Survival

Some days are spent, in their entirety, holding my breath. Keeping things in.

I want to scream.

I want to run away.

I want to cry and sob.

I’m so tired.

Some days I just want to let go. I want someone else to take the wheel and drive this car.

I want to ask for help.

I want to not have to ask.

I want to rest.

I’m so tired.

These years have been the greatest of my life. They have been filled with endless joy and happiness. But those things did not come easily or free of pain along the way. They came with days and nights full of fear too. Living on edge afraid of losing my babies, my self. Many torturous lessons in staying in the moment, and letting go of control.

Today I am far better at both of those things. I’ve learned I absolutely have no power over anything outside of myself. And I have learned that if I am constantly worrying about tomorrow I miss the joy of today. I could see and hear those sayings all of my life, but I would have never learned what they truly meant if I hadn’t lived what I’ve lived.

I’ve perfected nothing. I am still in the trenches learning as I go. Today I am reminded that with joy can also exist pain, simultaneously. I know for me, it has given me a deeper appreciation for the ups in life, and a peaceful knowledge that the downs don’t last forever.

True, these years have been survival years. Truer still, these years will soon enough be a distant memory. So, for now, I choose to be present for all of this. The pain, the joy and everything in-between.

Human Jenga Tower

No, I don’t mean a pile of bodies moving around as if they are wooden rectangles carefully being removed and replaced one by one. I mean one body. One person, myself.

Upon awakening I gently slide a prayer sized puzzle piece to the right and hit my knees.  While I’m down there it’s not so tough. It’s the getting back up that is proving to be more difficult. As I place that piece up on top of my head my body already feels shakey.

Maybe today is the day it all comes crashing down, and after only one move.

No, we keep moving through the game. One small piece at a time. My next move is a tricky one.  It’s like when someone pulls just one of the blocks out, but not from the middle, from the end, so when you go to grab another one that tower has a real good chance of crumbling down. This is when I open the door as quietly as humanly possible, hoping for just five minutes of quiet time before someone is asking me for something. 

Bwahahahaha. 

Just kidding.  No such luck.  The sticking of my bedroom door, which I thought I fixed two months ago, wakes up my oldest.  Why is it that I can yell in my biggest voice for him to get his shoes on and he can’t hear me, but that damn door he can hear clear as a bell? 

As we walk out into the hallway I hear the baby stimming in his bed.  He is up. Of course he is.  He can’t sleep well either, except he doesn’t know to cry for me. That thought takes my breath away.  No time for that though.  Quickly I place this toddler shaped piece up on top the last one, and carefully we make our way down the stairs.

The tower is solid now, hardly wavering actually, while I’m dolling out the morning fruit, cereal, milk and TV shows. Usually they smile and laugh and kiss me. Usually they quickly remind me why I do not, have not, and cannot give up. They remind me that I have value.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were reaching over and straightening up my pieces just when I need it the most.  Not sure if that’s allowed as per the rule book, but that’s how this mama plays it.

I move throughout the day pulling out pieces here and there.  One for drop offs, one for work, one for the arrant anxiety attack in the middle of the day. Another one for pick-up, and dinner, and bed.

And another one still at they very end of the day. When they are all asleep, and I am back on my knees, saying thank you.  This is usually the last puzzle piece to move.  The tower is now seriously lacking support. Just one pinky brushing up against the wrong block and it’s all coming down.

We don’t have time for that.

No one wants to hear the roar of pieces scattering and shattering across the floor.

Most of all, I can never quite get the puzzle back into the box “just so”.

It’s been used.

Mangled.

Displaced.

 

 

 

Parent

I’ve never known what I wanted to be when I grew up. At least not in the typical sense. But for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom.

In my wildest, most vivid dreams I could not have imagined this life I have today. There were days, years even, that I couldn’t see past my own two feet. Let alone clearly enough to care for a family.

While going through my own trauma, I had no idea I would one day need every ounce of that strength to help me see my children for who they are and what they need. It isn’t that I think our experiences are the same, but whatever it is that I need to be their mom, I have. I have it, because of my own journey, my own lessons.

This isn’t easy though. Not by a long shot. I’ve noticed though, that to be good at something does not have to mean it nessesarily comes easy to you. It is okay to struggle, because for me, that is where the growth is.

It is natural for me to think I know what is best, and that noone else could possibly provide it for them. That I alone can protect them and keep them safe. This is ego talking to an extent.

The reality of this parenting thing is that much like most other things, I can’t control what is going to happen to them. I can give them every last shred of what I have, and every pearl of wisdom I possess. It still might not be enough. They are still going to get hurt, fall, screw up and honestly, suffer.

I have to chose to believe that if my suffering was worth it, theirs will be too.

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