“Where are your runners? Have you got your squishy? I told you hours ago to get what you wanted for Dad’s and put it by the door.”
“I can’t find my headphones mum…where are they?”
“Where you left them! C’mon, we’ll be late.”
And every week it’s the same scene.
It’s the day the two most precious beings in my life get ready to spend the week at their Dad’s house.
After the hustle and bustle of finding everything they need, leaving the house in a whirlwind, dropping them off with kisses, hugs, and a big smile, I return to my car.
“Ahhh, the serenity” is what I tell myself.
But deep down inside, this mama’s heart breaks a little.
I weep quietly where no one will hear me.
I try not to let anyone see my pain, least of all myself.
Steeling myself for the week ahead, my inner voice says, “Stay strong. Get on with it, April.”
And that’s what I do.
I get on with life, spending the week doing all the things that are easier to do when they’re away.
It’s Thursday as I’m writing this, and the heavy feelings of sadness and separation have lingered this time.
I have invited them in to sit for a while, with open arms, a warm blanket, and a cup of tea.
The steely, robust, upbeat woman who gets on with things is nowhere in sight right now—and for once, I’m glad.
Allowing myself to finally feel the pain, to admit how hard it is, feels surprisingly relieving.
Like a big, beautiful exhale.
Despite five years of doing this dance, it never gets any easier.
But here’s what I know to be true:
This pain in my heart is not weakness. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a sign of the magnitude and strength of my love.
Today, I’m taking time to honour my pain and to see it, feel it, and embrace it, in all its messy glory.
And for the mums and dads out there who know exactly what I’m talking about, let me remind you today that:
You don’t have to hold it in anymore.
You can indeed be brave and have feelings, at the same time.
And your pain is directly proportional to the size of your heart.
Love and light,