This too, shall pass
Last night I met up with a dear friend. Her son and our youngest shared a due date and we were so excited to share our first pregnancies together. We haven’t seen too much of each other over the past year, but when we do it’s special. She reminds me that I’m not crazy, and in fact, quite normal! On the drive home, as the heat of the day was being replaced by the cool of the dark night, I reflected on this past year and found much-needed courage to continue on our path today.
Recently, I’ve been struck by how insistent the barrage of information, questions, and requests for attention is. These days it feels impossible to give each child the proper attention, to carefully note their underlying and unstated needs and respond to those rather than the surface-level words. Some favorites of late:
- “Mommy? Middle One is in the attic.” (in my head: is he bothering you? is he breaking something? where are you? what do you care? are you excited to be there together? do you want to watch tv? why are you telling me this?!)
- Little One falls and starts to cry. Middle One won’t relinquish his seat on my lap so I can go get her. Big One walks in: “why won’t you ever let me wear this dress?” (in my head: get off my lap? omg please move! I’m coming, baby! your dress? what? you can wear it! ok MO, move! Aw baby you’re ok sweetheart. Wait, that dress is too low-cut, we have to fix the straps. No you can’t wear it. Ouch MO, you’re hurting me…)
All day, every day. I want to say “so what? What are you trying to say??” but an 8 year old of course doesn’t yet have the sophistication to handle that. But last night, I found courage in knowing that this too, shall pass. Because it always does.
About a year ago, I was regularly in tears over the sheer amount of decisions I make every day and the responsibility that goes with them. About clothing, food, what we do, where we go, discipline. As stay at home parents we make a million decisions each day and I was constantly overwhelmed by it. Since then, we instituted some new routines to simplify our days a bit. And while the actual amount of decision-making and responsibility haven’t necessarily changed, my feelings about it have. They passed. And now I’m stressing about the next thing. Last night I was reminded that even without stressing about it, this too shall pass.