Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Little Dose of Reality

Here's some honesty. Sometimes I feel disingenuous. Sometimes I think if Lucy and Elaine go back and read all these entries when they're grown up, they'll think, "Mom, you painted this picture of a beautiful little world, and really sometimes it was so boring and also? You used to get mad at us too."

Last night, something kind of weird and scary happened. When Elaine woke up around 2 for her occasional late-night bottle, I had this strange sensation in my brain. My physical brain, the left side of it. It felt, for lack of a better term, fuzzy. Then when I got out of bed, I had a hard time keeping my balance. It stayed that way all the way until I got back into bed. I lay there with that strange feeling in the left side of my head, wondering, "Is this what an aneurysm feels like? Is this what a stroke feels like? Will I not wake up in the morning?" I'm not afraid of dying. But I am terrified of leaving my girls. What would they do without me? Lucy would think I had abandoned her. Elaine wouldn't even remember me. I fell asleep with these thoughts swirling around, and when I woke up I felt fine.

Now shouldn't that be a guarantee that I would wake up thrilled to be here, thankful for my good fortune, and above all endlessly loving and patient with my two little lambs? You would think. But I wasn't. I was so cross and impatient with them. I snapped at Lucy for hanging all over me and pulling on my pants. I shouted at them for arguing and screaming at each other during supper. I got irritated when they wouldn't stop splashing in the bathtub.

They were just so annoying and tedious, both of them. Lucy staged a major tantrum because I gave her lovely roast beef and potatoes for supper instead of a scrambled egg. "But that's what I picked out, Mama! You hurt my feelings!" Then Elaine has perfected this shrill siren-like scream whenever anything doesn't go her way. I just couldn't take it. Then Lucy summed it up after dinner, "Mom, when Elaine was a brat, that was her fault. And when I was a Selfish Sally, that was my fault. And when you got so cross and yelled, that was your fault."

Some days I just feel like a rotten mom. It seems like I'm just hanging on until 7:00 p.m. and I can get them in bed. Then I rush downstairs like a high school babysitter in search of Doritos, TV, and to check my email. I felt like the biggest failure tonight. Then my sweet Lucy looked up all me, all shiny and clean from her bath and said, "Mom, you're the best kindest mom in all the world!" I felt like such a jerk.

It's so humbling. It feels like I'm constantly taking one step forward, fourteen steps back. I hope the girls forget the tedious times. The times I lose it and snap at them. The times I'm a grim, impatient harpy, forgetting that they're just tiny children and that I hold their heart in my hands. I hope they can know that I lay awake at night, thinking about how much I love them, how I would give my life for them, and how I really and truly can't wait to see them every single morning.

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