Having a Muse sucks—sometimes. I never want to go through these emotions to begin with, much less over the span of two days. She’s not going to leave me alone until I share this with you, and honestly, I think my conscious is joining in the fun, so here’s me—not being funny.
The job of a father is to protect. Its hard wired into their subconscious. Of course, you also know that you never mess with a mama bear either. Yet, in spite of the ‘woe be he, who steps between’ bond between a parent and child, you still cannot protect them from everything.
Being military, we are used to people changing duty stations frequently. We also know its a small world in the service, so we will likely see each other again. We make friends, but more often than not, acquaintances. Its just accepted as part of the lifestyle.
My oldest daughter and twin boys can walk into a room of a thousand and walk out twenty minutes later, catching up to the one person they didn’t meet. My youngest, however, is not the atypical ‘social butterfly’. She keeps a small group of friends at best. Since our most recent move, its been one or two at a time and that’s it. Despite our best efforts to ensure she participates in activities and clubs, it simply does not change that she is a small, tight-knit-group kind of gal. Compared to her oldest sister’s air, it is the epitome of polar opposition. Therefore, when a friend of hers moves, it turns into a significant emotional event.
I knew it was coming… I forgot
Sunday, I was reminded that her best (and only) friend of more than a year was moving to Hawaii today. I did not receive a casual reminder; rather at the end of their final sleepover, I overheard, and promptly endured the manifestation of her excruciating mental anguish. I helplessly watched her nine year old, oversized, crystalline heart shatter as well as any fine glass does when hurled against a cinderblock wall.
I couldn’t do a damn thing about it
I’ve seen this child with broken out front teeth, after falling face-first into a coffee table (I was deployed—missed being there for that one.) I’ve freaked completely out when seeing her come in the front door with her arm dangling at the elbow, misshapen and twisted; broken at the growth plate (very much there for this one—wish I hadn’t been.) I’ve witnessed spill after wreck with this child, but listening to the sound of her soul crying out in pain was beyond tolerable.
Sure, she will get over it in time, but the first few inconsolable moments were absolutely gut wrenching. I couldn’t speak, I knew I couldn’t fix it, and to add insult to injury, I couldn’t protect her from it. My instincts fought to free themselves; to slash and tear at the throat of the source of the pain, yet it didn’t exist in the physical. All I could do was feel my own heart break in tandem sympathy with hers. After all, at the source of it, it was my decision to serve that put her in this position. At least that’s how it feels at times.
I did the only thing I could do. I cried and I hugged her. Of course, she asked me why I was crying, probably a little more than confused. She wouldn’t understand the true reason, so I didn’t offer it. I simply told her it was because she was crying. The lie appeased her question, but it will never appease my guilt. So I will bear the weight of my actions, watch, and try to help her mend the majority of her heart. I will watch as she drops to the floor in pain, occasionally stepping on the nearly invisible shards we were unable to clean up. I will help her remove the painful splinter, and we will move on; she with her heart on her sleeve, and I, with mine safely tucked away, out of view.
If I could describe my Muse to you, the best I could come up with would be something like a 6’ 3” 220lb German Nanny—and a Sadist. When she whispers, I listen. If she keeps this kind of crap up, she’s off the Christmas card list; but I do feel better. Maybe there’s something to this heart writing stuff. You tell me. How does it make you feel to write down your purest emotions? Share if you’d like.