Showing posts with label immigration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label immigration. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You're no domestic diety , you

"You are no domestic diety. While wholly devoted to the ones you love, you prefer to leave the cleaning and nurturing to someone else. "

My mom read me this horoscope, for Sagittarius, from the newspaper today.  The tone of her voice suggested nothing less than full agreement with what it said in relation to who I am: her December-born daughter. The levity with which she read it suggested she found it highly amusing.
(I love my mother. She has never, not for a second, let on that she would want any of her children to be different than they are.)

It was then I chose to tell her that at one point on Father's Day morning, I found myself in the strange situation, okay it wasn't strange at all, it was totally typical, of watching, or at least being aware of, Ian vacuum the entire first and second floor, including the stairs, while I was working out on my stationary bike in the corner.

What I forgot to tell my mom was that this was after I had made him a very loving breakfast of French toast and bacon and fried egg with café au lait, which we ate, en famille, at the table, decked with a bouquet picked by Esther, in the back yard.








At one point, when Ian was vigorously shoving the power nozzle back and forth across our one hairy oriental carpet, and I was vigorously doing imaginary hill sprints, the unlikelihood of the situation struck me and I said

"What is wrong with this picture? Shouldn't you be golfing or something?"

"Probably," he said and continued on with his persistent need to suck every unattached particle from the room.

It was then I recalled a conjured up memory from some long, surreal weeks ago, the last time I gave the house a complete two-floor, move the couch and pick up the chairs vacuum job.

That had been on Mother's day.

Touché!

We're even Steven again. As it should be.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

So much for gender equity





If anyone would have told me that less than two weeks after I got my husband back, after being apart, against our will, for one year-- one year of dreaming really of nothing other than being a family again-- it would feel as if none of it ever happened, I would have told them they were higher than the moon.

So why does life feel so absolutely ordinary around here?

While it took me about a week of seeing Ian standing in our kitchen, our living room, sitting at the dinner table, even hearing him scold Isla for making such a colossal mess of her room, before I could simply accept it was really him, in the flesh--Esther is that really Daddy standing over there or should I go back to sleep?-- his presence has now melded into our worlds.

Right now, our world couldn't be more deliciously ordinary: Ian is mowing the lawn-- desperately, racing the rain. The girls are fighting. Isla has a friend over, it's a school day, and they are doing their best to keep Esther from stealing and reading their diaries. There is much slamming of doors and shrieking in faux indignation. I think they really do want Esther to read their diaries. Given that their "diaries" contain mostly scribble, they are Kindergartners after all, there is not much to be gleaned from them, but I can attest to the sense of excitement at the thought of secrets being revealed.

I'm pretending to work, but with one ear and half my heart tuned into the goings on around me, it's uselessly nonproductive.

Ruby is lying at my feet, stinking in that truly-nauseating old-dog way--stinking, panting, and whimpering and occasionally barking in that late-afternoon way of hers. I swear she has sundown syndrome, that same energy shift that causes the occupants of old folks homes to get agitated and babies to become inconsolable and housewives to reach for the vodka bottle. If I could give her a beer, I would.

The truth is, she can barely move. She's covered in tumors, she has a most-likely-cancerous mass growing in her belly and her quality of life is crap. The conversation, spoken and unspoken, ever since Ian got home and lay eyes on his beloved old Bitch, has been "How do we know when it's time?"

The very first night Ian was home, I had to talk him off the ledge so angry was he at the state of this house. Everywhere he looked, he saw signs of immature-college-student house abuse. Things like nails hammered directly into the beautiful beams up in the attic, thousands of tiny tack and nail holes where Jerry Garcia posters and patchouli-scented tapestries were hung and torn down and hung again. Rotten window sashes, broken casement window latches, dented sheetrock, cracked floor tiles, filthy tile grout--all the things I have chosen to overlook, for self preservation since we moved back in.

Between the state of his house and the reality of his dying dog, I'm afraid Ian went to bed that first night in a fog of overwhelmed despondency. He was better in the morning and, within hours of waking up, had revived our failing push lawnmower and the weed whacker, and caught and tamed our lawn just as it was transitioning, officially, into wild, unmanageable meadow.

As I stood at the window watching him, effortlessly starting the weed whacker, the one I had tried and failed to start several times last summer, I was hit with the utter unfairness of the sexes. While I realize if I had been truly passionate about getting that lawn mower and that weed whacker operating again, I could have figured it out, it just seemed maddening how "second-nature " mastering small machinery is to Ian. Instead of getting all inadequate, as I sometimes do in the face of his über, well-rounded competence, I simply rejoiced in it and poured myself another cup of coffee.

