I hate that my children wear the brunt of my frustration with the way hours pass by and whole days fade into midnight. Minutes feel like melted butter drip, drip, dripping from a spoon, piling up at the days end in an oily mess that is nothing constructive, nothing solid at all.
I hate that my kids don’t have what they used to have once upon a Before. It tugs and pulls at my soul when I think of days spent at the playground and with friends, a routing of swimming lessons and daycare days and Sundays spent out as a family. I compare it with the haphazard existence we now live– me always tripping over myself, always running late, always tired and cranky and scrambling to get the very basics done.
I hate not having a spare pair of hands, someone to pour cups of milk while I put on socks. Someone to hold my daughter‘s flailing arms so I don’t have to near sit on her to administer much–needed antibiotics. Someone to break the tension when all three of us are fed up with each other and have spent most of the day in screaming, whining conflict.
There’s a constant pensive wish for someone to take the pressure off me when I feel I’m about to lose my temper, to give me that five minutes of solace I need to see the funny side of my melodramatic, passionate offspring. Someone to pull my son aside and tell him not to speak to his mother that way, then wrestle with him for hours until he’s exhausted.
Someone to remind me that I am doing a good job, really, and not to be so hard on myself. To put it into perspective; that everybody yells at their kids on occasions, everyone gets cranky.
Someone to help me corrode this constant guilt that sits like a stainless metal cylinder in my core, filling up most of who I am. To stop the voice that’s constantly repeating to me “These poor kids… What on earth did they do, to deserve a mother like you?”
Are our children any more than the very best and very worst of who we are ourselves?
I take a macabre comfort in knowing I’m not the only parent who is positively horrified of their children growing up to be ‘just like them’. I don’t think I’d wish being me on anyone– not only for want of circumstance; more due to rampant, unyielding insecurity and an underlying disbelief in my own worth that’s been there long since Before.
|Pic courtesy of Sarie– I hit auto-colour-correct on the original photo and it changed nothing. That’s how awesome she is.|
I see myself in my son, our blue eyes perfect reflections of each others. I see my little boy, my best mate. I see a warrior child, far too old for his years, and my breath hitches somewhere deep in my lungs at his sterling solid resilience; his ability to roll with punches that send his own mother flying, ducking for cover, shell shocked and shaken.
And then I see myself. I look in my son’s eyes and see my own truth staring defiantly back at me. I see that unjustified, unfair belief deep in my own little boy; where he is never quite as good as the sum of his parts, where he is essentially alone and believes he will remain that way.
Children of four, just months off turning five… they should never be that stoic. It speaks to a world of unfairness, a planet of wanton destruction and heartbreak.
I see the truth of being alive, the perfect smarting pain of it… I see that in my little boy’s eyes.
If I could wash the sobbing pain away, I would. If I could take his confusion, his fuzzy misunderstandings of a perfect world left cracked and shattered, and hold them deep within my soul so I was the one who wrestled every day with them, I would.
If I could breath for him, stay his existence psychically while he travelled back and forth through time, through the fabric of two years of pain to return to when things where happy again….
I’d do that, too. In a breath, in a heartbeat. Just to see my little boy smile again without that desolate flicker of bewilderment behind it.