They’re in the now, you’re in the past (and future)
Through gritted teeth I explain to Bailey that she cannot burst into my room and whisper random questions as it wakes Tom every time. Really every time. She leaves, little shoulders hanging low. I return to the mammoth task of putting Tom to sleep and just as I cross that finish line B bursts in again and whispers loudly “I’ll be quiet now OK mommy?”
I nearly pass out from frustration, locate the thickest book next to my bed and imagine myself throwing it against a wall. Those of you who know me will understand the world of pain I’m in when I think about throwing books. Against walls. In my bedroom. I don’t throw books, I DC Fix them, give them a special place on my bookshelf and lovingly dust them off to re-read the folded pages.
30 minutes later I creep back to the lounge like a guilty teenager. “You guys, I’m so sorry I shouted. It makes me very sad when I can’t get Tom down and then I only get to read to you super late and have supper super late or not at all.” I throw in something about just wanting to watch the new season of Grey’s Anatomy, hoping that will make them feel sorry for me. Bailey stares at my forehead. And then she asks: ” why do you always have lines there?”
That was last night and I spend half an episode of Grey’s staring at, and flexing, my frown lines.
We (adults in general) fret about that time when work needed to be done and we were short with the kids. A whole day is miserable (for you) because you threatened to leave kid A or kid B at home if they did not get in the car right now. You worry all day that you cut the grapes in half and not length wise and what if they now go and choke at school. I already worry about Bailey’s love life. I wonder if they have worms and if they’ll like their classes next year. I worry that I occasionally feed them cereal for supper and about the fact that I don’t wash their fruit in vinegar and about forgetting about multivitamins for 300 days out of the year.
They, they are looking at the Blue sky and the pretty flower and your frown lines. While you die of stress they ponder questions like how the world started and if farmers work at pharmacies.
Today I reached the new low of throwing up / vomiting / puking / having a barf fest in the parking lot of a certain mall. Chemo sucks man. Also today, I started losing my eyelashes, something I’ve been dreading. As I told some friends; a few hairs are still hanging around in the middle like awkward teenagers at a dance, but mostly they’re gone. I came home after the parking lot incident and was assaulted by multiple small people – not because they love me and they missed me so much, no. Because they want my phone. I stared at them through half-eyelashes and tried to frown with my sparse barely-there eyebrows. A fucking scary thing to behold if you ask me. But they are fierce and strong and they stared back. So I lost it a bit at them and skulked off to bed and then I managed something I very rarely get right; I banned the shame from the vomiting episode and ditched the mom-guilt. Yet another eyelash came out as I lay down, I blew it away and wished for this kid-superpower of being able to build a bridge and get over it with little effort to never leave me. I had a giggle and closed my eyes and ears to the banging on my bedroom door.
We learn from kids, not the other way around.