Stuck in the middle

It’s been quite a weekend. I now officially have the capacity of a wet, soggy dish towel.

Despite desperately not wanting to make a fight out of something I’ve had to do just that. I’ve stood my ground on something I feel very strongly about and am prepared to literally plead my case to the powers that be. It’s ugly and hard and I didn’t think I could do it. But I can and I will. The whole back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth has taken a tole. I am in the middle of a fight.

I’ve spent a week getting the 2 bigs and the little ready for 3 big starts. He starts high school leaving boyhood behind. She starts middle school with a zeal and a zest I can only envy. My baby starts pre-k and a new life different from anything she’s ever known. Over the weekend it hit me-these are BIG firsts. It’s a start for them and an end of sorts for me. We are in the middle of endings and beginnings.

I semi-conquered a hurdle. Going to a car dealership and starting that process ALONE was both rewarding and a stark reminder of my new world. All I do I will do alone now. I don’t have a new car but I could. So I am in the middle of a huge decision. It’s taxing.

My daughter had a make-up lesson and right before my eyes she blossomed into a young lady. We both aged a bit today. It’s bittersweet to watch. She’s in the middle of childhood and adulthood. It’s hard to be in the middle.

We moved rather rapidly at the end of the school year. It was days away from summer so we just let things literally lie where they landed. Today I faced the daunting task of making 1 closet work for 3 children. It was a stark reminder of our new situation. We came up with a layout that makes a little bit of sense. It is what it is but today it hurt a bit. We made a
bed (a trundle) into an exciting and magical thing to entice my 4 year old. She kept calling it ‘sissies room’ and I kept reminding her that it was her room too. That didn’t make sense to her. She had a room once and it was hers and just hers. Now she has a bed that disappears under her sisters and she’s not quite buying the story of it being something she can call hers.

The 14 year old should be getting more and more freedom-instead he’s tucked under an alcove in a open space with no privacy at all. I make no apologies. We are tucked in tight and tidy and will prosper in our itty-bitty home but days like today when you can’t go a single step without bumping into someone it’s a little harder to imagine. They are in the middle of an old life and new life.

Tonight I declared myself DONE. We had earned a movie and some down time. Simple pleasures. $1.50 rental a quick dinner and we hit play. First the picture didn’t work. I fixed that. Then there was no sound. With my daughters cheering me on I took it step my step-calmly-and didn’t let it beat me. Booming music flooded the room. We danced and cheered and she shouted,”I am so proud of you.” We all scurried to cozy up in pjs. It was such a relief to settle down, sit down and prepare to veg. I thought,”I can so this” as the movie started.

Then the talking began. The soundtrack played but the conversations didn’t make it thru the tv. It was my undoing. I had failed at something as simple as playing a movie. How in the hell was I going to re-create and re-build a successful life for the 4 of us if I couldn’t do something as simple as play a movie? I was in the middle of a breakdown but I stopped it before it began.

On this, the eve of the start of the end I was vividly aware of my new reality. It’s not all gloom and doom and woe-is-me. It’s really not. 70% of the time it’s comfortable-it works and I am both proud and hopeful for what the future brings our way. There are days–some days—that just get me down. Some days when I am stuck in the middle of missing all that once was and looking forward to all that will be.

It’s the eve of the starting of the ending. That doesn’t make much sense to anyone who isn’t in the middle-stuck between the beginning and the end. That’s where I am. In the middle. This weekend was just a tug of war between where I’ve been and where I am going. It was a monkey-in-the-middle kind of weekend.


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