I’ve struggled a bit this summer. I found myself frustrated and sad that I have had to leave Joy alone for an hour or two here and there. She’s 10. I trust her to be home alone. I just don’t LIKE to leave her home alone. My program at school requires year round attendance to complete so I must attend the summer quarter.. But, praise God, between my schedule and that of James and Glory, Joy has not been alone much at all …
…. until this past Tuesday.
Then, I had a m.a.j.o.r meltdown.
This was the first time since being a single mom that I have shed tears over being alone. Lots of women are really emotional. I am a dramatic type, but not emotional … at least, not for a woman anyway. I generally cry about twice a year. And nobody in the family usually knows about it.
As I gathered my things to leave for school, I felt it coming. By the time I went to tell her good-bye, I began to sob. It was so hard to know I was leaving her. I felt like I was abandoning her because she would be alone for hours and hours.
It was tough.
I had to leave for school, and so did the big kids. Joy was going to be alone all day ….. from my exit in the morn until I returned home after school for our departure for a swim meet: a total of five hours. I don’t allow her on the computer when she’s alone. She couldn’t go to the pool because the swimmers are not allowed to swim on meet days (so they can conserve their energy). She is not allowed to use the stove or oven. She can’t answer the door. We don’t have cable (by choice), so there is no tv to watch. Upon occasion she’s alone for an hour or so … but NOT five.
I was afraid that the silence she would experience … would remind her of her state of being alone.
Maybe it bothers me more than it bothers her. That might be a good thing. I hope that is the case.
As it headed out the door, in my sobbing stupor and in desperation, I called my friend, Lorin. She was running errands, but would be home soon. She was happy to allow Joy to come over and play. Joy spent the afternoon playing Uno with one child or another. She played Wii a bit. She did prep work for the swim meet and they traveled to a nearby city for warm-ups.
My broken-homeschooling-mom’s heart was soothed. I joined her that night to help officiate the meet and cheer her on as she slid through the water.
I am due a school break of a little over two weeks, so I will be able to spend precious time with her then. She will be attending camp next week. And she is going to go spend a week with my sweet Mom and Dad in south Georgia. She is going to a theatre camp for three weeks in July.
And I am so grateful … that in broken-hearted-mommy-sadness,
God gave me a suggestion to call a friend
who was open to allowing Joy to visit for the day
so she wouldn’t be home alone for hours on end.
Her being alone that long might not have even bothered her …
but it bothered me.
I’m thankful that God is gracious to soothe us
when we are broken hearted
and offers a way of saving and comfort.
Now, we move on to a more-mommy-present summer
and I am thankful.