rock bottomish

I just don't cope well when I don't get to this space often enough. I start doubting myself, my decisions, and my abilities. The days wear me down and push me into a space far too small to fit all the stuff. When I put it all somewhere else, the cathartic effect of it all balances me. Writing it down brings clarity and refocuses my energy. Yet, it says something that I have not even had a moment since we left for the cruise to write a single word. Yes, we went on a cruise, what feels like a year ago now with all the STUFF.

I'm long suffering at work for my inability to push back, to say no, to just turn off my computer at five. This leads to me spending the precious time I have with the kids typing and grouching at them to "stop!" and "please!" All of that makes me sad when they go to bed and I snuggle them close with pangs of regret that anything in the world could seem more important than them. Then I will them to sleep for an uninterrupted Insanity workout that I loathe until it ends and I can admire the beginning of abs in my midsection. That's when I look in the bathroom mirror in that same way that Caroline does, proud of our 49 days of work and perseverance. I sit showered with wet hair snacking on walnuts and spend about an hour watching something with Steve; reflecting on the state of our life, debating going all in on a bathroom reno vs windows, advocating for curtains or artwork, discussing the merits of the remaining Bachelor contestants, reading headlines from my phone aloud, sharing facebook status updates Steve will never see. It starts again when Caroline comes in shortly before Sid the Science Kid and says, "mama. I had the best dream."

I can become so overwhelmed with all of the insane in our life that when a stomach bug comes calling and upsets the very delicate balance of our little family atmosphere, I throw my hands in the air and announce that I just cannot do this anymore In front of the kids I say that it is impossible, I am not capable, that I will give up the car, the vacations, the fun, I will move out of this house, whatever it takes to not have to have this kind of loopity laughable life. I'll get them to the bus, to preschool, check my email and move forward somehow through a day when all I really want to do is snuggle my sick barfy kid and feed her ginger ale through a straw with club crackers. Until later. Later is when my daughter will ask me on the way home from Kiki's why I want to move away from our house. Later is when I have to look her in the eye in the rear view mirror and tell her that sometimes even mommies don't know what to do. We pulled into the garage, I opened her door, escorted her to a couch and settled her under a blanket and told her that being a Mommy is scary sometimes and harder than anything else in the world. Sometimes Mommies have to make choices that don't feel good and Mommy loves this house, but it makes things extra hard sometimes. I told her that someday she will be a Mommy too and she too will have to make choices and that no matter choices she makes, she probably won't feel good about them all the time and she will maybe need someone to remind her that she is doing okay and Mommy will always be that person for her and do everything she can to make it all a little easier, whatever that may be.

Days later when we got a notice from school about her recent literacy assessment at school, I thanked everything holy that we live here so Caroline can get the kick in the pants she needs to get going with her reading. Schools in our town are very proactive, have amazing resources and great test scores. That notice arrived just in time to put everything in perspective, not a moment too soon. Caroline is still very into what I call "creative reading." She is more interested in making up a story to go with the pictures than taking the time to bother with all those annoying letters and words. She has made great strides this year; asking us often how to spell things, recognizing sight words on the go, but reading a book solidly with the ACTUAL words on the page. No. we pushed her a bit this weekend to really assess her ourselves and really, she is just like us; lacking interest in reading in general like dad, beats herself up incessantly like mom. Perfect recipe for a new reader, right? It occurred to me today driving home from work; the perfect solution to give her confidence and encourage her without bringing her to tears; The book I read to her nearly everyday she sat in my belly growing, nearly everyday of her first year, and today.  Green Eggs and Ham was the first real book that Caroline read (with some help of course) this afternoon, just like Auntie Kerry, and she was so stinking proud of herself that I don't doubt she will be head over heals for Harry Potter or Judy Blume in no time.

I'm trying to pull myself out of this funk. I'm pushing myself to close that computer and give my family my full attention at five o'clock. I'm keeping my eye on a super enormous prize for all this work; Disney cruises the Mediterranean next summer. It's a pipedream of course; Barcelona and Monte Carlo, Venice or the Greek Islands. As Steve pointed out, the airfare alone is a killer, but imagine what a bargain the trip I want to do for New Year's will look when we compare them.


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