I dropped my youngest off at school this morning in utter silence. I knew that if I opened my mouth, nice things were not going to come out. It was one of those mornings….the departure of herbrother and sisters had gone quite smoothly and I was tuning out on facebook, trying to ignore the exclamations from the other room. I could not, quite. First her hair was too “poofy”,and I could hear her a few rooms away screaming. I mean…SCREAMING! Her brother remarked, calmly, “is that someone yelling?”…Me: “yes, (sigh), that’s your sister”, then him, “oh”.
Then she liked it poofy. Then how long would it stay poofy? Me: longer if you use some of your sister’s hairspray. I kept “working” on the computer, head down, nose to the grindstone. If I don’t react or even interact, the mood shall pass. Pass it did. “Mom, will my hair still grow even though I got it cut yesterday?”, Me: “Yes dear, it will grow. It will grow faster because you had the ends cut off.” Her: “How fast will it grow, how long will it take to get down to here?(indicates with hand down to about her belly button)…Me: “a long time.” Bad answer. You get the idea, this continued for a while with her escalating and me reassuring her as best I could. To this, I could relate. I probably had the same conversation with my mother about my hair, ad nauseum. Girls across the country and the world, in kitchens and bedrooms, in cars and in mud huts… all having basically the same conversation.
What happened next was, it was time to go and snacks were needed. Nothing was any good even though I’d been to the store yesterday, and the day before and the day before that. No suggestion I made was adequate. Even the idea of keeping certain special snacks in her room as her 13 year old brother is the voracious eater with a nose like a bloodhound for finding and finishing entire bags, boxes, plates of snacks and food. He is a big kid. So, I was informed that if she kept snacks in her room there would be ants and flies and her room is already a mess. Point taken. At that point I said I’d be down in the car and if she wasn’t down there in five minutes, I was (calling her father, taking away her phone, donating her clothes)…pick one.
I sat in the car fuming. She came out and got in. What I said and what she said next I will not repeat, but none of it was nice. So there I was dropping her off with tears behind my sunglasses, in utter silence, not able to get past my anger and even tell her I love her unconditionally and even though I was mad and she hated me and wants to go live with her father, I still will pick her up after school and no matter what she says or does, I will always always love her.
Who is this child? My fifth child. What force of cosmic energy and what sort of wild incarnation is she? I have been through hell and back with the other kids medical issues, hospitals, ERs, treatments at home, medications, IEP meetings and plans, and now this. I never thought parenting would be easy, but maybe I’d catch a bit of a break with my typical kid, and here I am, brought to my knees. And I don’t want advice. I think that’s part of it, so many and myself included, want to jump in with advice. It gives the situation distance. I want to share it, unadulterated, the purity of it in all its rage and fear. Like fresh road kill, glistening and pulsating with intensity. I just want to be heard, mirrored and have a fellow human being share my grief and rage without trying to fix it. Someone to sit with me and listen, and maybe give me a hug. Even a hug over the social media works. Believe it or not.
Then, I was driving home from her school, still with the tears, and all of it, big and black and looming. I threw my words of prayer up to the universe as in that very moment, I did not know if I could go on. I happened then to glance over out the window of the car and see a man out running on the sidewalk. Fall leaves were swirling around him and at his feet. I suddenly felt space. I could and would go on and this too, as does all of it, pass.
And hey….at least I got a blog out of it.
Great read, Jill. You have a gift!