Monday, August 02, 2010

Attention, Passenger: This Is Your Final Boarding Call

There are a few things I need to remind myself over and over again these next couple of weeks:

The First: When a little hand pats my back or little arms are thrown around my neck and little voices say things like “It’s okay Momma,” I need to take a step out of my own big world of sadness and calm the eff down. I need to make my children think they are comforting me and making me feel better. Nothing sucks more than to be a child and see your mom cry or be upset and feel powerless to make her feel better. To be young and marginalized by pain, yeah, that shit sticks with you, believe you me. So even if I have to fake it (and yes, my cover will be blown when the girls get older and read this) I need to smile, wipe the tears and say thank you, momma feels much better. A little white lie like that can’t really hurt them, and may help them to grow up to be confident and to feel powerful.

The Second: Dealing with an upcoming Giant Change sucks. Having a date on the calendar makes it suck even more. Every moment feels important, huge, precious, fleeting and not well spent. Once upon a time my “Three more sleeps till…” was used to count down to happy occasions. Now I am using it to count down the days till a little part of me goes away.

The Third: This is not just happening to me. This is happening to my children, to my niece and nephew, to Nicole. Yet somehow I have the starring role in this drama.

The Fourth: Doing things with my kids does not always qualify as quality time. Yes, I have been taking them places and to the playground and to play with frousins and cousins and to swim in pools, but I feel like I haven’t had quality face-to-face time with them. Avery isn’t helping me in the kitchen. I am not sprawling out on their bedroom floor and turning myself into the human toddler jungle gym. We are so go go go that we are not snuggling on the couch to read books or taking time out of our day to play ridiculous, made-up toddler games (hallmarks include rapidly changing rules; no clear start point or end point; constantly changing props and accoutrements; easily stopped at a moment’s notice.) I miss them, and I am around them all the time.

The Fifth: A package of Zoo Pal paper plates provide more enjoyment for my children than any toy they own right now. Yes, paper plates. They get so excited when I “split” them, which basically means when I divide them evenly between the two of them.

The Sixth: I don’t need to deal with this emotional turmoil in a messy way. As soon as any conflict or negative thing, for lack of a better word, enters my world, I tend to instantly become sad, needy, unconfident. My self-esteem plummets. I feel like a bad mother/wife/friend/aunt/whatever. My mind immediately goes to “I can’t get through this.” Maybe that’s me being selfish or me being human or me being whatever, but it is really helping me to remind myself that I get to have my bad/needy days too. And that this shit doesn’t need to seep into areas of confidence and esteem. I need to put that in Al Gore’s lock box and throw away the key.

The Seventh: Yes, I am cursing more. I’m also a tad more sarcastic and pointed (barbed?) with my humor. That is usually a solid indication that my emotional tank is full. And, I am more calendar-obsessed. That makes me feel like I have a little control in situations when I clearly have none. Smoke and mirrors. All smoke and mirrors.

The Eighth: If you are taking a hearing test, make sure you turn your earphones on first. Otherwise you will spend 15 minutes convinced you are deaf because you cannot hear the sounds you are supposed to hear. Or, in my case, any sounds at all. It wasn’t till I, in a panic, made Nicole try that I realized I hadn’t turned the earphones on.

The Ninth: My hearing is indeed feeling a little worse. I notice I am employing way more coping mechanisms to hear. Guess it’s time to see the audiologist. Nicole said the worst that could happen is I need hearing aids. I said the worst that could happen is the fact that a bill for 5K will show up because insurance doesn’t cover hearing aids.

The Tenth: Life is at times hard, challenging, difficult, perplexing. Pick your own adjective. It just isn’t sunshine and roses all the time. And really, that sucks. But life is also amazing in so many different ways, and, for the record, I will state that I am beyond grateful for the children/people/advantages/spouse that I DO have. We all have checks in the Good column. The challenge is remembering in times like these that the good/sublime outweighs the bad.

Okay, now for some spinach and hummus.

Pictured above, Avery will eat anything with a little chocolate on it. And the sun, breaking through, a.k.a., the world’s first metaphor. And I think I know where I will be on Thursday. Basil custard? Veeeery intriguing.


K J and the kids said...

This is why I know you are ok...because you are able to talk through your shit and straighten it all out.

Although still only slightly sour....your lemonade is coming along great :) ha ha

Rebecca said...

Don't sweat the "quality time" thing too much. To everything there is a season, and this busy-ness will subside. Also, don't underestimate the value of "quantity time" -- your children will always remember and be grateful for the fact that you are so present for them so much of the time.

judy said...

words are escaping me.....i am so sorry! btw- my brother teaches and deans and coaches hockey at NMH.

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