Sorry, another week goes by without a Flashback Friday Post (even though I already signed Mr. Linky over at April's!) I have one started but the words just aren't flowing, so I have left it for now; maybe you guys will get a double post today if I start to feel inspired later in the afternoon. I am tired of feeling so consumed by this whole stalker thing, but for the moment it really has taken possession of my thoughts. It isn't as if nothing else has been going on; I want to write about out lovely Fourth of July Weekend (in which I lost my entire bag of pancake mix, only to find it hidden half in the water, empty, where some raccoon had apparently taken it. I wonder if he was pissed when he tried to wash it and it turned into goop?), because we met some really neat people from Vancouver, B.C (Hi there, Mark and Iris!) and Germany, and we got to take their girls out on the boat with us. I want to write about our upcoming vacation, too, which begins two weeks from tomorrow. So I am hoping this weekend goes well and that I feel more normal on Monday.
We are heading back to our house tonight, which is a good thing in many ways. As I said yesterday, I am not willing to let this guy run my life, and part of conquering the fear means taking reasonable precautions and just facing it. I told you all about the things we have done to help ourselves feel safer, and those are all good things. A friend on mine this morning offered me a gun, and for a moment I was sorely tempted. At the same time, I am too afraid. Not of guns in a general sense, and I support people owning guns should they choose to, but in this circumstance. See, if one was to be any use to me, it would need to be immediately accessible-and loaded and ready to go. I can't DO that; the older kids know enough about guns that I wouldn't worry over much about them, but what about Sam? Sure, he knows in theory about how dangerous they can be, but his curiosity may well outweigh his healthy respect. And what about Owen, who climbs out of bed? Nope, having it accessible to me also means putting my kids at risk, and that just isn't something I am willing to do. We will rely on our pepper spray and our bats, and just be aware-and hope and pray that we never have to use them.
But going home seems necessary for a completely unrelated reason as well. Between the Fourth of July weekend and this, we have been with Steve every night for a full week, and it has been so great. Which is a huge part of the problem. It has been necessary, I know that, and I am certainly grateful for his willingness to open his house up to us. At the same time, it has been hard because it makes us feel like a family, when we really aren't one. Owen especially has really, really enjoyed having his daddy around every night to give him a bath and to sit with while watching a movie, and has equally enjoyed having him there when he gets up in the morning; I am almost dreading going home for that reason alone. The inevitable "Where daddy?" will come, as will the tears when it is bedtime and daddy isn't there. It will be hard for Owen when Steve is there to put the deadbolt in and then leaves; it always is, when he leaves.
It isn't just Owen on whom it is hard, either. We all love Steve, and of course we like the feeling of being a family. For me, it has been beyond wonderful to have been able to sleep next to him every night for a week, and to get up in the mornings and do that normal morning stuff with him, and even at night while getting ready for bed: "Did you set the coffee maker? What time is the alarm set for? What are we doing for dinner tonight?" These are the simple things that most people don't think about, but that are really important to me because I don't have them consistently. So I think that the sooner we get comfortable back in our own house, with our old lives back, the better for everyone.
That said, I will freely admit that Steve has been wonderful; he has walked Hannah through the house every night to show her that his doors and windows are locked, he has gotten up more than once to check on some real or imagined noise in order to reassure her. He has willingly welcomed us into his home, despite the fact that his own routine has been completely messed up, and hasn't complained once. He is a guy and therefore keeps a lot to himself, but I think he is somewhat nervous for us to be going home, too-but at the same time, he has to be aware that this little interlude to my real life is hard on us. I haven't talked to him about it, and I won't, because I have enough to worry about without EVEN bringing up the status of things. I just know for now that I am grateful for him, for his support (which has very often not been the case), and I love him more now than I used to. Which is why we have to leave.
So. Tonight I will have all four kids under my roof; I imagine we will all be asleep in the same bed or close by one another, and I doubt either Hannah or I will get much sleep in the next few nights. Still, it is a start. We don't have any plans, per se, other than cleaning up the yard (before I get a citation from the city!), and I finally have the ad in the paper for the free puppies so with any luck we will be rid of them all very, very soon. Please send us up good thoughts and prayers, will you all?