The start of the school year always feels to me like the real New Year's Day and this year more than ever because this also the start of a new phase in my family's lives. Chris is installed in his faculty housing apartment in ND, and Cora and I are figuring out our new routine as it unfolds. So far she is coping pretty well - considering how much time she spends with her dad, how involved he has always been with her, how much she must feel his absence. She gets sad once in a while, and cries, and tells me she is worried about him. Oddly enough, there are not a lot of books out there for kids about dads who have to go teach in another state, so that she might see her experience reflected. Or maybe there are, and I haven't found them yet.
We are about to the middle of our first two week stretch without him. We made a paper chain to count down the days until we see him again. I plan to make a big calendar, too, for September, but things have been busy and I haven't gotten to it yet.
Part of the busyness is the night time...our bedtime routine doesn't seem to be working anymore. She's been stretching it out into three hours or more and she is obsessed with the idea of going to bed at the same time as me, and wants to sleep in my bed. Which on the one hand, I wouldn't mind, except that I don't want to go to bed at 7:30, for one thing.
In watching her dealing with this, I see myself. In the way she doesn't want to be asked about it, wants to bring it up on her own, in the way she waits to know how she feels and tries to put it into words, but often feels it in her body first. And in the way she can be fine, just fine, all day long, and then struggle at night.
I think we will be fine, in the long run, but I think we still have a way to go to get there.