A very large part of surviving and thriving in this life we've chosen is the flexibility and adaptations to the daily adjustments. For the most part--a few loud hiccups now and then--we've adapted just fine.
Days have routine. Routines and schedules that little ones can depend on can make all of the difference between order and chaos. And as long as a routine remains relatively intact we can carry on with little to no friction or frustration. For example...the structure of the night time routine for my children has remained virtually unchanged since Jacob was three months old. We eat supper. We play and then we clean up toys. Then bath, jammies, stories and bed. Tell the little man that he's going to bed without a bath and he freaks. That is simply not How It's Done. So with this routine firmly in place, we can adapt to small changes with minimal effort and frustration.
For the past two nights their dad has had to leave just before their baths. But because they were already starting in on the nighttime routine they told him bye and good night and went on with the next step. There were no surprises. They knew what was coming next and they knew what to do. Tonight while I was tucking Kyleigh into bed she asked for her daddy and when I reminded her that he had to go back to work but he'd see her in the morning she accepted it, kissed me goodnight and snuggled down with her blanket.
One day our children will be beyond this kind of protection and they'll have to face Chaos on their own. Hopefully we're helping them learn the skills they need to do so. But for now, this is my Job. To keep their little world intact. Regardless.
So how do I handle it when my own world shifts? If last night is any indication...I'm a better teacher than student. I didn't do so well.
For the past ten years there has been a dog in the house. A very large dog. And even though he's been arthritic and near deaf for the past couple of years, he was still here. He still slept at the foot of the bed every night. For all of the years that Sean worked the midnight shift I was never concerned about being in the house alone. No one was sneaking past the beast. Even if they just tripped over him--I would still be alerted to an intruder.
Last night was the first night Sean hadn't been home since we lost Dakota. I was physically incapable of a sound sleep. Every sound woke me up. Every. Single. One. An old house emits a lot of noise in the dark. Even over the sound of the fan and the air conditioner in the window. Now, when Sean is gone, I am our children's first line of defense. It's another adjustment. I'll adapt. Somehow.