It has been a brutal week.
Filled with gastro, meltdowns and a misunderstanding. A rat infestation, car troubles and a school reprimanding.
How can we go on like this? The echo grows louder, energy wanes.
My temper is quicker, patience shorter and outlook grim.
I equip myself with the weapon of disinfectant, scrub hands to the bone and shriek at the kids to leave each other alone.
‘The germs!‘ I say, again and again.
When I lay back to rest, I hear scampering through the walls and rafters. A hapless storm of territory as the creatures realise they are losing their grip. It wakes me hour after hour.
The cloaking of my identity is waning. Things I took on as part of me have been impossible – as I lay prone, too weak to even walk let alone clean, write, mother.
I surrender, then claw back power. Relax… then fight it. Lament, then find a spark of hope. I am overcoming…then defeated.
Dave rises strong above it all – sweeping us up with his calm, strong stride. Ordering my huddled, pitiful figure back to bed again and again. Cleaning up spills and retches. Cloaking chills and wretches.
I wish for the strident hope of Paulo Coehlo:
“Every morning, I find myself a different person. I’m always a mystery to myself. If I knew in the first hours of the morning what I’m going to do, what is going to happen, what attitude or decision should I take — I think my life would be deadly boring because, well, what makes life interesting is the unknown. It is the risks that we take every single moment of a single day.”
The mystery threatens to torment me instead. I fight it, demanding predictability instead of a wild ride. I arm myself with routine, control, wine – anything to avoid peering too long into the unknown abyss.
I fear my temper, fear my ability to cope alone. Wonder at how others manage these trials that surely woman after woman has suffered before me. I search for escape – in bites and sips, in sites and trips.
Work beckons, as a mirage might. The promise of tasks that stay done, affirmation, control, the sense that I am worth more than my daily grind suggests. I push it aside, reluctantly. Unwilling to allow the hook to take hold.
I gaze at the calm, sleeping bodies of my children. Stare into their fathomless eyes. Fight against their continual lack of ‘hearing’. Peel the apples, butter the bread, clean up the messes. I celebrate the gains, delight in the stories, tap my foot impatiently when the conversation takes too long.
I am a paradox, a swirling vortex of hope and despair. The fog is consuming, then lifting.
Moment by hazy moment.