I've been hearing this statement more and more from Ayla.
She says it when she wakes up in the morning, before going to sleep at night and after, well, anything that doesn't make her happy. Jackson takes away one of her princess toys... tears of shock and anger turn to tears of sadness that she misses her "favorite Dada in the world". I tell her that she can't play computer games for more than an hour or that it is bath time or that she can't have more candy; it leads to a total breakdown about missing Dada and how it is so hard to be apart. She was even crying in school the other day because one kid told her not to put animals on the road they were playing with. The teacher knew the issue was more than your typical preschool bickering when Ayla was crying so hard. Uggghhh, the poor girl doesn't know how to handle it all.
Tell me about it. I feel the same way she does. When you are latently sad or depressed about something - life is livable. But when something goes wrong, it's usually the first thing you think about. All unhappy issues turn into the same unhappy issue - a part of our family isn't here. We're just going through the motions and waiting until everything can go back to our version of normal.
It has now been exactly one month since Gregory left for his training in Oklahoma. And since he didn't turn around in Kansas (ha!), he's doing well in his classes and this ATC thing might just stick. We have to make it to December before we can at least spend weekends together and know that Gregory is only a short car ride away.
For now, we have Veteran's Day to look forward to. My birthday present was a group effort to get a round-trip ticket for me to visit Gregory (with Elliot tagging along in the baby Bjorn). What a thoughtful, amazing, perfect present. I booked the ticket and could lift my own spirits thinking about a visit only a month away as opposed to December.
Only the guilt nagged at me. How was I going to tell Ayla that I was getting on a plane to visit her beloved Dada without her? She wouldn't take kindly to any excuse or reasoning. So, two nights ago, I put one more ticket on my itinerary. Budget be damned. It's too hard to watch a 4 year old struggle with sadness when we can at least offer a temporary solution. (Jackson is another story. He is too young and maybe too self-absorbed to get upset about it. He's very happy to talk about Dada and Skype with him on the computer. It might even traumatize him to see Gregory and then have to say goodbye again.)
Here's to Veteran's Day (a Thursday holiday), the generosity of friends and family to buy my ticket in the first place and Discover Card to handle the rest! We can't wait to visit and make the rest of this separation bearable.