I don’t have time for this, yet when my mind is full of wind and aching, the only option is tapping the craggy bark and letting the sticky, messy sap flow. The last few days have not been kind to me- and I have not been kind to myself- or to anyone around me. My patience is short and I have been sharp and curt with my kids, and then when they fall asleep and inevitably look like angels, I weep and am plagued by guilt.
Jeffrey asked me tonight if I could have any wish in the world right-this-minute what would it be. I stopped, wary of ways I might inadvertantly hurt my child with a quick, quip answer full of adult cynicism and pain. “I would wish I was done with school so we could have a normal life again…” I offered cautiously but sincerely. My shoulders burn from tension and my gut aches from stress, but I want my child to sleep well tonight. “I would wish for a billion billion dollars and some Legos.” I nod solemnly, agreeing that would be a good wish.
Mo told me once that our kids are like mirrors. There is no way we are not going to mess them up slightly, scratch them a little- the trick is not breaking them. This terrifies me. Every time I look at my kids right now, I see my shortcomings reflected back. This was never the plan- this lone mother with three kids thing- and they have the right to look at me and ask “Why, mama?” as I push them off again, hit the books- short on patience, time, hugs, bubbles, homemade bread and picking strawberries in July. Instead it’s midterms and yet another paper that I doubt the professor even reads. But I steel myself against the wheel, damn my tears, and push on. Midterms are tomorrow.
I pray to God this is worth it. I plead and put my hopes in a leaky mortal basket that my shortcomings are forgiven and bridges are built in my children’s hearts and souls from finer things than what I have to work with currently, and by finer hands than mine.