A fact I would know even without a calendar.
Because there are normal things that happen with the Beans, when that man of mine leaves....
The first week is some sad (not a lot) because the length of the separation hasn't sunk in. But it is definitely present because they are used to having Daddy in EVERYTHING, and suddenly - he's not. This means a lot of hugs. Extra time spent to hear their hearts. And focusing on the good even in the hard.
The second week is when Bitty Bean starts waking up with nightmares. Screaming and sobbing and wild eyed. And Boy Bean normally starts a hunger strike around the end of week two/beginning of week three.
Week three is when the rest of the Beans (that is THREE humans, if you lost track) get nightmares and start sleepwalking and are fearful of Daddy dying and never coming home. Week three = no sleep for mama.
But Week four? That is the week I get a peek into 10 years down the road when we will have 4 adolescents in the house, all full of emotion and hormones. Week four is crammed full of sobbing and whining and fighting and disobedience and lines-in-the-sand and epic battles and annoying-your-sibling-to-death.
This week has been rough.
For the past few days, whenever we are home...someone is crying.
At least one person.
I have sat and had battles of pure will with my 2 year old man-child.
I've sought to comfort and divine why the 4 year old Bitty Bean was sobbing for her 5th straight hour...Bitty Bean said she had no idea but the tears just wouldn't stop.
The Blonde Jumping Bean cries until she laughs maniacally and then cries again - and that has gone on for 3 hours; interrupted by short bursts of energy to hurl a matchbox car at any passer by.
The String Bean (at the mature age of almost-8) could have a PH.D in eye-rolling. And arm-crossing. And basically thinking she's too cool for everything.
These kids are awesome.
They are resilient.
They are a clan.
They are mine.
So while, yes, week four is not really my favorite week....sweet, precious moments have happened anyway....
Jumping Bean was sobbing today and she would not tell me what was going on.
But String Bean? She just sat next to her sister and said,
"You can cry. Its okay. If you want to talk - I'm here. If you don't - I'm here. I love you. This is what sisters do."
After continuing to cry (deep, shoulder shaking, bring-on-the-hiccups, sobs) for 5 more minutes...she finally choked out what the problem was. She was sad about a friend moving away - her very good friend from kindergarten - and worried that she would never see her again. And worried about starting first grade in a new school. And scared of riding the bus. And petrified of no one being her friend.
And then, the older sister who had rolled her eyes at the antics of the blondie all day long; the older sister who has been suddenly "too cool" to hang with the younger kids; the older sister who is extremely rational. That one? She just hugged her Jumping Bean tight.She said,
"Of course you will have friends at school! You have me and you have Jesus! And only crazy people wouldn't like you - because you are awesome."
"But I'M crazy! I LIKE crazy people!"
Then, tonight before bed, Bitty Bean started crying. Sobbing really...I mean, there was a lot of snot. When I asked what was the problem, she said,
"It feels like Daddy died. You know, Mommy? I mean, he's gone on the boat but we never see him. I don't want him dead. I want him home."
And Jumping Bean immediately went over and hugged her. And said,
"We all want him home. But he's doing his job. And taking care of us. He'll come home soon.
When his job is done."
~Whitney Copyright 2013