handled the situation and quickly calmed her! Only us mothers know how to do that in a heartbeat! :-)