Since he's been home, this is what he has done (Warning, this reads a bit like housewife porn):

*Fixed the lawn mower and weed whacker.
*Mown the lawn, twice.
*Whacked the weeds around the lawn perimeters and all the way down the driveway.
 *Cleaned out all the stinky, hairy, horrifyingly- disgusting sink and shower drains.
*Scoured the pots, I'm talking inside and out,
*Cleaned the oven--the guy removed the oven door and took a razor blade to the grunge.
*Scrubbed the stove top, removing more grunge from the burner frames.
*Scrubbed the tile grout clean, in the mudroom,, bathroom, front hall and kitchen, from dingy gray back to its original white. I've been mopping, but hadn't given a thought to taking a scrub brush to the grout.
*Rototilled the three-year-long neglected vegetable garden. 

Bonus points:
*Removed the annoying display- ad mode from our Vizio monitor which has been popping up annoyingly on the bottom of our screen every 20 seconds since the day I so proudly hooked it up. I have Googled it, read the manual, called Radio Shack--nothing could explain to me how the hell to get rid of that. He Googles it, picks up the clicker, done. It's gone. (We watched the original Swedish drama of The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, yikes, last night and could actually see the subtitles.)

*Put up our bed back on its previously unassembled frame-- no more sleeping on the floor for us. I have, literally, been lifted up. I am now enjoying elevated status. The joy of elevated slumber. I no longer feel like a lowlife, at eye level with the dust bunnies and the toilet through the open bathroom door, upon waking up. It's good

While I know there is more, I'm going to stop here for fear Ian will read it, be stunned and amazed at his productivity, and think he deserves a little time off.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The whole, now embarrassing, story of Ian's arrival


The Vermont landscape just got even more beautiful and perfect than it already was.

I just posted, if you are interested in the ugly details, over here on the Babycenter Blog.  Sorry to do that for you, but.. there it is. Happy weekend.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I was crying on the phone to my mom when he finally came through the doors

I think I suggested once that maybe there should be a stretcher waiting to catch my collapsing body at the airport. I was right. Since there was no stretcher in sight, it was up to Isla and Esther to support me. They did a brilliant job. I'll tell you more about it later, I think. Until then, let the pictures speak.

 The "daddy's coming" dance was rousing.


 Followed by a ritualistic moment of reverent focus.


 We're getting closer.

 Do I look like a East Coast Volvo driver, or what? His plane is landing right now. We're late.

 Hurry, we're late, we're late.
 How do you get to arrivals?

 Hurry up and wait.

 And wait,


 And wait while contemplating crashing the gate.


Still waiting....


 One hour an a half later, still no Daddy. Never have I seen such committed, patient children. I couldn't even get Esther to leave her post to go to the bathroom.
 Two hours later, he finally comes through that door. At that point I was a mess of tears and fears and on the phone with my mother. "Why won't he come? Why won't they let him out."
Needless to say, when he finally came through that gate, I couldn't even lift my arms to take a picture of him and the girls embracing. All I could do was push my fat, soggy, blubbering head into his chest and cry into his sweater. 


Then I followed them out, like the kicked- puppy Paparazzi, camera in hand.





 We're staying at my friend Jane's Bohemian apartment in East Boston. Isla threw up all night. (Don't worry Jane, she never missed the toilet once.) This is Ian and Essie going out to breakfast at 7 a.m.


Isla's still asleep. I'm looking out the window, through the rain, onto a sea of rooftops, and chimney pots,  listening to sirens scream and my stomach growl.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

One day left of flying without a co-pilot

One more day.

I've come over all domestic and wifely. Well sort of. Yesterday I folded and put away 25 pounds of laundry, stuff that has been sitting in baskets, on top of the machines, for at least three months. Wierd.  Why now? I guess I am fairly sure we're staying. Might as well move in....

