He must’ve been tired, because my eight year old said Can we go to bed? Can you tuck us in? And I thought Yes please go to bed. Who’ll tuck me in? And then I got up from where we were snuggled in reading. I shivered into my robe, then tucked my daughter in after brushing her hair and scratching her back and answering some questions. I tucked my son in, raining kisses on his forehead, his cheeks; he got annoyed. I remembered that nothing lasts forever, not even mother’s kisses that give us angels’ wings right before we drift into dreamland.
I was really hoping the fog would clear but the weather was dreary again and my mind mirrored the soup I saw out my window. My patience was thin my fuse was short and pretty much everything felt like too much. Really, all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and sleep the day away, but someone had to feed the children. Someone had to make sure they completed their schoolwork. Someone had to keep the kids off the electronics Someone had to hear their questions, and put out their fires, and divert their attention; someone had to ask them to step outside and get some fresh air. Someone had to make sure that they bathed. Someone had to tuck them in bed. Someone had to tuck them back into bed after removing the iPad from the closet. That someone was me. That someone needs to go to bed.
I was too tired last night to even think about writing. No wait. I did think about it… And that’s as far as I got. Even the thought But I haven’t missed a day in a while wasn’t enough for me to push through the exhaustion and string a few words together. Now I grieve the loss of yesterday’s poem. What would I have written if I had had the strength to stay awake?
You know when you go to sleep angry and wake up angry and try as you might to change it you go through the day angry? And then you feel depressed because you’ve been angry and the anger is exhausting and you’re looking around at your messy life, wondering when you’ll have the energy to get organized, but then you remember that you’re a single parent, and there’s already too much to do, and so you look at the mess and think, Someday I’ll…? Yeah, that.
What will take away the rage, the fatigue, the sheer exhaustion? What will make all of this seem ok, so that I can get up and do this again (and again and again and again and again)? How many days like this until it won’t be like this anymore? Tonight, I feel solidarity will all single parents everywhere who just want some help, because it all feels like too much.
It’s beginning to finally look somewhat like Christmas around my house. We have a tree; my kids and I decorated this evening. We listened to Christmas carols and hung up ornaments. I’m going to bed thinking Not bad for a single mom.
The resistance rises up. Wanting to be more energized, less tired. Wanting to feel more confident, less worried. Wanting to feel more supported, less alone. Wanting to feel more peaceful, less stressed. On the heels of the resistance, stories… Stories about injustice, mistreatment, a wish for vindication, retribution. I can feel my body contract. I know this thinking isn’t healthy and I feel powerless to stop it. I know I need to pray, and even this evokes anger and the question Why do I have to try so hard? I guess I haven’t really surrendered yet. I guess I’m still trying to control the moment. I want to let go. Lord God, show me how to let go.