Times Like These

It’s Times Like These
…you learn to live again
…you give and give again
…you learn to love again
-        Foo Fighters

I schlepped the last heavy box in from the car and dumped it with a thud on the laundry room floor.  Socks spilled over the top of each box onto the tile, and I struggled to put them back with the correct sizes before one got up and walked away, as socks tend to do.

Little Man wandered into the laundry room, chomping on a nectarine, juice running down his chin.

“I can help!”

Normally this would be music to my ears, but sorting three hundred pairs of soccer socks by size and team is no job for a five-year old.

As the sticky little hand reached out to help, I felt a wave of hysteria rise up and explode from my mouth like a geyser:

“DO. NOT. TOUCH. THE. SOCKS! THIS IS MOMMY’S WORK, AND I NEED YOU TO GO WATCH TV UNTIL I’M DONE!”

Truly a Betty Draper parenting moment.

I turned to see his little face crumpled and red, tears running down his cheeks.

He turned and left the room, but not without crying,

“I’M NOT YOUR FRIEND ANYMORE!”

My heart dropped, and I let out an exasperated sigh.

“I’ll make it up to him later,” I promised myself, swallowing the lump in my throat, turning back to the task at hand.

After all, people are waiting on me.

*****

I lay awake at 3am pondering the events of the day, trying to convince myself that it would get better soon, that I could handle it, that everything would be ok.  

That someday soon I’ll have time to cook dinner, maybe even tonight!  

Someday soon, the issues will resolve, the problems will be over, people will be happy. 

I try too hard to make people happy. 

I care too much.

About the wrong things.

These little people I brought into the world didn’t ask to be born.  They didn’t ask to be put through This Thing Called Life (thanks, Prince).

They are a gift from God.

The time we have with them, to not screw them up too badly, is short.

Something has to change.

My house is spinning out of control, and I’m the vortex of the storm.

Times like these, you give and give and give.

Times like these, you never get them back.

*****

I rose from the bed, careful not to disturb Husband, peacefully snoring away.  I tiptoed to the kitchen and opened my laptop, wincing at the unwelcome glow of the screen on my tired eyes.

My fingers hovered over the keyboard but then seemed to fill up the blank screen with the words that needed to be said.

Times like these, you learn to live again.

*****

Daughter walked in, seeing me at my standard post behind the computer, and let out an exaggerated sigh.

“What’s up?” I said.

“Let me guess, you’re doing work stuff? Can you check my math homework and see if I did it right?”

“Yep.  And guess what? I won’t be doing this much longer. I quit that job.”

Her face lit up with an ear-to-ear grin.

“Really? I’m so happy!”

“Why are you happy?”

“Because Mom, that job made you really grumpy.  And you took it out on us.”

My jaw dropped as I watched her sashay out of the room, dance bag slung over her shoulder.

*****

In that moment, hearing those words from my daughter, my mother’s heart shattered.

Splinters embedded in the walls of my chest that still jab me when I take an especially deep breath. 

Guilt is a heavy burden to bear.

But today is a new day.

Things are going to be different.     
     
I’m going to try, and try again.

It’s times like these you learn to love again.

More of this, please!

And who couldn't use a little moonshine? It's the weekend, after all, so join us.

Comments

  1. Oh, this one punched me in the gut. As usual, the storytelling here brings the feelings to life.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Natalie! I haven't been able to do much writing of late, and I was afraid I'd forgotten how to tell a story :)

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  2. Some days are just hard but great days are always around the corner! Great post!

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    Replies
    1. True! And we have to create our own better days! Thanks for reading.

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  3. This parenting thing definitely brings the guilt, that's for sure. This piece really captured the bitter-sweet, every day is a new day nature of it all. <3

    ReplyDelete

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