Today I didn’t have much left to give, to anyone.
I was able to go thru the motions of keeping everyone fed, amused enough, bathed and to bed, but it was more an auto-piloted force of habit rather than a deliberate attempt.
My 5 year old is finding her voice and independence during this period of infinite togetherness, which she usually uses to tell me “but I don’t want to!”, “WHHYYY??” or details about how she isn’t going to listen to my rules when she’s a grown-up.
My littlest and I hardly slept last night, and is heavy into a “hold me!’ and “watch this!” phase.
And while I know I will miss it one day, and do appreciate it’s sweetness a large portion of the time, the last couple weeks it feels as though I’m drowning in distilled inseparableness.
Drowning in being constantly needed for every breath, constantly hung on and screamed for.
No change of scenery, no trips to see friends or visits to the park.
As a devout home-body and introvert one would think this type of existence would be my jam, but this is different. Knowing the days that are long and monotonous can’t be punctuated with trips to the library for story time, or a romp at the playground to burn the bedtime candle just a little bit faster. It’s relentless and at times, suffocating.
There are only so many rounds of Barbie’s that can be played, playdough that can be made, or pictures to be colored before the sanity starts to slip. I feel so conflicted by my motherly urge to try to make the days a little bit brighter for my children that are stuck inside whilst the world outside ceases to spin, and my own desperate need for a moment that is quiet and my own.
Some days we all go to bed with more smiles than tears under our belt and I feel like I’ve got this.
Others all I can feel is the weight of my own anxiety and the one thousand ways I’ve failed them throughout the day.
My oldest had a meltdown as we all sat on the trampoline today because “there’s nothing fun to do here anymore!” Which I can see looking back is her five year-old expression of frustration over not being able to leave the house for so long. Her and I were both frustrated, tired and not in the emotional position to give each other much slack.
My littlest walked over and put her tiny hand on her shoulder and whispered sweet sisterly comfort in her ear. Then laid down with her right there on the spot and held her as she cried. Slowly the tears evaporated into smiles and giggles, the stress and anxiety into compassion and understanding. The youngest member of our family diffused a stressful moment that I was too depleted to handle with grace.
And in that moment I was only thankful.
Thankful that I could reassure myself that this situation isn’t normal and I can’t be everyone’s everything in every moment.
Thankful that my girls have each other in this.
Thankful that I have them.
Thankful for this time with them because even though these days are long the moments are priceless and fleeting.
Thankful we can pay our bills and fill our fridge.
Thankful that we are healthy and all together.
Thankful that eventually, we will emerge from this fog and life will go on.