Should I be out partying to celebrate my last day of being a single woman? Oh yea. I can't. No one will be here to take care of the kids. Which reminds me of some of the things I will be able to do, things I've almost forgotten were possible, once there is another adult in the house:

Not cook dinner
Take a walk at any given time of day even if it's 5 a.m. or nine p.m.
Go for a three-hour mountain bike ride on a Saturday instead of going to soccer.
Not cook dinner
Not build a fire
Not feed the horses.
Not feed the dog.
Not read a book to the kids even when I'm so tired I'm cross eyed.
Not put the kids to bed
Not even be home at dinner time.
Take a bike ride instead of eating dinner. 
Not be home at bedtime.
Go to a book signing at our local independent bookstore every Saturday night.
Play ice hockey at 10 p.m.
Not bring the kids to school in the morning once in a while.
Not pick the kids up after school once in a while.
Not get out of bed once in a while.
Go to bed before dinner once in a while.
Not drive once in a while.
Ride in the passenger seat.
Ride in the passenger seat.
Ride in the passenger seat.

Oh yea, have someone to hold onto when I sleep.

And, thanks Anna, write a book proposal and start pulling together my long-dreamed of, much procrastinated book about our journey to France, and back.


That's all I can think of for now. I'm strangely tired and also strangely apathetic, and totally frustrated because it would seem there isn't a single hotel room available in all of the greater Boston area  tomorrow night. We were hoping to stay the night and take the kids to the Aquarium or science museum in the morning. Graduation season interferes.

Ian's flight comes in at 6:30. By the time he gets through baggage and customs, he apparently has another interview at the airport before they let him through-- gale-force sigh-- it will probably be 7:30. 8:00 maybe. We live almost four hours from Boston. Completely doable, but painful. I will have to drive because Ian' will be jet-lagged, on the wrong time, incapacitated until he gets some sleep.

No passenger seat for me for a couple more days......

Has anyone tried that six-hour energy stuff?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What she looks forward to the most

A friend of mind asked Esther what she looked forward to the most about Ian coming home.
Her answer was unexpected.

"I look forward to my mom not being so stressed."

For a split second, when my friend related this to me, I felt ashamed. Ashamed that my stress was the first thing on my ten-year-old daughter's mind.

Then, like the sun coming out from behind a menacing cloud, I saw the beauty lurking within that loaded statement. The beauty and the simplicity.

She gets it, that girl. She gets it.

And the fact that she was thinking of how this homecoming will benefit me, thus benefiting her in the very best of ways-- happy mom, happy child-- just makes me want to shout Hallelujah! from the rooftop.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Countdown to Daddy

 He's got a plane ticket, London to Boston, for May 9th.

 That's a Wednesday.

 Both Esther and Isla were born on a Wednesday.


Esther's been getting prepared. (I like that my list of chores is blank. Clever, clever girl. )

We're excited. I'm tired. I hate to say that. I've felt flat and lifeless for the past two weeks.
Apathy. Ennui. Malaise. Lethargy. You name it. I feel it. Perhaps I'm letting my guard down too soon.  When you are running a marathon and you realize you've passed the 25th mile, I'm willing to bet that last 1.whatever mile is excrutiating. Not that I've ever run further than 10 miles at one time and that was only once.

Or it might have something to do with the fact that we've had two back-to-back spring breaks. Did I mention our teachers went on strike, for six days, the week before Spring Break started?

Or I might be a little sick. My body feels like it's fighting something. Anyway, that isn't what I meant to write about. I'm only writing to say, dear readers, this is really happening. My husband, the father of my children, Daddy of all time, object of our affection, focus of our devout adoration, that man who has been so desperately, so fiercely, so achingly missed, is coming home.

Finally.





Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stamp of approval

Oh my goodness. Sorry to leave you, unintentionally, hanging.

Ian called sometime yesterday afternoon, just home after a long day in Paris. The process took three hours, most of that waiting in the embassy waiting room for his number to be called. Long story short, he's been "approved."

What they call an "interview" consisted of standing at a counter, just like you do at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and answering questions. Talking through a hole in plexiglass. This means Ian, I'm sure, said, "I'm sorry?" a lot because he doesn't hear all that well. Too much ear-plug -free nail gun use.

He did hear the interviewer ask him the one classic Green Card question, and that was...
"When is your wife's birthday?" He miraculously came up with that date then the woman had the, I don't know, lack of imagination, to ask him "What did you give her for her last birthday?"

I'm afraid I laughed out loud when he told me this because if there is anything Ian and I don't do in any sort of traditional, consistent, or over the top manner, it is birthdays. What usually happens is I treat myself to something, usually clothing, and tell him it is his gift to me.

"See what you got me for my birthday?" I say, spinning round and round in my new green wool overcoat from Mark's and Spencer. Or kicking up my heels in yet another pair of boots or clogs I don't really need.

