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Where’s that damn forest?

by Deborah Cruz

I’m looking over some recent pictures of my girls today and I notice something that stuns and really bothers me.Gabi looks like she is in a constant state of dishevelment ( this kid will not keep her hair pulled back. I can fix it 30 times a day and she still ends up looking like cousin  Oscar from the Brady bunch, or Joey Ramone, or any other long haired Joey you can imagine). This is not acceptable. Bella never went in public with her hair looking in such a state.Speaking of Bella, my beautiful free-spirited, always giggling Bella, now in her pictures she looks like she is unhappy. She is smiling but the gleam that used to be there is not there anymore and it breaks my heart. She is a tough bird. She is definitely the suck it up and chin up kinda girl. You never see her down, she won’t let you. She makes the most of all situations even if they are less than desirable. She is her Mommy’s daughter in that way.But pictures don’t lie, she looks sad in the way only a Mama would know. She’s missing her friends, her school, her play dates, her life. But she won’t complain because she is so smart and she knows this is the situation. This should not be the concern of a 5 year old.I also notice that I am suspiciously absent from most pictures these days because, to be honest, I feel as if through this last move..I’ve lost control. I’ve reverted back to my workout clothes as acceptable public clothing ( which they are not unless you are actually in the middle of working out) , I never have time to workout ( adding more guilt because I feel like the worst role model on the face of the earth), my straightener who I was using religiously has given way to the ‘ponytail’. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things that I want or need to do.It’s not Gabi’s hair, my absence of interest in how I look, that’s bothering me, its the fact that the hair is a reflection of what has been going on in our lives over the past few months.It’s the light gone out of Bella’s eyes, the genuine happiness she used to radiate. Here’s how it went down; Daddy has job, Daddy loses job, Daddy gets new job, we move across the country,job down sizes Daddy after 8 months, we move back to original home ( since it never sold) , Daddy gets new job, Daddy moves to Iowa, we stay behind because job is contract. It has been madness all the way round…crippling madness.The girls cry every other night for their Daddy to tuck them in, to play with them outside, to do all the Daddy stuff that he’s always done. I think I am doing an OK job of functioning normally when Daddy is gone but obviously not. I know it, the girls have caught on and I have to change it. But how do I force myself to pull it all together when I am seriously doing the best that I can with the cards I was dealt? To make matters worse, I can’t even talk about it to anyone because…my friends here probably think “Jesus, get over it. You are home.You should be happy”. My friends still living where we most recently left, well, I am bitter because I miss them so damn much and I am here and they are there and I feel displaced. Nothing worse than feeling like life is moving on even though you are not there:)Yes, the world does not revolve around me..once again I am painfully reminded. I can’t talk to my husband because I don’t want to lay that kind of guilt on him. I know him, he’d quit and come home but then where would we be? I just keep telling myself, the best thing for us is right around the corner. I know it.There is no way we’ve gone through all this over the past 2 years for nothing ( God, I hope not).I can’t talk to my family because quite frankly, if you’ve not been in the situation you can not imagine how hard it is. It’s like childbirth, even if I told you ,you wouldn’t believe it and even if you did..you could never fathom the gaping void it leaves in your world. Here I sit, writing it all out hoping to find some catharsis. I may not be able to fix this ‘situation’ but I can fix my reaction to it. So, tomorrow, whether I feel like it or not, I will be getting “ready” before going into public. I will make myself ,once again, a priority. Because, baby, you are what you think you are and if I don’t think I am worth it, neither will anyone else. But most importantly, I am making tomorrow Bella and Gabi Day, as will be every day from now on ( well, at least most days..once in a blue moon Mama may need to keep herself sane:). For now, I have to chin up and chest out. I’m bringing back that gleam in my baby’s eyes, no matter what it takes.I just wish it didn’t take me having to look at pictures to realize what was going on right in front of me. I guess its true, sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Happy! Last year before “the move” and all the chaos!

Messy hair, disingenuous happiness!

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