Ever tuck your girls in at night- after they are asleep- and stare at their faces thinking to yourself… they are grown. And wondering… where did time go? I was so busy making sure they turned out to be decent human beings that maybe I missed out on every moment. Or maybe I saw it, enjoyed it, but it passed by too quickly? Thoughts for your next blog….
I wonder every single day. Every single day when they prove me to be a fraud. Every day when they challenge me, and I myself am not adult enough yet to answer their questions. Every single day when I thank God that He has kept His hands on them, when my hands were much too slippery to do His work. Because I… am such a mess.
I’m emotional. I wear my heart on my sleeve. When I am happy, everyone in a 10 mile radius knows it, and they can’t help but be happy too. I’m infectious that way. But when I hurt, my family, my friends, my children…. they know it too. And they’ve ridden the roller coaster of life with me. Because unfortunately as a single parent, you don’t get to choose when they see you upset, or when they see you happy… because you just have to be. And let’s face it, in 2017 as a mom… regardless of your marital status… we are almost all single parents.
At the end of the day, after work, after dinner… when I remember to ask if homework is done… they’ve already done it, because they’ve had to be self sufficient. And it cuts me. It bruises my soul to know that my girls have had to do so much adulting at such a young age. I check on them as they dream at night, their faces a reflection of their childhood perfection and I see strong, determined young women in their sweet surrendered moments of peace.
I remember getting to soccer practices, cleats falling out of the car, snacks forgotten, water bottles two days old grabbed from the back seat and me looking apologetically at the best goalkeeper I’ve ever seen to date, and her simply saying, “Mom, it doesn’t matter, I’ve got to go, I’m late.” I could feel her anger in those moments, but they were moments when she was dropping $145.00 cleats out of the car, unknown to her the price I paid to get her there. Unknown to her that I had to leave work early to pick her up and run her back across town to be 10 minutes late to practice. Unknown to her that the men that ran the meetings I left were judging me the whole while and that I would never be promoted to any of the positions held by those guys whose stay at home wives had fresh water and fresh cookies already at the soccer field. Even though I would be working well into the night on whatever I hadn’t finished that day. She was already angry. She doesn’t yet realize I went to college and work and coached her soccer team and made dinner. She just knows she always feels like she gets part of me. I hate that.
The days continue to roll passed. I continue to watch her sleep. Nights that are feverish. Nights that are lonely. Nights of heart break. Nights of worrying about friends that are threatening suicide. Nights that I awake to find a car missing out of my driveway and no clue where one of them was at. It’s a night I was drinking wine. Is this my fault? Did I sleep through hearing her start her car? What would be different if I somehow could hang on both of their every single word? Pure panic. Fades into the next day. You trust them. You distrust them. You worry. You watch every move. You miss crucial moves. You check your phone. Facebook shows you pictures from 5 years ago. Teeth are missing. Days were simple.
The glances from them, they’re in that stage of adolescence where they feel like every single thing you decide is wrong. They know better than you. You’re stupid. You apologize to your own parents. You can’t imagine how foolish you were. They’re glaring at you. You feel like brutally embarrassing them, because after all…. you’re cool. You know you are. Right? You were? How long ago was that? Where did 25 go? Were you at soccer practice? Do I even play soccer? I don’t think I do. Never cared for it much. I don’t think. I don’t remember.
Band rehearsal. That’s happening again. God it’s so loud. Why? Where did my lipstick go? The one they both said was abhorrent. You know, the one I just got from Chanel. Yea, that one. I can’t find it. They’re waiting for me in front of the school. I forgot them. They think. I couldn’t leave that meeting this time, I just couldn’t. They’re pissed. I hate myself. I wonder if anyone at all understands this. We get to practice. There’s Sarah’s mom, with her stupid friggin snack bag for the whole team. They glare at me. We are late. They all love the goalkeeper though. She’s a hit. I take the glares. I think I might wear a smaller tank top next time, just to piss them off. That makes me laugh to myself. She’s rolling her eyes again.
God they’re beautiful when they’re asleep. So full of hope and promise. I can see all of my dreams in them. All of my dreams that changed when I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t think I would ever have kids. They weren’t in my plan. What would my life be without these two? Would I have worked for National Geographic after all? She’s waiting for her water. I did grab her water didn’t I? Did I shut the crockpot off? Or is my attempt at making sure they have a healthy dinner now an overcooked mess on the counter? God, help me. No wonder no one at work takes me seriously, I can’t finish a whole thought.
I can’t fall asleep, no matter how tired I am. I check Facebook. Then Instagram. I see their posts from the day. Dear Lord, they’re beautiful. Are they really mine? How is this possible that You gave me such beautiful daughters? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I must sleep. How many days have passed? Thank you.
“She’s got a smile it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I’d stare too long
I’d probably break down and cry
She’s got eyes of the bluest skies
And if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain….
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I’d hide
And pray for the thunder and the rain
To quietly pass me by….
Oh oh oh oh … sweet child of mine.
And just like that, I’m taking first day of school pictures of them, but it feels like 20 years have passed and only a day, all at the same time. They’re still rolling their eyes. But I am saving this moment forever. Dear God, I love them. Through to my very core. All in the blink of an eye.