It’s my own fault. I should have known better than to get my hopes up. It’s not like you haven’t let me down before – time and time again. But like so many other times, I fell asleep last night believing you’d be here when I woke up. I let myself hope that there was more than just a chance of seeing you again. And like so many other times, I woke up and you weren’t here.
I stumbled to the kitchen replaying last night in my head. Was it my fault? Something I said? Something I did? Maybe I try too hard – all those trips to the store for extra bread and milk, for wine and popcorn. I set myself up to be disappointed. I know I do. But I can’t help myself. I love you. I wish I didn’t, but I do. I love you, and if there’s even the slightest chance that you’re coming, I want to be ready.
I want to be ready, because even when you’re here, I know you won’t stay, and I want to make the most of the time we have. I know from experience you will be fleeting. You’ll hang around a day, maybe two, and then you’ll leave. You’ll head to The North again, or wherever it is you hide most of the time.
Did you think I didn’t know about you? I’ve heard stories and seen pictures. Skiing. Snow mobiles. Voluptuous women with deep charcoal eyes and carrot noses. How can I compete with that? The best I can offer you is a sled, and even that is really just an old cookie sheet. I know I can’t give you what The North can, but did you ever think it might be because The North gets so much more of you?
If it were just me you hurt, that would be one thing. If it were just me, then maybe I could learn to live with the disappointment and the uncertainty. But the kids are hurting, too. Every time they think you’re coming and you don’t show, I’m the one who has to dry their tears. I’m the one who has to explain, who has to get them out of bed and off to school as if their tiny hearts aren’t breaking, as if it’s just another day. Because it is. Every day that you aren’t here is just another day.
Why don’t you ever think about the children when you decide to change course at the last minute? Oh, Snow! Why do us this way? Don’t we treat you right? Don’t we make you feel special?
For Pete’s sake, when you do decide to show up, our lives stop for you. We don’t go to work or school or anywhere. We put everything on hold for as long as you’re with us. And it’s still not enough. Still, you leave.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I drive you away. I know I don’t always make it easy on you. I complain when you don’t come around, and then when you’re here, I complain, too – the mud, the wet boots, the soggy mittens. Sometimes it all just gets to me, ya know?
But I’ll try harder. I promise things will be different next time. I won’t ask you how long you’re staying, and I won’t mind the mess when you’re here. You’ll see. I’ll be different. I’ll cherish our time together, and I won’t make demands of you.
Just come back. I miss you. The kids miss you. Please, just come back.
It takes a village!
Join ours. Before we were parents, we were people. Sign up for tips and stories from parents who get it.