My body feels really good. Surprisingly good for what it’s been through. My soreness is nearly gone. That is to say, the soreness that changes how I function – move, breathe, sleep – is nearly gone. Plus, I’m over the healing hump – scaled that bruiser yesterday.
Unfortunately, feeling better physically doesn’t equate to being better. I learned that the hard way this morning when I watched Miller by myself for a little too long.
My patience is thinned. That’s what happens when so much energy goes toward healing. Add in being responsible for another person – aka parenting – and patience, by default, goes to the child. He tore through what little patience I had within about a half hour, which means I had none left for myself.
Patience, much like water and rest, is a vital healing ingredient. (As is chicken noodle soup – with cut up grilled cheese instead of crackers – but that’s personal preference.)
Back to patience.
About an hour in, Miller started tearing apart our partially completed puzzle; he’d rather scatter the pieces everywhere than finish it. This scattering, dumping, mess-making proclivity of his is my number one button pusher on a good day. I got after him and then I got after myself. You value a mess-free space more than you value your kid having fun, snapped Snarky.
I got out a coloring book and crayons. For myself. Good choice. Art is used as therapy in loony bins. You’re nearly suited for one right now.
I mentally gave Snarky the bird and asked Miller to help me trace a line through a maze. He went for the shoebox of crayons. “No. DO NOT dump those,” I bellowed. Geez Louise, he’s going to be sorry to see his dad go back to work come Monday. “So am I,” I thought, terrified of having to watch my own child by myself again. So am I.
Thankfully, the garage door opened a few minutes later. Mark returned home. Like a good little wallower, I went to my bedroom to cry.
I shed a few tears for not being able to mother right now, and I shed a few tears for not always loving mothering.
I shed tears of gratitude for how many people have shown up and helped, especially Mark and my mom. I shed tears on behalf of my body that is healing like a champ and I what did I just do? Let a three year old sit on my now-aching lap.
I shed some tears for crying at all and some for being such a hardass, especially with myself.
Then Mark, who came downstairs for the waterworks, said, “I probably shouldn’t have left you for so long. I should have just stayed at home.” That’s when the real crying began. That’s what this is all about.
I’m not ready for Monday. I’m not ready to lose Mark to work. I’m not ready to become the support system, because I still need support. I need to be still for a bit longer.
With that admission, my hardness became softer; my wallowing turned to awareness.
Stay at home moms don’t get leaves of absences or sick days. Instead, we get babysitters.
So that’s what I’m doing. From the comfort of my bed, with the ease of a cellphone, I’m texting in reinforcements.
Enter peace of mind.
Monday is no longer a doomsday. It’s just another day. One that I’ll navigate as best I can, with a little extra help from water, rest, patience, chicken noodle soup, and one more key ingredient: a support system.