I was in a state of shock yesterday. Today it's settled into just stunned. I hope that tomorrow I will be able to start doing all the things I need to do before the 1st. It amazes me how the mind is programed toward equilibrium. It does not want to stay at extremes of either joy or pain. That's why the giddy rush of new love doesn't last. And that's why, after the first sense of drowning under the weight of a shock, we find ourselves rising back up to air, and eventually beginning to accept the deluge as normal. It's how our brain helps us survive.
We told the kids. The youngest, Thing 4, is being very brave and assertively chipper. She's trying to do everything she can for herself, making her own lunches, struggling with the heavy gallon milk jug to pour her own glass of milk. She's so like her father; putting on her "I'm FINE!" face, trying not to be any trouble to anyone. Silly, sweet goose, her and her father both.
The twins, Thing 1 and Thing 2, seem pretty down about it. They're quiet, deep kids normally anyway. But now they've lost that teen-girl froth of giggles and gossip. I wish I could hold them like I used to when they were little, heads resting against my shoulder, until their fears faded away in the light of my love and omnipotence. But they know, now, that I'm just human, and they know that shit happens.
I know that Thing 3, our special-needs girl, perceives more than she shows. So, for her, as for all of them, I'm trying to keep things as normal as possible; schedules the same, dinner at the regular time, etc, so the reassuring rhythm or normal life can calm them and help them feel safe. Tomorrow Thing 4 (who is on Spring break) and I are going to plant seeds in indoor seed-starter kits, to plant outside when the weather warms up. I told her she could choose any seeds she wanted to, and do everything herself - I'd just help her along. She chose sunflowers, which are perfectly her, and, clutching her seed pack, marveled, "Oh Mommy, I can't believe I'm going to be in charge of the sunflowers!" It seems like a hopeful, happy thing to do, which is good for both of us.