And here it is, the dreaded week where my mom has to leave-our city is in flames as a natural protest (sorry, that was a lame attempt of making a joke of something very serious and devastating for a lot of people). I feel nervous and sad, overwhelmed and full of anxious energy all at ones but at the same time I feel like a part of me is ready to take on this “mother of two thing” for real. I am a tiny bit exited (under all that fear) to see how I’ll do, I know I can do this, I’ll know I’ll manage, it’s not that, it’s the change in the routine, the lack of help, but most of all the loneliness. I know most girls don’t have mothers like mine, and I know I’m very, very lucky. At the same time, it’s time! I need to take control of my life and I need to not only manage, but do. I was born to be a mom after all! Time to put the big girl panties on and get “mommying”.
I can’t help feeling empty as the days creep on closer to her departure date though, the fires raging in our county keep us all on edge and slightly preoccupied in the meantime. I try to write down a schedule, polish my to do lists (it’s what I do, my husband thinks I’m slightly nuts with all my lists, I heard this before but for me it’s totally true, “even my lists have lists”). Mom and I go over sterilization of bottles, nap times and feeding times (which both still seem totally sporadic and random), my son’s schedule and also how to fit a dog, household, laundry and oh yeah dinner in somewhere! (I do have to eat to increase milk supply after all-and drink a whole lot of water). It all sounds like such a “fun” undertaking but I secretly hope the fires will keep mom from going, realizing that’s a horrible thought and trying to take it back at ones (lucky I didn’t verbalized it). Mom left when my son was close to 8 weeks old and now she leaves when my daughter is, it seems fitting somehow (yes but with my son, I could nap when the baby did, I swear if I read somewhere or if anyone else says “sleep when the baby does”, I’ll scream; this is even somewhat unrealistic with your first one; it’s not like you don’t have any other responsibilities).
The fires are getting closer to our house, so close in fact that the news issues a warning saying we might be the next community forced to evacuate. It’s getting a little too real and I’m ashamed on my previous thoughts of comparing my Mom’s impending departure to the fires or my wish that said fires would keep her here. We don’t have much time thinking about how I’m going to handle everything on my own, with the TV on the fire coverage at all times. Sweet friends are offering to takes us in if we get evacuated as the TV news anchor tells us to pack our bags. I’m worried about going to one of the temporary shelters with my little preemie girl. This is too much drama so early in her life. Our neighbors are packing as well and my inner being struggles with wanting to go to keep safe and hoping that we are safe at home without going. One look at our backyard facing the canyon (it was near impossible getting insured) suggests otherwise.
This whole thing brings me back to the two previous wild fires I have experienced. During the worst one I was all alone in an apartment when the flames literally came as far as licking the balcony (mom misunderstood my frantic screams about a fire, thinking it was a pan on fire in the kitchen). I packed passport, BA diploma, a change of clothes, my main folder of “My important stuff” and of course my lists and family pictures and headed out into the hot chaotic mess. I’ve never been through anything quite like it. My parents called my dad’s cousin who lives an hour away, worried about me, he quickly reassured them that I would be fine since the fire was EXACTLY where I WAS located (guess he didn’t really know where I lived). My flip flops were (I swear) melting into the asphalt as I hurried along down the street with my little carry on roller bag. There were cars packed with families, people, pets and stuff backed up as far as I could see trying to get to the freeway. I could see the flames off in the not too comfortable distance. I understood that walking wasn’t gonna cut it. Nobody was walking, the flames were too close, it was extremely hot and smoky and the nearest shelter at the local high school was miles away. I tried to hitch a ride knowing that that was probably a better bet than surviving out here. It was me and the dogs trying to escape the flames, I even saw a horse!
I obviously made it out okay, but the terrifying images on our TV screen sure brings me back. Those poor people losing their homes. Of course lives are what matters but think about how many memories are wrapped up in stuff and books and pictures. So so sad! But after all it’s just stuff! (Easy to say if it’s not your stuff…isn’t it?) I throw diapers, buries, blankets and onsies and bottles and clothes and toys for my son in with some for me and hubby and again passports (3 this time, none yet for little baby) and my folder and lists (same folder, new lists) into my carry on roller bag (been through a lot that bag and I).
Three times the warning of evacuation looms over us until the day before my Mom’s flight when it seems all fires in our area have been controlled (those firefighters sure are something). With no more imminent disasters (except my mommy duties) MY mommy leaves, just like that after more than eleven weeks of being here with us. I’m left alone in my own disaster (tornado most likely, again shouldn’t joke about natural disasters; I never seem to learn). Bottles need to be sterilized, boobs need to be pumped, mouths need to be feed and diapers need to be changed on top of that I’m trying to potty train an almost 3 year old, remember to feed the dog and let her out, keep the house in order (trust me it is not clean by any means) put my kids in clean clothes, eat myself, sleep, what is that?? And most of all keep sane (must say my husband’ long hours are making me a tad (just a tad) bit resentful right now as I’m also realizing how much my mom actually did. Well as I’m approaching crazy town while still trying to figure out breastfeeding (the little one) poop on the ground (the bigger one) and dinner making (the biggest one) I’m strongly considering looking into summer school!