The Coping Chronicles - Part II
I am always ready to leave, always in flight mode. From the time I enter the house after work...
The way I leave my office bag in the car, taking care to take out only the phone and car keys, because that bag will be one less thing to pick up when we leave.
The way I leave her coat in the car, and sometimes the shoes, because when I leave, there will be one more pair for her to wear if needed.
The way I do not take off my watch, because when it is time to leave, there might not be time to pick up another one.
The way my phone is always in my pocket, or very near me, or tucked hidden into waistband of my home pants in case I have no pocket. Because I should be able to call anyone, or 911 if needed. Or even more - because when I am to leave, I do not want to look around for it. Or if needed, put it on charge. So that I do not lose my lifeline.
The same way as my car keys are surely where they always are, so that I do not need time to search when I flee.
The way I keep prioritizing my evening chores in the order that is absolutely necessary to do before leaving, to those first which I cannot absolutely leave without.
Like cooking so that the little one can eat, and then cleaning her up a little to feed and making sure that I use the restroom at the correct time and then drink water too. Just to be ready.
Like making sure the socks for her are close by even when I have bathed her.
Like not laying out her clothes for next day till I am absolutely sure that either he is home clean, or I have the bag close by where I can quickly grab them and put them in.
And to keep checking whether I can do laundry yet...so that I have more clothes, especially my undergarments and her clothes, to put in.
But mostly, the way my bag is packed - always. Sometimes I add more stuff to it, and then take them out when I need, but always put them back.
Like her vicks baby rub which I need if she coughs, but I will also need if we are on the run and she coughs.
And I keep checking our passports in it, and sometimes agonize at night that maybe they are not where I thought they were.
Then I make sure I know what else needs to be in it...over and over...till I have got it all memorized, so that when the time comes, I know what I am leaving without, in case I don't get the time.
And then I have multiple bags, at different places - Our clothes and documents and jewelry in one, her diapers, her cereals and food and some toys and books thrown in - toys that she might not miss for some days now, and then replacing them with others.
I plan and I plan, so much so, that flight does not seem desperate but seems more like an adventure. So much so that, sometimes, when I feel things are not right, I hope this is it, and I can leave.
And then I am reminded that the adventure will not last long, it will give way to fatigue, and self-doubt, and the need to plan and answer questions. And then I breathe a bit, and hope a bit and lie down beside my daughter and take a sniff of her smell, making her respond with either a hug or a push in her sleep.
And I cope...one more day, some more living...and more plans.