It hits me suddenly, this urge to write.
The letters, words push up against me and the must be said and they must be heard, even if it's just here on this blank white page.
A flood after a dry spell.
And if I suppress this urge, this furtive desire to say, be, create
If I say, no, not now; I don't have the time right now.
If I turn away, the words pile up and jumble together and the moment's lost and the thought is suppressed and it never comes together again in quite the same way.
And I am disappointed in myself for not being true to who I want to be and who I am.
But some days, I barely want to haul this tired body out of bed. I don't want to go through the same old same old again...
Tears, fighting, whining, more tears, meltdowns...and that's just before lunch!
And I say, what am I doing? What am I doing that is making a difference? Why do I bother? I go through the same motions every day and nothing seems to change.
How many times can you say don't jump on the couch because it's ripping apart just to turn around and see it being jumped upon again? How many things do you need to say no to that you never thought would need an explanation? Like shampoo dumped on the bathroom floor by a child who is old enough to know better but says that they 'didn't know'. How was I supposed to know that 'no dumping shampoo on the bathroom floor' needed to be a rule that would need to be spelled out?
And I know that parenting is a God given task and that it is a glorious one and that children are gifts from God,
but when I'm on my knees wiping up half a bottle of shampoo that I clipped coupons for and bought on sale because the budget's tight, and as I ring the sopping mess out into the bathtub and watch the lather wash down the drain wasted because it's been too long since the floor's been mopped to be able to salvage it, I wonder if I'm truly cut out for the job
because I don't see the joy right then. I can't count the gifts, and I have nothing to offer but a tired, worn out body that houses a tired, worn out shell of a mom who feels inadequate and would much rather hide in a corner than reveal her shortcomings to the little ones that desire so much from her.
My knees cold on the hard floor, my back aching from the precarious balance it takes to get every last sud off the floor because the tiles are an ice rink when coated with the soapy film,
I can't see the glory.
But then I look over at the one who's helping me clean it all up. I glance at the culprit and I realize that we are working together. True, it's not fun, but who's to define 'fun'? Maybe that's all they wanted. Maybe the dumping of the soap was precipitated by the desire for the punishment: clean up the mess with Mom.
Maybe that's all they really want. Maybe they don't care that I'm tired and worn out. Maybe to them I'm not worn out, but worn in
like comfy pajamas
and maybe all they really need, all they really want, all they are really asking for with their cries and grasping hands is for this tired worn out mom to sink into the couch and let them spread a book across my knees or let them push a deck of cards into my hands and match the colors and the numbers and let them win
Maybe my inadequacies are in my head, not theirs
So tomorrow morning, as I push back the blanket, and I push back my hair into a messy ponytail that's just messy and not cute messy, I will also push back the lies.
I will push away the lies that whisper in my ear:
You can't do it. You're not good enough. You don't have what it takes. You're not what they need...
and in the pushing away, I will make space.
Space in my arms, space on my lap, space in my patience...
Space in my time.
Because that's all they're really looking for anyway,
Just a little space. A little piece of Mom that can go a long way.