We spent last week in Ocean City, New Jersey (the seashore of my childhood) with my dad.
What was supposed to be a long-awaited family vacation with all of us turned out to be a well-timed distraction and diversion following my mom's passing.
Although the week was fraught with some rough spots (mainly sleepless nights due to Maeve's ear infection), we fell into an easy rhythm of hot donuts in the morning, days spent on the beach, and nights on the boardwalk or sitting on the deck as the sun went down.
Reality hit hard this morning as Bill went back to work and I faced a heavy case of the Mondays on my own with the kids.
(you'll rarely hear me complain about Monday as a stay-at-home mom...trust me, I love this full time gig more than any "job" I've ever had)
This is week four.
Week one was a blur of arrangements and duties that needed to be carried out.
Week two was collecting myself and getting back into our regular groove, with Max at day camp and plenty of trouble for me and Maeve to get into together.
Week three was our family vacation. Though bittersweet without my mom, I really did my best to be present and just enjoy my kids and give them a fun escape.
Week four is now.
Week four has started out on a low note.
Maeve had a horrendous night, as I am guessing the antibiotics are taking a toll on her system and she woke up wailing and flailing every fifteen to twenty minutes.
At 4:55am, my alarm (needlessly) roused me (I'd hardly slept anyway) for the Spinning class I've been teaching twice a week since February.
This was my first class back since my mom died and I'd been wholeheartedly dreading it, almost to the point of full blown panic.
Something about enthusiastically commanding a room packed with strangers first thing in the morning scared the shit out of me now.
Reluctantly, I showed up, went through the motions and lied, "It's great to be back. Breaking a sweat with you guys definitely helps."
I think I'm done with that.
Bill left for work as the sun came up and from there I pretty much lost it.
As Maeve blessedly, finally slept for a bit, I cowered in my room, sobbing uncontrollably and wondering how I'd get through today.
Max asked, "Is it because of Grammy?"
"Yes. I'm just really sad today."
And confused and angry and bewildered and lonely and frustrated and really, REALLY tired...
After a long shower, I got the kids ready and took them to breakfast.
We ate outside and Maeve, the mayor of West Chester, cheerfully waved to each and every passerby and pointed to every truck.
Max had a bowl of cereal and "double bacon" while I drank coffee and pushed the eggs around my plate like a petulant child.
After breakfast, we stopped at the cemetery to say hi to Grammy.
Maeve bounded right up to her grave and started waving emphatically, which Max obviously got a kick out of and we were both like, "Awwwww..."
We straightened up the little birdhouses that sit alongside the rock that serves as a temporary marker and made our way down the path, stopping to pick some raspberries (relax, the berries weren't anywhere near sacred ground) and marvel at some of the really old headstones.
And that was that.
I mean, that's what we do on a typical summer Monday morning when nothing is on our agenda...
We have breakfast and go see Grammy.
Just like always.
I didn't even think of it that way until we were on our way back home.