I suppose it’s to be expected that as we hurtle through graduations, funerals and deadlines, I’m a touch sentimental. The lump in my throat has come to be a constant companion—nervous before a presentation? There it is, clawing its way up and trying to make me crack, tears stinging at my eyes. Quickly annoyance surges and I suppress the tears.
Standing on the playground, hands ready to shadow the twisting torso as it moves along the monkey bars, then comes the shake of the head, the kick of the leg and away she goes, leaving my hands empty and my face burning. The lump in my throat roots me in place, keeps me from following along to give help where none is required. As she springs from the rungs I shake it off.
Morning comes and I cajole them with offers to fix this or that for breakfast, unfiltered eyes look at me, the only message a very adult, I need time to wake up. Cue the teary ache. I turn for more coffee to hide the welling tears.
Quietly I’m working to accept that the updates I see on Facebook from woman with older kids are closer to my life than those with babies. The marathon of midnight feedings and endless ministrations during the day for diapers, sore gums and itty-bitty morsels of food between nursing sessions is quiet now. There isn’t so much as a wisp of it left as the girls talk of things that carry them farther and farther from need and ever closer to I’ve conquered that.
The tightening in my throat comes back as another eye roll comes or a “You always promise that, but you know you’re too busy, you’ll just forget, but it’s ok,” is lobbed my way. I remember the blur of my own mom, her legs in taupe hose, a coffee cup throwing a steamy ring on the windshield as she sped from one meeting or another to take me to the doctor or an after school activity. By the skin of her teeth and at some expense to work, I see it now. I feel the ache of impossibility in making it all work.
Typing now, a list of things that need doing hiding behind the wordpress window, I understand that I am sentenced to live in this in between time. Tensed and fearful for the friction ahead as a parent of older children, ever more humbled at the arrogance and insouciance of my youth that pelts me with its inability to see the effort in her rush, I am between panes of glass—