“Children feel more secure when they understand the fishing cycle and stay connected with fathers.”
(Adapting to Change—an Oregon Sea Grant publication)
I wondered how Eva would react this time when her dad left to go fishing. Now that she’s three, I had a feeling she might be aware that he was gone. I was right! Not a day has gone by without her mentioning “Dada, Brett, and Bryan” on the boat or asking if we’re taking a ride to see them. Today when I mentioned going out for lunch, she thought we were going to eat down at the harbor with everyone.
And when I walked into my room yesterday, I found Eva dressed in one of George’s long-sleeved Carhartt shirts, a pair of lounging pants, and socks. “Look, I’m Dada!” she announced just before performing her favorite song, “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” (A version that goes like this: Blah blah black sheep/Happy the wool/Yes sir, yes sir/Two bags full.”)
Vincent is still too young to realize Dad is gone fishing, but it’s clear that Eva understands. We just keep telling her that Dada is working on the boat, catching crab. I never mention any specific time he’ll be home, just that he’s working on the boat and that he loves us. I took a picture of George with the kids the morning he left and I taped it to Eva’s bookshelf so she can look over at night and be reassured.
I don’t think her being so ill has helped. As of today, though, she seems to have turned the corner. The color in her face has finally transitioned from a shocking and ghostly white to one more closely resembling the rest of her, and she’s resumed her singing–always an encouraging sign. She tires easily and won’t be fully well for another few weeks, but I think we’re over the hump.
My mother-in-law is flying in today and will be here for two weeks. I can’t wait. I mentioned to my mom last night that I actually felt and looked better and had more energy within fifteen minutes of giving birth to both of my children than I do now. In fact, when I called the gal who does my hair, she actually seemed relieved that I’d finally called for an appointment. She is also a student in my Jazzercise class and I think that looking at my pale face and multi-colored, grown-out hair has caused her a certain amount of grief.
Now, I know from experience how things can turn from difficult to disastrous in less than a second, so I feel grateful for all that has continued to go well in spite of this interesting time. Even though it has been the most mentally and physically grinding situation I’ve gone through as a still-new mother, we’re still hopeful and holding the fort down until Dad gets home, whenever that will be.