Beginning a few weeks ago, Alan began working in Rochester, NY during the weeks. He comes home on the weekends for now. Eventually we will move up with him, but are waiting to see how some things shake down before deciding when that will be. I have been adjusting to not having him here to help me. Lots of times the evenings feel like another work day. I know all of the things I have to do for Davin and I just go through and check things off one by one. Somehow it just makes such a big difference knowing that Alan is not here to give Davin a bath or help me with carrying him. I have done the parenting thing by myself many times before, but I had all of my kids here and even though that caused more chaos, too, they were very helpful to me and their brother, too.
Since Alan has been gone, cooking has not been my strong suit. I have had grilled cheese more times than I can remember and I have also had bread and butter for dinner a couple of times. It just seems that by the time I make Davin's dinner (he doesn't generally eat the same things that I do) and get him fed, bathed, stretched, homework done, etc., I just don't feel like cooking. Not to mention, it is so weird to cook for one or two people.
Bethany is still here, but is generally not home at dinner time. She works evenings at Target and doesn't get home until after midnight now. She has come in and whispered to me asking what we had for dinner and I have had to tell her that I had bread and butter or grilled cheese!
A couple of nights ago, before Awana, I had made a big ceasar salad. No chicken in it. Just salad with bacon (which Bethany doesn't like). It seemed a good idea at the time. We were sitting at the table when Bethany asked me when the last time was that I made dinner. She said it was so discouraging when she would work all night and come home to find that there were no leftovers of any kind. Remember that I have not been cooking at all, so there are not any leftovers at all! I told Bethany to please realize how different things are for me without Dad here. This is the part where I realized I had really dropped the ball.....she reminded me that this had been finals week (which of course, I knew). She had not had a decent meal for all of her finals week. This may not seem horrible at first, until....I thought about what I had done just a couple of weeks before.
Cheney's college had sent home papers telling parents that we could order fruit baskets for our college students. The baskets would be delivered to them the Saturday before finals week and would be an encouragement to them as they begin their finals. This is not something odd for colleges. Bethany's college did the same thing, but I had never been able to afford to do this before this year, so Cheney will be the benefactor of the fruit basket. I was so excited as I was writing the check and sending it off to Wheaton. I imagined how excited Cheney would be and how he would have those snacks in his room while he was studying. I felt badly for the years that I wasn't able to do it for my girls.
However, I did not take advantage of the fact that this year I had the college student living with me and could encourage her myself!!! I had her living right here at home and could have made her meals and made sure she had snacks. What was I thinking? Instead, I was only worried about if Bethany will pass her class that she is nervous about and what it will mean if she doesn't. I dropped the ball. Not my finest moment as a mom. I did the easy thing. I wrote a check and sent it. I didn't take the time to invest in my college student who was right under my nose. In fact, I discouraged her. How disappointing to come home after working a long night and have to make peanut butter and jelly every night.
So, I guess I need to spend more time looking for the harder thing to do. Instead of thinking about how difficult my situation is and focusing on that, I need to look to meeting the needs of others. I do hope the lesson has been learned for me. Thankfully she has one more class to take in January.....