I write these sad stories about my kids…about their survival and their trials. About their successes. And my readers cry out, “Good job, mom!”…or… “Where would they be without you?”
And I’ll accept the compliments with one raised eyebrow as I think, “They did it despite my failures half the time…” But I acknowledge my part… I’ll take that pat on the back. I work hard. I like the recognition…I’m not gonna lie. Who wouldn’t?
But at the end of the day…and sometime smack dab in the middle of the day… I feel like curling up in the corner and sucking my thumb until it all goes away.
I stomp my foot when I get frustrated.
I lose my temper and say things I shouldn’t.
I slam doors.
I once threw a clay turtle in frustration…and ironically, broke the turtle tank. That’ll teach me.
I mostly ‘wing it’ and hope for the best, then do it differently next time…and hope for the best again. Sometimes, it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t.
And sometimes…I cry in the bathroom.
Sometimes I just want to be left alone. I hide inside my room and wonder why I’ve never put a lock on my bedroom door. And when I hear those little footsteps clomping down the hall…sometimes I cringe in expectation of the impending tiny knock, knock, knock and the questions that will follow when I crack my door and say, “WHAT?” for eighteenth time that hour.
And inevitably, there stands a dimple faced child holding an, “I made this for you” drawing of a truck, or a dog…or dinosaur…nobody can tell for sure…and I wipe my face, suck it up, and be the mom. Because if I don’t…who will?
I’m guessing I’m not alone.
As long as we all have our breakdowns in private…curled up in the tub if that’s what it takes…and the kids never know how close to the brink they’ve driven us…and at the end of the day they all have their heads on straight and nobody goes to bed mad…we’ve survived.
And some days…that’s all that we can ask.