Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On the edge, or over it.

(Pre-script: To get the most out of this post, please read it as the song," Good Intentions," Plays. Go down to the playslist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
It is not much of a secret that I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I don't know how any mother of 4 could not be at least on the verge, if she is honest. Or maybe I've already had the breakdown; how does one know when one has actually gone over the deep end? Or are we just perpetually on the edge, us mothers and wives and daughters and sons and friends and whomever shall face the precipice and note how slippery the top of it actually is? I have no idea. I only know that the thought of enduring 16 more years of little people with vast needs too great to ever navigate correctly and fully is more than I can bear, most days.
"But Michelle,"
(I can hear my imaginary reader asking,)
"Michelle, they won't be little people for 16 years."
"Gentle reader, you are right, they will not always be little people, they will rapidly become big people with vast needs too great to ever navigate correctly and fully, more complex needs the older they get. Thank you for reminding me of that, Gentle Reader."
Ahem.
So I hold these truths to be self evident that...I can think no further than to the end of this day, the very day I am in, the very day I am living well or sludging poorly through, depending on the milisecond we are talking about, and at the same time, my arms ache to hold my little 2 year old Natalie. It is like my entire being is being channeled into my arms, and there is a physical ache to hold her tiny 2 year old body that is, yes, Gentle Reader, rapidly becoming less tiny, but will always be the tiniest one of the 4 of them. And yes, I see why so many last born children carry their last born baby of the family status into the rest of their lives, now that I will be contributing one to the world in about 16 years...but I digress.
So often I say, "Natalie, can I carry you?"
and she says, "I just wanna walk"
and I say, "Okay."
and I think, "DOH!
There she goes being independant again; how else can I stifle and squelch that irritating habit she has of growing up?"
And then when she DOES let me hold her, and she snuggles in and lays her head upon my shoulder and just...rests, like she could melt into me, and we could be forever a statue standing just like that. It's like a sigh of relief to see how she lets herself be loved and adored and taking it for granted, because you should be able to take it for granted at certain ages, age 2 being one of them.
But then a moment later she will begin a temper tantrum over her juice cup or her blanket being misaligned, the shreak that pierces my very eardrums starts, and I am in a profound state of "HOW many minutes until bedtime? And if I even begin to think about all the days after tonight's bedtime, forget it. Because I will start banging my head against a wall if I start to think past that.
I balance these extremes deeply every single day. Eventually, it's going to land me somewhere, in the hall of fame for having survived it, or in the psych ward for...having survived it.

-XOXO,

2 comments:

sharmadesigns said...

I guess I can understand 50% since I only have 2 ;) My mom tells me you just have to survive the younger years. But I do the same thing as you. Wonder how I will do in the older years when there is heartbreak and rejection and all that stuff. Not to mention the complicated schedules.... Hang in there!

Brian said...

As always, your honesty about whats going on in your head and your heart should prove an inspiration to mothers everywhere (and hopefully soon will). And that final sentence is so funny...and perfect: "Eventually, it's going to land me somewhere, in the hall of fame for having survived it, or in the psych ward for...having survived it."