So Ian's answer to the interviewer was just that, "I don't remember exactly, because she probably bought it for herself."

Now he's waiting what is meant to be "seven to ten days" for them to send him his passport with the visa stamped inside of it. Once he has that in his possession, he is free to board a plane bound for the United States.

No plane ticket yet, that I know of, but we're sort of incommunicado since we've skipped town and headed to Burlington to watch a Women's Hockey World Championship Game.

We saw Switzerland beat Russia this afternoon and seeing how excited Esther was to see all those powerful women out on that ice was balm for my chapped soul. Now we're in a hotel with a pool, my parents are with me, and we're going to the state capital tomorrow so Esther can attend the award ceremony for the state-wide poster contest she placed in. Her poster won second place. Clever girl.



Funny thing, perhaps this is textbook, but after all this, neither Ian nor I felt overly elated at the news that he could come home. Shock? Distrust? Bureaucracy fatigue? PTSD? I don't know. But both of us admit to feeling kind of empty, tired, drained of any and all energy or capacity for emotional reaction at this point.

I assure you once we are back in each other's midst, in the flesh, not just voices over a wire, or faces on a screen, and I and Ian's girls are securely in his arms, the source will  renew itself. The flood gates will open. I'm sure of it. And I'm looking forward to the cathartic release. This stoicism shit is getting old.

But until that day, I'm not sure if I will feel anything but apprehension.Yeah. And the last vestiges of lingering, festering, anger.

So.... Ian is coming home. Still don't know when. I would type "Hurray" but that feels fake. Bear with me here. This is really quite strange.


Monday, April 09, 2012

He'll be on the train to Paris soon

Today Esther tried to call Ian and tell him we won a free car. We hadn't actually won anything, but as much as I tried to explain the scratch ticket/flyer in our mailbox, which she scratched and got three diagonal stars, was a hoax, a trick to get people into the dealership, she wouldn't believe me.

Daddy will need a car when he gets home.

Ian didn't answer the phone in France, as he often doesn't, but, unlike how it usually happens, he didn't call back. After several hours, I had a moment of panic in the kitchen. While standing at the sink, I let myself imagine how much it would suck, how insanely angry I would be, if something happened to him, like, say, he died, while he was away from us. I took that fantasy far enough in my mind to get teary eyed. Pure, self-indulgent, macabre fantasy.

Waiting for someone you love to call you, when they are far away, is not my idea of a good time. It's not good for those who are born with a weak heart.

Now I might have an inkling of how my mother felt when I was off at college, or galivanting around Europe, not bothering to call home unless I needed money or I had just won some.

"Hello, Money.. I mean Mommy?"

Anyway, the phone rang in the midst of my melodramatic reverie. I saw Ian's name flash across the screen. I heard his voice and my whole body relaxed.

"I am glad you are calling," I said.
"You are," he said.
"Yes," I said. "I thought you were dead."
"I'm not dead, Betsy."

"You better not be," I said. "Because that would really, really stink. And we are counting on you coming home soon."

His final interview, as some of you know, is tomorrow.  The interview, at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, is the final step on this crazy stairmaster from hell trip we've been on. It's a formality. After that, barring any unforseen, unlikely, circumstances, he gets an immigrant visa that will allow him entry into the United States.

He got his haircut over the weekend so he won't look like some crazy big-haired dude, or Kramer from Seinfeld, when he goes to the embassy.

"Your wife will be very 'appy," the French hairdresser said to him after she had lopped off his beginnings of a bouffant.

At this point, I would just be happy to have that head in my hands, so I can look him in the eye and tell him he is never leaving my, our, side ever, ever again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is that a light up ahead?




I received the following letter from the United States Department of State National Visa Center, twelve days ago:

Dear Elizabeth Hard Shaw:
Your inquiry has been received at the National Visa Center (NVC).
Your request for expeditious processing of this immigrant visa petition was denied by the assigned U.S. Embassy/Consulate General. This petition will continue processing at the NVC. Once all the required fees and documents are received and reviewed, and an interview appointment date is scheduled, this petition will be forwarded to the assigned U.S. Embassy/Consulate General.
For further information regarding NVC processing, please visit www.immigrantvisas.state.gov

I read it, with shaking hands, these official seals always make my hands shake, that is what they are meant to do, no, while sitting on the back steps in the warm early- days- of March sun.

When I got to the part about the request for expeditious review being denied, I cried. I had been counting on that, I don't know why, but I realize now, there is no reason why I should have expected it to be granted. Who am I?

