Trust me when I say you do not want to know the horrid, snotty details. Suffice it to say that the party for the in-laws, the super-speeder teenage son and his multi-hundred dollar ticket, the re-enrollment contracts, the parent/teacher planning conferences, the accidental discovery of a painful teenage daughter journal entry, the jury duty (I kid you not), the two back-to-back special events and the dollar movie theater fiasco created a perfect storm in which my ship went down. Hard. As in Send Out the
Scotch Shopping Spa Saints cuz This Mom is Losing. It.
I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back, I could not find one solid rock on which to drop my anchor. So I let go of the rope. And I laid in my bed – drifting between sleep I must have desperately needed and guilt- ridden dreams because I still do not know where we are going for Spring Break – until 12:37 PM on Sunday. 12:37 people!
Then, I got up. My husband tip-toed into our room and put his arms around me and told me what I needed to hear. And I was grateful. Snotty and helpless and a mess. But grateful.
In the end, I was reminded of these important truths:
- my house is supposed to be built on a rock solid foundation. And that rock is NOT called Mom. How often do I pretend that I am strong enough? Capable enough? Big enough to fix it all? How have I distracted my children from remembering where their true strength comes from?
- my children are my blessing and I love them more than life itself. They are as imperfect as I am – as we all are. They are broken in ways we have even yet to discover. How can I hold them to a standard that is impossible? How can I expect that they won’t break speed limits, that they won’t have their own hearts broken or that they want to know answers I can’t provide? How can I impose upon them to be more than they are? As if what they are is not enough?!
- in the end, I have to recognize that our family is a living, breathing, growing thing complete with strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes we fail each other in big ways. Sometimes we hold each other together.
I told my kids not to fear Mom’s tears this weekend. I told them that even Moms have crappy weekends and then, quite organically, the four people I love most in this world reminded me of Who We Are.
They told me that for them, our family is about love and listening and Jesus (according to my Flower); about perseverance and keeping a sense of humor (from my sweet Honey); about Normal Mom, Honey, Flower, Princess and Tech – five individual people working it all out together (said my independent Princess); like a pillow (confessed my college freshman Tech – who is just beginning to experience the hard edges of the world).
Perfect wasn’t an adjective that came to mind; orderly wasn’t mentioned; brilliant, timely, super powers weren’t even suggested. Just love and listening and Jesus and being ourselves and providing a safe soft place to lay down every now and then.
That, I can do.
All the rest of it is just me trying to force things to be what they are not.
Sigh. Someday, I’ll get this thing down.