Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Only Way Out is Through

There will come a time when I won't recall today. When I'll find it hard to fathom I made it through.

There will be days worse than this. Much worse. Days I can't let myself think about for fear I'll lose my mind.

But someday, there will also be days that are much easier. And I'll forget. I'll forget like I've somehow forgotten the throws of labor, though I swore those sensations would be burned on my brain for eternity.

I'll forget waking up every hour on the hour to a crying baby. Nursing all night long.

I'll forget dragging myself out of bed for good at 5:45am. Getting myself dressed, so groggy I could barely see straight. Waking up an angry and uncooperative Stella. Prompting her to get dressed while Dave dressed Sam in the other room.

I'll forget packing all our bags, our living room looking like we're going on a vacation.

I'll forget how I cried for ten minutes on the way to work, so sad to leave my babies.

I'll forget getting stuck behind a school bus, getting in later than I like, shutting and locking my classroom door frantically, looking at a video of Sam to help my letdown so I could pump.

I'll forget pulling 7th and 8th graders in the hall for individual conferences to see why she's crying, why he won't answer a question, why this one called me that awful name, why the other one has an F.

I'll forget pumping and working all during my planning period, scarfing my lunch down in less than three minutes.

I'll forget the kid who shares the story about something personal that makes me cry. That crushing feeling that I'm not doing enough for those students. That feeling that I want to save them all from anything that could hurt them.

I'll forget pumping a third time after work. Pouring the milk into bags. Labeling the bags. Making sure my hands are clean. Wiping off my pump parts in between. Hoping it'll be enough for Sam the next day. Hoping that if it isn't, there will be enough left in my freezer stash so he'll have plenty to eat.

I'll forget I had a staff meeting after school. Checking my watch while trying to pay attention, overwhelmed that while my work day is coming to an end, I'm still miles away from any kind of rest.

I'll forget rushing to Sam's daycare, dodging aggressive cars on the interstate, nursing him when I get there to try to boost my suddenly diminishing milk supply, packing our stuff and getting us in the car.

I'll forget running to Stella's parent teacher conference, Sam blissfully napping long enough for me to talk to her. I'll forget my concern over Stella's Sensory Processing Disorder and how it's getting in the way of her enjoying school. I'll probably remember, though, that she's in the top group in reading. Because moms like to remember that stuff.

I'll forget rushing to meet Stella in her extended day program, bringing her a bag dinner because just moments later she'd have her Girl Scouts meeting in the same room.

I'll forget how Sam woke up and started to fuss, like he does every day around 5 - 6pm, and how I had to walk around with him the whole time.

I'll forget how Stella had a meltdown over the type of glue they had to use. A five-alarm meltdown - screaming and flailing and general misery. I'll forget being grateful that Dave was there - stopping by after work and on his way out for the evening. I'll forget how embarrassed I was that my kid was loosing it while the others weren't.

I'll forget buying disgusting fast food for dinner, because I didn't know how else I'd get to eat. I'll forget getting two bites in before Sam went insane again, screaming to indicate he was ready for bed.

I'll forget letting Stella watch TV while I spent 45 minutes trying to get Sam to sleep. I'll forget how he's in that frustrating stage where he's getting ready to crawl, so he flips on his stomach then gets angry that he's on his stomach but is too tired to flip back.

I'll forget how I decided to leave him to his screaming while I got Stella ready for bed. I'll forget how she didn't turn off the TV when I told her to, how she gave me attitude about bedtime, how I got really angry with her and immediately felt guilty about it.

I'll forget how I spent another 45 minutes after getting her down trying to get Sam to sleep again. I'll forget how I begged him to just sleep, how I cried, how I prayed for some relief.

I'll forget how once he got quiet, I ran downstairs and scarfed down the rest of my food. I'll forget how I threw my pump parts in warm, soapy water to soak, and how I started making a mental list of all the other stuff I needed to get ready for tomorrow.

I'll forget getting pissed off that I forget to set out our dirty cloth diapers for our diaper service in the morning like I'm supposed to every Tuesday. I'll forget how that realization almost sent me over the edge.

I'll forget taking precious time to write a blog entry, amidst Sam's periodic grunts of unhappiness over the monitor. I'll forget how all I wanted to do was drink a beer and watch that ESPN Netflix video about Tanya Harding, but that I knew that writing it down was good therapy for me.

I'll forget being peeved that Dave was out, leaving me to do all this alone, yet knowing that I was going to do the same thing to him in a few days, so it was only fair.

It's good that I'll forget this. Forget how tough it is. Because today serves a larger purpose. Today will not break me. I am no victim. Today was tough. But I can handle tough. I can put in some work now, some selfless, never-ending, back-breaking work now, because I know what kind of dividends this will yield.

1 comment:

judy skaggs said...

so beautifully written....& one day when Stella or Sam (or both) are having these days (because we all pray for our children to be blessed with children of their own)....you can let them read your words & they will see the light at the end of the tunnel. You always do things so "right" & I know that makes your journey harder sometimes (the fast food/Stella watching tv worries)..but I admire you for your perseverance & I love you but I know God loves you more because He has blessed us all with your sweet family.