So this week didn't start off the way I had planned. No siree, it did not. I would say that it should have.Yes, I most certainly would. I would say that I should have received some sort of Mother of the Week award badge, or a crown of some sort, or at least a gold star for my efforts in ensuring this week be totally awesome; but I did not. As usual I had the best intentions- in fact better than best as I had decided to start up this spectacular week with a *super* fantastic Super Bowl party explicitly for my sweet little family. For my darling little family to enjoy, and no one else. In retrospect I should have invited my friends who seemingly like me better at times, and thus would have appreciated my efforts put towards such appetizers as a goat cheese and roasted tomato stuffed Portebello, but I did not. I had imagined lots of smiling faces and children hugging one another.
Instead I got a lot of crazy.
A lot of tears. A lot of tattle tailing. A lot of complaining. In fact- when I think back on that day, oddly, mandrake roots come to mind. You know- the screaming baby-esk ones that seem to suck your soul with their ear piercing shrill from that Harry Potter movie? Ya, those ones. If you don't know what I'm talking about, or to refresh your memory here's a brief clip:
According to legend, when the root is dug up it screams a death howl that kills all those who hear it.
Yup, pretty much.
This is how the morning/early afternoon went:
"Hey, (sweet adorable older children) would you mind getting off the computer and entertaining I and S (sweet adorable younger children) while I finish up baking these lemon bars and scooping out the seeds from these jalapenos" (said with eyes practically bleeding and nose running from the inhalation of the hellacious pepper fumes)
(Insert mandrake squeal)
After having a nice lunch and already having been instructed that we would be saving the *super* fun super bowl food for the game,
"Hey Kids, I came up with this fantastic idea for the Super Bowl today! You can pick a team, either the 9ers or Ravens to support, and paint your faces according to the team's colors."
"Weeeahhhhhhhahhhhhhhh!" (yes, there were some that were actually complaining about leaving what they were doing to come paint their faces for whatever reason. Duh.)
"Hey E, you want to get out that flick football I suggested to you yesterday and create a fun field with teams with the other kids to play together?
"No, you can't have cookies and lemon bars before you have something substantial, like say, a bacon wrapped jalepeno popper or bbq'ed meatball"
"You need to find your own spot on the three different couches we have to offer in our living room to sit and watch the show as my stomach is too full and you might pop me like one of those jali- poppers"
- Lays down on my legs with feet in my face. "How's this Mom?". "No, I need space. Find your own space."
-Tries sitting on our shoulders. "How's this, Mom?". "No. Go find another seat."
- Sits directly in front of other children, bouncing. "This?". "No."
And I died. A little each time. My soul felt sucked dry and I was a dead dried up wasteland of a human being. I went to my room and shut the door and swore that I would never do this again. Never ever ever. My dream of family bonding over Tostitos commercials and a Beyonce half time show were ruined! Ruined!! This was turning out to be a horrible no good very bad day. You remember that train barreling down the tracks that I had suggested in a previous post? Yes, it had crashed and burned . Horribly. And I was done.
I went through the motions that night of trying to be a good little mommy. Reading books and singing lullabies, with my artificial smile, but I was a dead woman walking. I thought perhaps I had gotten away with this little charade until I was tucking my oldest daughter in to bed.
"Good night, I love you, Em" I said patting her head.
Starting to turn away I see that telling look in her eyes and her lower lip starting to tremble.
"Mom?" Her eyes becoming shimmering pools of my miserable reflection "I love you so much. I'm sorry your plans didn't turn out the way you wanted them to. I'm sorry for complaining. I'm so sorry."
Now her tiny body is shuddering with stifled sobs.
And I collapse into a puddle of emotions.
"No, Em, I'm sorry." I say clinging to her, "It's just that being a Mom is so HARD, sometimes. I just, I never knew. And I'm sorry I can't be the Mother you need at times, but understand that I am always trying my very best and I love you so, SO, very much!!"
Okay, so you figure how that one ends.
Fast forward to the next morning. I awake to get Ems out the door for school. Descending the stairs I am remembering the previous afternoon and begin to feel a knot forming in my stomach. At first I can't tell if it is just lingering despair over my disappointment at the previous days events or something else. And then the room is swaying, spinning, I think I may vomit. Must. Sit. Down. Somewhere, from far away it would seem, I hear Em's voice talking about school work and then there is nothingness.
I come to with Ems above me holding herself, panic in her eyes.
Paramedics and an ER visit later they run the gambit of tests and xrays and find that I am a whole and healthy human being.
Except that I'm not. My body has betrayed me and there is something about that act that allows all of the negative feelings I have staved off to come flooding back. I despaired.
This is just so harrrrrrd!! No, No, no, noooooo!
Towards the end of this week, I got to thinking. I began to think about all the shit I so recently had flung my way, and for some reason I found my mind wandering to the stories I heard growing up of my pioneer ancestors. Their lives were hard. Traveling across the plains with very little but the clothes on their back to search for religious freedom out west, they suffered and endured excruciating circumstances. The death of loved ones, bitter cold and extreme heat, fatigue, thirst, heartache...And all the while they would gather the dried up animal dung dumped in their path, with gratitude, to use as fuel. Having nothing else they gathered these "chips" to keep their family alive.
And this, simply, was my light bulb moment.
We need the excrement in our lives, figuratively speaking, folks. It keeps us warm in the sense that it keeps us moving, learning, growing...and as long as we don't lay down and give up our broken spirits to the dust- we will truly learn what it means to live.
So I've learned this past week that instead of rolling over and admitting defeat, we gather that S%*T up, in gratitude, use it as fuel, and set those mothers on fire! Our lives are hard in different ways, but it is in the way that we use what is thrown at us that determines, ultimately, who we are and what we are made of. In not giving up we are setting an honest example to our children of what being committed to a fulfilling life truly means.
Song of the day: http://youtu.be/we_czU9sJ3g