With my two hands.

Today was an unusual day.
I got a call from my husband when he went to drop our daughter at school and  he told me that school was closed for Passover.
I raced to the car and met them, and picked up my daughter and he went off to work. He was a bit annoyed. Not at me, just at the situation.
So I had to cancel a call I had planned to help a friend with a business proposal,
and headed off, with both kids to my favorite store. We had to make three trips to the kid’s section to make sure that there were not, in fact, any good dress up dresses, but we did OK.
And then we went grocery shopping. I got everything on my list.
I fed my kids; for my daughter, it was the lunch I had packed for her school day, and I watched her eat the entire thing, which is a feat in itself.
I gave the baby pieces of my fresh mango. He loved it.
While my sister ran the Boston marathon (in 3:17:13!!!), I strolled both kids in the double wide to the pharmacy to pick  up photos that I’d had developed and made a return.
I took the long way home, stopping to take care of my parents’ dogs.
I walked in the sunshine and blasted Brett Dennen and my daughter heard the first measure of “Comeback Kid” and was like
“Mommy! Brett Dennen” and I swelled. And I sang along. I sang out loud.
And during my walk my family was all texting in a big chain about my sister’s marathon performance and everyone was so excited.
And then we came home and played and I fed my son some more as my daughter kept herself busy upstairs.
She used her stool to find a pair of shorts in a high drawer and changed into a new outfit.
And when I came upstairs I told her I was proud of her.
“Mommy,” she said. “You make me feel whole.”
I write all this because my daughter reminded me of something that a friend, who is going through her own tough time, told me recently:
She wrote a beautiful metaphor to me about holding things in two hands. She can hold her pain in one hand, but still be excited for her friends’ joys and mourn their sorrows in the other. It isn’t all or nothing.
So today, I had these really nice moments. I celebrated my sister.  I felt grateful for my kids.
And I still felt pain.
But I was able to keep it in one hand. I was able to get stuff done, and I was even able to enjoy things and feel proud of myself.
My struggles are still acute; I don’t know if they are still categorized as Postpartum, or if I am just now dealing with issues of anxiety, but I know that it is a daily battle.
However, today, I flexed the muscles in my other hand more than I have in a very long time.
And it may not be a marathon,
but I feel strong.

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