Tonight I managed a lullaby through clenched teeth.
I held, and I rocked, and I sang… and I clenched my teeth.
It’s not that I didn’t want to sing, to hold them, to be present and happy and make memories. Of course I did. But tonight, even more, I wanted to be alone.
Completely, utterly, alone. In silence. Without touching. Without company.
I can hear it already… there are those who will say that it’s selfish to want to be away from your kids. That THESE ARE THE MOMENTS THAT ONE DAY I’LL MISS. That THEY’RE ONLY LITTLE ONCE. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to say something like, “Hang in there, Momma.” or maybe even, “I know it’s hard right now. It gets better.”
It’s sort of like telling someone with depression that they should just decide to be happy.
Of course I’ll miss my babies when time takes them away. I’m already nostalgic for time gone by.
That doesn’t negate the fact that right now is HARD. Just like THEN was HARD. I don’t miss the insanity of two infants and a three year old. I miss the glossed-over memories that are already fuzzy in recollection.
Right now, tonight, is NOT one of the moments I’ll miss. Tonight, after teaching a full day (including a field trip involving wetlands, open water, 16 amped up kiddos and a whole lot of anxiety on my part),Rob and I have fed, and bathed, and wrangled, and dressed, and calmed, and separated, and soothed, and yelled, and medicated (Maddie now has a fever). All of this on three hours of sleep, because last night there were thunderstorms and I had visitors ALL NIGHT LONG.
I am tired beyond words… the kind of tired that happens at the end of a long rope, with too many “gos” and not enough “stops”… the kind of tired that virtually every Mother, every Parent, reaches. The kind of tired that happens when you give bucket after bucket from your own well over and over again without keeping an eye on the water level. Between end of the school year projects and report cards and meetings and family, my well is bone dry.
So, tonight, I will take my clenched teeth, and a glass of wine, up to my bed. There I will give myself the first full night of sleep I have had in at least a week.
Tomorrow’s a new day.