After a brief pity party I wiped my face and went back inside to face my children. I had decided not to tell them about the letter.

That evening, just four hours or so after reading the letter, I got an e-mail from the NVC. It read:

Dear Sir/Madam,

The attached correspondence relates to an immigrant visa referenced on the subject line.  This case is being processed by the National Visa Center. Please read the information carefully and follow the instructions.
 
Attachment: 
Dear IAN M.:
The enclosed information pertains to IAN RODGER M's interest in immigrating to the
United States of America. The National Visa Center (NVC) has completed its processing of IAN
RODGER M 's petition, case number XXXX; and forwarded it to the American
Embassy/Consulate in PARIS.
An immigrant visa interview has been scheduled for the applicant at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in
PARIS on April 10, 2012 at 01:00 pm. 


"Interest in immigrating to the United States of America? Why does that wording annoy me?

The attachment goes on for another three boring  pages. I'll spare you.

I should be excited, I know. We have a date. Well an interview date. And I kind of am excited. Excited and relieved. But I'm also kind of irked that every step has to have at least six weeks in between it and the next step. It feels gratuitously cruel, or somehow manipulating.

I mean, dentists appointments must be made months in advance too. But no one really wants to go to the dentist anyway.

But the very widely-spaced steps put forth by this immigration process take a very long stride and an enormous amount of patience, more than the average little girl who is missing her daddy has.

But what's another month, or two, when your daddy has been missing for 10 already?

Baby steps. Progress. Lights at the end of a long, dark tunnel. And all that.

It's good. Really. It's good. It's just not "now" enough for me, right now. 
 




Friday, February 24, 2012

Good dream, bad dream

I dreamed I got out of bed in the middle of the night and went into the bathroom to put water on my face.

As I looked up, groping for a towel to wipe my face, there, standing at the sink right next to me, we don’t have two sinks in our bathroom, was Ian, looking just like himself in one of the plaid flannel shirts
I bought him, stretched tautly over his deliciously- broad shoulders, and blue jeans and his blue eyes.

He was just standing there, casually looking into the mirror, as if he had been there all his life. 

I screamed and threw myself at him.

“What are you doing here,” I shrieked. “How did you get here?”

“I wanted to surprise you,” he said, as calmly and evenly as he says just about everything.

I should have known right there that this was a dream because surprising people, or planning anything ahead of time, is not Ian’s style, but I wanted so much for this dream to be true I ignored all of that.

And I held him, just held him, until I woke up and he was not here.

Damn.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A whole lotta horse shit


Saying goodbye to Ian, again, in England has left me feeling flat. As flat as a human can be and still be breathing.

I am a piece of cardboard. A cereal box, empty and folded. Ready for recycling. A newspaper, read, handled, folded in half and shoved under the bed.

I feel it most upon waking. Deflated. All my air, inspiration, hope has leaked out of some invisible hole overnight.

My sleep is fitful, hot, unsatisfying. I am seething with something. I miss Ian. I don’t want to be here without him any longer. I’m angry. Yet, I feel nothing.

It’s hard to parent when you are flat. Hard to find my arms to hold my children with. Hard to feel my heart beating. Hard for them to cuddle me without bumping into sharp edges. They crawl into my bed and lie quietly next to me. My heart says, reach out, enfold them in your arms. my brain, my stupid brain, won’t let me. It’s almost as if I’m too weary. Or as if I don’t want to let them in. Don’t want them to catch it, whatever it is I have. This melancholy.



I spent three blissful weeks with Ian, not once bothering to discuss the status of his immigrant visa beyond the most passing of comments. We were together, it was nice, let's not ruin our reunion with annoying, maddening bureaucratic talk.  Anyway there was nothing to talk about, we were in a holding pattern. Just waiting. Or so I thought.

Just days after I got back from England, I got an e-mail from Ian regarding a letter from the National Visa Center that had been waiting in the mailbox in France, for  three weeks. It was the hardcopy of a letter I received, and we had discussed, back at the end of November just before I went to Guatemala.

There was an attachment, as always, and forms to fill out. They were waiting for him to officially name me as his "agent." We had discussed this. Somehow, this discussion had failed. Ian thought I was meant to fill the form out. I knew he was supposed to fill the form out. I believed, the whole time we were in England together, that he had filled the form out and e-mailed it back to them.

I was wrong. Nothing had been done. The NVC was waiting for this form. No further progress was being made without this signed form. We had messed up, once again.

