These days I am only looking so far ahead as THE NEXT THING. If I try and look any farther than that I buckle. April 30th was my lowest point. It’s the first time that I thought, “I can’t do this. I can’t!” and felt myself cracking.
My daughter thought it was fun to have a picnic on the kitchen floor. What she didn’t know is that I collapsed there while making her lunch. My legs physically gave away from the weight of the situation and I sank to the floor. I wanted to sob and would have had she not said, “’a pit-nick…’dis is fun Mama!” and so we sat there quietly and munched on cheese-its and ham. I didn’t cry in front of her. Small victory.
I moved 2 dressers, took down and moved an iron bed, moved all items out of a closet and replaced them with other items. I packed and packed and packed. My garage sale pile grew. I got stuff done. Small victory.
Later that night my parents called and said, “We are coming.” It was my mom’s birthday. They are an hour and a half away. There coming made no rationale sense. I said, “You don’t have…” and my voice cracked, “..to.” But I needed them to. They did come. They came to my rescue—again . My dad rubbed my back. My mom gave up a surprise party to sit in my den and eat chick-fil-A. While they were there I started to feel better. Small victory. I didn’t crack or give up. I didn’t break down or fall apart. Thanks to them I was able to dust myself off and get back to work.
The next day dawned with me feeling stronger. Small victory. I managed to attend my 11a meeting, go to 3 schools to pick up 3 children for a dentist appointment (shudder) and get them there on time. As I was registering Sadie a nurse came up and told the receptionist she was looking for a parents of the Evans children. The receptionist said, “I don’t know who that is, it’s not her, she’s Sadie P’s mom.” I froze. This was what I feared. “Actually I am their mom AND her mom.” And I smiled. Victory. The stigma of having 2 names knowing a third loomed is something I am afraid of. But on this day I didn’t back down to it and I let it be what it is…I have 3 children with 2 last names and all 3 will soon be different from mine.
I managed to coerce my shy little girl into the dentist chair. It took 15 minutes and me kneeling on the floor by the head of the chair to do it but I did it. I broke out in a cold sweat but I didn’t cry. BIG victory if you know my history with the dentist. I got 3 children back to 3 schools and got back to work in time for my 2p meeting. Thanks to my generous Aunt and Uncle left work, got to daycare on time, made it to the pool in time to sign up for summer swim team and got home in time to make dinner before heading right back out the door for the 7:30 softball game. Victory. At 9:45 I got back home, found sheets –albeit non-matching ones- and got the bed made. Victory.
Yesterday I didn’t cry. BIG victory. It is the first day I haven’t cried. I wanted to but I didn’t.
I gave myself credit for the small victories which delighted my friend.
I believed the same friend when she assured me that the support of my cool kids friends didn’t have a minutes expiration like a cell phone plan.
I’ve gotten up, gotten dressed, gotten everyone else dressed, made it to schools sort-of-on-time and have gotten everyone where they had to be after school. Alone. I’ve gotten to work and have done my job. I’ve done some hard things this week. There are harder ones on the horizon and I’ll get there. I’ve also done some things wrong this week. But I fixed them. I apologized when I allowed my daughter to push my buttons and overreacted to her. I’ve fixed a wrong that I didn’t cause. Victory’s.
Right now I’ll do THE NEXT THING. I won’t stress about this weekend with the bi-athalon (which I know NOTHING about). I won’t stress about moving the bookcase or trying to get rooms painted. Yet. Right now I’ll worry about it being Friday. I’ll fight the demons that nip and gnaw at me on Friday’s—Fridays are hard because I am afraid of the weekend looming emptily in front of me. Fridays are the days that remind me that I am alone. No Friday food. No spontaneous plans. No ‘chill out’ time to celebrate a hard week. Not anymore. And if I don’t cry today…I’ll celebrate that as a victory. But I won’t beat myself up if I do cry.
My life has changed. In the blink of an eye, the span of a phone call my world tilted. I am struggling to stay upright in a world that seems upside down and backwards right now. I can’t think about next week or the week after that. I have to think from one moment to the next. I have to be willing to accept small victories. I have to learn to say, “I need help” and “thank you.” I need to learn from my mistakes and not blame myself for mistakes that weren’t mine. I need to give myself credit for some things and learn to do some other things better. I need to allow myself to cry every once in a while but I also need to learn to bounce back faster. Crying and being afraid doesn’t make me weak but wallowing and giving up does. I am not weak. I need to give my babies a fresh start. I need to hold them and make them laugh even though they don’t see much to laugh about right now. I need to lead by example and believe that this is an adventure and that we will make the most of it. That’s what I need to do.
Soon I won’t be afraid of Friday’s. Soon I’ll sleep a full night without waking up in a panic. Soon I won’t cry when writing my name. Soon I’ll embrace this new life. Soon I’ll figure out how to make it all work. Until then I’ll keep moving forward, celebrating small victory’s and concentrate on ONE THING AT A TIME.
Update: I didn’t make it thru the day without crying.