Is it me? Or them?

Recently, I came home from work to find that my children were not at my parents’ home. They were with my parents at my parents’ new rental property where my father was repairing the bathroom tub tiles. My mother assured me they were just going to be there for “a bit” and that she had brought along coloring books and she was coloring with my kids while my father worked on the tiles. Three hours later, it was bed time and when I called again, I was told they would be on their way home “soon.”

I started to feel panicky and upset. As if walls were caving in on my children and there was nothing I could do about it. They were an hour away but I told my mother that in that case, I would be on my way to pick up my kids because it was late. My mother assured me again that the kids were fine; she had packed dinner, already fed them, and they were playing in the living room together. I was told to go ahead to bed, they would be on their way home in 15 minutes, and that I could pick up the kids tomorrow morning.

As I sat in bed, I continued to think about what happened. Was I truly worried over them? Clearly, they were being taken care of and were having a good time with my mother. Yes, it was past their bedtime and they were playing in a house my parents had not yet cleaned, but no one beside me was complaining. It certainly felt nice to come home to an empty, quiet home and relax a bit. So was I reacting to some of my past childhood experiences? Probably.

I recall being at places with my parents when I was younger for long periods of time and feeling so bored. These would be distant family parties where I knew no one or at my mother’s farm where she rented land from someone. I recall waiting and waiting and feeling powerless to control what would happen to me other than to simply wait until my parents said it was time to go home.

It was never my parents intention to make me feel this way, I believe. I believe they did (and still do) what they had to do to get by and sometimes that meant I had to wait. What I don’t want my children to experience though, is that feeling that you’re stuck and that there’s nothing you can do.

But as I think about it now, there is two of them. As much as they annoy one another (they are three and seven), they have each other to interact with. When I was younger and stuck waiting all those times, it was always just I alone. And being stuck somewhere and alone was probably what made it so miserable.

Thank goodness I have my girls each other 🙂

Senses help collect memories.

There are certain tastes or sights that bring me back to childhood. Some bring warm feelings of love and being cared for and others bring heavy-heart feelings of being alone and confused.

Whenever I drink Sprite, I recall my parents’s care when I was sick as a child. To the sofa, I went to rest all day while my mother fretted over me; smoothing down my sweat-drentched hair off my forehead and blowing air gently my way to cool me down, covering me with an array of blankets when I shivered and stripping them off when I was too warm. She would spoon feed me fresh rice portidge and ask me what else did I wish to eat. My father would come home with a Snickers candy bar, oranges, and a can of Sprite. He would bend down, place a hand on my head and ask me how I was doing.

Then sometimes when I’m indoors and I catch the sun setting through a window, a very empty feeling sets in. Even as an adult, secure in my own home with my own babies, my childlike heart does a little breath-catching fall to the pit of my stomach. Night time would bring a finalization to the day and begin hours of darkness and lonliness. You see, when I was about four or five years old, my parents placed me in the care of very loving relatives while they ventured to another part of the state to work. Being immigrants, they went and did what they had to do to earn a living and take care of me but of course at that time, I didn’t know that. I just remember being left to people who were not my parents and not knowing when my parents would return. And it did not help that I co-slept with my mother. She would cocoon me into her body, shush me with lullabies, and pat my bottom gently to soothe me to sleep. So you can imagine how much I missed my mother when it was bedtime. I recalled not seeing my parents for months but my father later told me they called weekly and came to visit every other week for 4 months until that job was over and they returned to me for good. But of course my preschooler mind could not grasp the time frame nor the reasons. And even now as an adult, the sun setting still stirs up scars on my heart.

-M

Eyes shut.

Close your eyes and proceed.

Honestly, it’s been a struggle to get here. And I’m simply referring to the act of beginning a blog and writing a post.

I could write on and on about juggling motherhood and a career (heck there are billions of blogs dedicated just to that) but it’s true that it is a difficult act to conduct and I am no different. There is never enough time, money, energy, etc. But I have learned that when something is important, you will make the time. And this, this blog, these stories, are important. Too important to keep on the back burning.

Burning it’s been.

Like I said in my About section, this aching to deal with these stories have been more pressing than ever. And I bet my social worker brain that it has to do with my stage in life, becoming a mother, and a little bit of being in a professional field where I help clients navagiate through their history.

So here it is this blog. I’ve got a long list of stories already to pour out so get comfortable to get uncomfortable.

-M