Our argument started via e-mail. Then we took it to Skype. I got so angry, and upset, over Skype I had to hang up on him. I went across the room and opened my mouth to let out the wounded animal sounds I hadn't wanted him to hear.  Then I swore, and cried, and swore some more. Five minutes later, feeling more under control, I called him back and we resumed our stupid conversation.

I hate being angry at Ian, or anyone I love. What I hate more is being angry at something bigger, the world, the system, myself, and taking it out on my loved ones. That makes me feel like a monster and a coward. Ian is sorry for having let this ridiculous oops happen. I know he is. There is no need for me to rub it in, to shame him for it. But sometimes I need someone to blame. Someone to be angry with. Someone to pass off my frustration to. Anyway, he signed a contract to be my husband and I'm sure somewhere in the small print there was some part about taking the blame for each and every thing just so your spouse can feel better. Isn't there?

Thankfully, this got cleared up quickly and two days later, how did that happen, I got another e-mail saying I had been named as agent and could now pay the immigrant visa processing fee of $404. Lucky me.

I struggled with that online payment form for several days, yes days, and finally called a toll free number, was put on hold for approximately 25 minutes, and learned that I needed to use Internet Explorer in order for the form to work. Does Internet Explorer even exist anymore?
I spent a morning trying to download a compatible version of that to my macbook and gave up when the graphics were all wonky. I tried Safari instead and had success. You have paid!

This is boring, I know. I apologize for that.

Short story is, we wait, we wait, we wait.

Ian now has to navigate all this Affidavit of Support crap, proving he has been earning enough money over the years and won't be a financial burden to the U.S., blah, blah, blah.

He's degraded and deflated and not so elated about being back in France without us. I want so much to go back there and be with him but know it doesn't make sense financially, or family wise, or in any way.

As much as I like being home, I miss France. I miss helping Essie do her homework, spelling words for her in French, reading books in French, complaining about the French. It's getting more and more dreamlike. But having Ian there isn't helping us hang on to our time in France.

It's only sucking the romance out of the memories. What price, this little adventure of ours? What price?

Gosh, Mom. These horses must have been poopin' all day while I was at school.























Monday, January 09, 2012

Perspective, and then some

I just read an Op-Ed piece in the N.Y. Times written by a Nigerian man, Lakhdar Boumediene,  who was detained in military custody, without explanation,  at Guantanamo Bay for SEVEN, yes 7, years.

His children grew up while he was inside being tortured, interrogated and treated like a terrorist despite the lack of any evidence against him.

Seven years.

They were not allowed to talk to him.

Seven years.

Letters they wrote to him were sent back.

When he was finally released, the only explanation was that the government had made a mistake.  Oops.

It breaks my heart. Incenses my every fiber. Shocks my soul. Seven years. You can not give a man the experience of being with his wife and watching his children grow back to him once you have stolen it. It's gone, forever.

And it makes me feel just a wee bit guilty about my ongoing pity party regarding not being able to get my husband, father of my children, back home where he belongs after just five months of trying. I'm still angry, more so than ever, but I'm also humbled somehow, in the face of just how bad it could be.

The world is filled with broken families. To see families broken up unnecessarily, and children losing their fathers for no good reason other than the heartless churning wheels of bureaucracy, is painful.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Be here now

The year is winding to a close.
It's as if I can hear the clock ticking the seconds away.
But it's not really the seconds left until the New Year that concern me so much as the seconds left until we have to leave Ian again.

"It's weird. I want to go home, but I don't want to go home," Esther said yesterday.

"I know exactly how you feel," I said. "Exactly." 

We are all stuck somewhere in between, so grateful for our little life boat, as we bob along the waves, but also keenly aware that a life boat isn't sea worthy for the long term.

"I want you to be my husband all the time," I said as I put my head in that place on his chest saved for me, the place I have been longing to rest in.

"I am," he said, so confidently I lost the desire to whine anymore and instead locked my attention in the here and now. Here and now. The feel of my cheek against his shirt. The warmth coming from underneath his shirt. The smell of him.  Here and now. Otherwise I will have regrets.

 "Daddy," I heard Isla's voice say as she cuddled up to Ian in bed this morning. "Isla," Ian answered.

"Daddy," she said again. "Isla," he answered again. 

"I don't care if you're scratchy anymore, Daddy," she said.

It seems even Isla is recognizing the importance of enjoying Ian while we can, whiskers or no whiskers.