It has been a little too long since I’ve last written, and that is because I have started and stopped this post (in my head, on paper and on this keyboard) time and time again, but unable to get it out of my heart and onto the page or screen or full consciousness.
This past week has been an emotional one, and I now understand the expression “emotional rollercoaster” more than ever before.
A week and a half ago I was having a major case of #momguilt as I felt like a bad mom, crying in my overwhelmed state. But since then I have had to buck up. Because, whether I like it or not, life goes on around me (us) and I have had to keep up.
What has been so emotional, you ask?
So, so much. There has been a ton of good, a lot of anxiety, some sadness and plenty of touching moments.
For example, since I last wrote, my baby started first grade. Little Twinkle is now an elementary school student. Her sendoff to school brought tears to all of our eyes.
After we dropped her off–our little fish in a big pond–my husband and I both had tears in our eyes. We were so proud of her; we were nervous for her; our hearts ached to see her bite her lip, look at us with big, wet eyes, as she asked us not to go.
I felt all the feelings.
And the rest of the week did not get easier.
My daughter loved school from day one, but also struggled with the change and transition. She had escalating anxiety in the mornings, culminating in Friday morning’s drop-off whens she clung to the inside of my car in hysterics and had to be pulled out.
“You are breaking my heart!” she cried. “You are ruining my life. I don’t want to be smart. I don’t want to gooooooo!”
In that moment I felt all of the sad feelings.
So much of me wanted to rescue her; to hold her in my arms and say, “Forget about this whole school thing. Mommy has you. I won’t let go.”
But I had to let go. For her to grow.
At night, we held each other tightly and sang songs, shared a sleeping bag and discussed all of the good of the day.
Mornings with my daughter during that first week were tough. And on those mornings, I only had one child to get ready for school (one hot meal to make on time, one lunch to pack, etc.). Her brother did not start his school until Friday, and so he and I spent the week together. Which was awesome. And hard. Really hard.
Do you know what is really hard? Taking a rambunctious 2.9 year old to the Gynecologist for my annual visit. He brought a notebook with him and I brought 17 lollipops, and it was still hard.
“I am going to draw a picture of you, mommy!” he said, proudly, as I was perched on the exam table, legs in stirrups.
Thank goodness his artistic skills are merely age-appropriate. That would have been quite the drawing…
One uncomfortable check-up, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and several drops on the dignity scale later and we were off to the 4 other appointments we had to do, together, that day.
That wasn’t sad or anxiety-producing; it was just trying. And tiring.
As was my quest to make him a “Handy Dandy Notebook”. For anyone who has ever known a child who has ever been into Blues Clues, you may understand the appeal of this sacred notebook. One morning last week, my son begged and begged for one such notebook and though I assured him that one could come in the mail (I found a few on Ebay), there was no patience to be had. And so I sat down in my thinking chair to
And when I used my mind I decided to pick up some of my daughter’s new school supplies, including markers, scissors and a glue stick, and to make him a “Handy Dandy Notebook” like no other. And I was pretty darn proud. I handed the little notebook to him with a big grin on my face. I was about to be the best mom ever.
It wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t having it.
And then, there’s been the awe.
I wrote recently about the beautiful relationship that my children share. This has only escalated, as they now sleep together every night. Every. Night.
And the collage at the top at this post may be misleading; those are all different nights (as they do a rotation like little hands of a clock throughout the night in bed), it is just that my son wears that daRN soccer jersey every day so while my daughter is in different pajamas in every photo, he is not.
Their love, even in their slumber, is profound.
When I see them together in the quiet of the night, breathing in unison, I feel all the feelings. All of the good, proud, tender, loving feelings imaginable.
When I see my kids cuddling each other, sleeping soundly side-by-side, all of the feelings about hard drop-offs and crazy gyno visits and damn dandy notebooks wash away.
And I listen to them
and I don’t need to feel in that moment. I just am.
I am a proud mother. I am someone who tries a lot and sometimes gets it right. I am doing more now than I could before, and yet I still have a hard time with other things that I think should be second nature.
I am mindful.
As of today, both of my kids are in school every day, and they are both making great strides. This morning, my daughter got on the bus happily. This afternoon, my son’s teachers told me about his accomplishments.
I truly believe that I feel more than most other people, for better or for worse. When I say that, I mean that the intensity of my feelings is magnified. I feel fierce protectiveness, deep love and, sometimes, lots of anxiety.
But I also feel accomplished, cool, silly, warm, considerate, less-than, nervous, unsure, excited, passionate, loving, overwhelmed, frustrated, empowered, determined, peaceful, stressed, right, wrong and so much more.
I feel it all.
So, if I am going to feel it all, I figure I might as well continue to do the best that I can. I will savor the good, try to persevere through the bad, and laugh off the moments when I am on the exam table, spread-eagle, saying, “No! Do NOT draw on the counter! Put down the gloves!”
And next time I will simply order the Handy Dandy notebook.
All the feelings.
Here is to feeling them,
knowing when to hold them tightly, when to turn away from them and, most importantly,
when to let them go.
To last week. To yesterday. To today. To tomorrow. To all the feelings.
To it all.