Hello faith. Are you there today?
I’m running on empty. Cub Scouts, baseball, end of school picnics, graduation parties, teacher presents, keeping up with friends that need just that… a friend, rushing home for the toddler’s nap, signing up for summer actives, facing summer activities, planning a reading/chore schedule for the summer, girl scouts meetings, block party planning, ortho appts, alter server schedules,trying to find carpools… phew.
These are all things I tremendously enjoy. It’s when there’s a feeding pump thrown into the mix and remembering to carry the vomit bucket with us in the car, or it’s comforting my child’s social phobias and trying to quiet his anxiety, it’s trying not to snap at my son’s lack of remembering his brain. It’s the last day of school today and I am running on fumes.
I had the absolute pleasure of seeing my friends from our old house in Oswego this past weekend. Three families with 21 kids between them (5 adopted from Ethiopia). When I say amazing people… I truly mean it. They are my inspiration.
After talking with them for only a few minutes, their words wrapped me up in a warm hug filled with God’s grace. They have many issues with their kids, like we all do. Each one takes a turn of the one that you worry about. Whether it’s the teenage girl that was left out of her group of friends and has withdrawn from the family, or the autistic Kindergartner that needed to go away for a few days of intense behavior treatment, or the grade schooler that has symptoms of ADD and you don’t know whether to act on them, or the child that scores so low on testing that the school district is failing you and your options look bleak, or maybe it’s the siblings that lost their baby sister and will never feel complete, or the teenage daughter that has cardio myopathy and insists on running track.
We are all happy, filled with so many blessings, yet we are all so lonely. It’s not that any of us would change our children, of course not, but why God would entrust me with them completely bewilders me. I feel inadequate most of the time. We are all on our own on this crazy journey called parenting. The moment to moment decisions will make or break your child. There is no manual, there are no guidelines. And to make parenting more stressful, the married couple disagrees on how to discipline or what to take seriously.
Gabi was so tired yesterday morning and was coughing a lot- like a nasty croupy cough. Sure enough, I had to pull over and let her puke in the acclaimed tupperware bowl that was ready at the waiting. The tears burned as I drove her to school and thought how exhausted I was taking care of her. I thought of my friend caring for her autistic daughter along with her other 6 children and felt her strength wrap me up again. I texted my husband (when I stopped the car ) that it was a difficult morning. I’m so tired. I put my sunglasses on so that no one could see my tears.
Gabi cried as I took her out of the car and I instantly knew, she couldn’t go to school. I told the teacher that I would just take her home. So lonely. As I caught the puke moments before, I thought, is she just tired? is she getting sick? Are we headed to the hospital?
I grieve who she is not- but try to not let that overwhelm me. But sometimes I think I am more resentful than I want to admit. A healthy four year old would be running and riding a bike and be potty trained and EATING. Gabi does none of those things. We are stuck in toddlerhood. Resentful towards whom… I resent the people that should be supportive but aren’t. I resent people that pretend to not be lonely. I resent those that have an easy life. I resent those that can afford to hire help. I resent those that are able to volunteer at their kids’ school. I pray for God to take the resentment and anger from me because it’s not fair to those individuals then I drink a cold beer.
But what am I going to do? Sit here and be miserable? Of course not. Like I have told myself a million times, happiness is a choice. I pray continuously for God to help me because I can’t do it on my own and I can’t rely on others to rescue me just as I can’t rescue my friends.
Just to cheer myself up a bit, I made a list of things I am grateful for:
1. My husband- although I feel like sometimes we live separate lives, he works so hard for us.
2. A smile from my son after he pitched a good inning. He needed that. Even though I couldn’t be there, my husband assured me, he got a smile.
3. My book club- I have read some amazing books and I am getting to know a new group of friends
4. My sisters
6. My shop vac- it cleans everything!
7. My jogging stroller
10. This note from my daughter, Marissa. (She still thinks I’m nice )
BTW- Gabi is fine. She was just really tired. She is still coughing a lot. Stayed tuned for my daring plan for Gabi that is against doctors orders…. Happy Happy Summer!!