February 25, 2012

Repairing the spin

I had a bout of insomnia last night.  I never have that.  I am blessed with the gift of sleep.  If I put my head down, no matter where, I sleep, almost immediately.  Last night I didn’t sleep.  For two hours I tossed and turned and thought and thought until my head felt like it was exploding.  Sleep was elusive, because I was very busy inside.  I was very busy thinking about what a failure of a mother I have become. 

Today marks the 11th day of not having so much as a 2 second break from my kids.  At various times I may not have had all 3 kids, but I have had at least one of them.  We’ve had some pretty good days during our Mardi Gras break.  We had fun at parades, had some really fun days doing other things, had a blast at Global Wildlife, etc.  But yesterday was not fun.  It was rainy and cold and super windy and we were all cooped up inside.  Fighting.  And screaming.  And being negative.  And mean.  When my sister got here last night for crab cakes, we ate and then I asked her to drive me to an insane asylum.  I told her I wasn’t cut out for motherhood, let alone single parent motherhood, and that I was sure I had a psychological problem.  I declared that summer would indeed be horrible, and that I was having visions of deserting my family.  I thought last night about what I’m teaching my kids.  How I’m teaching them to be frustrated and aggravated.  I was so focused on everything I’d done wrong not just yesterday but every day.  I should know better than to go there.  Because I’m really, just naturally an eternal optimist.  I am the Queen of Spin. I’m the Queen of other things too, but none more than SPIN.  I couldn’t spin it last night.  Just couldn’t.
In the back of my mind, I kept thinking about a conversation I’d had with a good friend at a parade during the week.  This friend of mine is unfortunately in a less than desirable life situation, similar to my family.  Her husband is not dead, he’s disabled.  But their lives are not what they used to be.  Her children have had to mourn the loss of the father they knew.  She has had to mourn the loss of the husband she had.  He, bless his heart, has had to mourn the loss of his own life, when he could walk and talk and converse with people with ease.  I can barely see my keyboard right now, through the tears.  It was the life they had.  The way it used to be.  Just like us….before ‘the incident’.  Lives are changed forever.  And there’s nothing you can do, but move on.  She is one of the strongest people I know.  She’s one of those people that you can count on.  No matter what.  My astrology loving friends will not be surprised one bit that we share a birthday as well.  And our husbands share a first name.  She has 2 boys.  I have 3.  Many parallels.  I so wish that our parallels were that we both had won the lottery, or both had beautiful vacation homes in Aspen or Napa.  But we discussed something that night that is possibly better than the lottery and a second home.  We discussed our boys.  And what this hellish life is teaching them.  How, accidentally, in the midst of chaos, these gentlemen are emerging.  Despite our mistakes.  Despite our frustration.  Despite our tears.  They are learning things that many parents won’t be able to teach their kids.  The School of Hard Knocks has begun early for our boys.  It’s a tough curriculum for preschoolers and elementary children.  I wish they didn’t have to attend.  I wish I could protect them and be perfect for them and just give it all to them.  Or do I?
This morning another great friend sent me this piece by Glennon Melton.  I love her!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/a-little-advice_b_1299782.html  The entire piece is about teaching your children to be HUMAN.  And that being human means forgiving yourself and moving on when you’ve messed up.
In this new life, I don’t believe in coincidences.  When you are hanging on by a thread, and someone tosses one your way, you grab it and hold on for dear life.  That’s no accident.  It’s no coincidence.  It’s God, reminding us that we are all connected for a reason.   One of the last things I thought of last night was a rose bush I planted in the alley a few years ago.  It is neglected and weedy and I want to move it into the yard, where I can care for it and make it beautiful like it deserves to be.  I kept thinking about how just before Dave died, he cut a rose from it and brought it to me.  I just peered out into the alley at the sad bush.  It's still covered in weeds, and looking neglected, except for this:

Today, the darlings and I will have a better day.  I will forgive myself and let go of my parenting mistakes.  I won’t try to be perfect.  Because I don’t want to fail.  Because life isn’t perfect.  It’s messy and sad and full of frustration and angst.  But it’s also beautiful and wondrous and awesome and full of blessings.


  1. Being a single parent, by choice or not, is hard. Anyone who says otherwise is full of crap. Unless someone else has walked in our shoes, they will never understand how stressful it can be. I so identify with you in so many ways....so many ways.


  2. The thing is...they see you get past each and every mistake...that's the value. It's a big one for them to learn. They will learn from you to be better people through the good and the bad and because of the good and bad. Thanks for the link.

  3. and that wasn't advice...ha. it was LOVE. I guess i should have read the blog link first. :)