The day started like any other, the cat meowing in my face, the alarm sounding, and my body begging for more sleep. I popped out of bed as if denying the fatigue would make it go away. Lunches were easy enough to pack because Sean had gone to the store on the way home from work the night before. Nobody called out to me for specific clothes that they needed for school, there were no misplaced folders or missing shoes. We got out the door on time and the teacher cancelled the field trip that would have had us tromping around a pond in the rain.
It was a relatively easy morning, and yet I am sitting in a Starbucks sobbing. Granted I’ve managed to do it it quietly, my face resting in my hand and the tears going from my cheek down the inside of my arm to pool in the sleeve of my shirt so theoretically no one can tell. But, the fact is I am still a 40 year old business owner and mother of three sitting in a Starbucks weeping. I wish I could write one of those funny, relatable, “Isn’t life crazy?!” posts about the end of school year gauntlet, but I can’t.
I don’t want to pretend as if I have any sort of handle on things. I am tired and the mantra I’ve been repeating under my breath, “Just get through this one more” like I do on a run to get myself to go a little bit further, isn’t working. The magnetic clip on the fridge has school events held up like one of those booklets of cartoons that if you flip it will make the characters run in a very disjointed way. I thumb through the papers—
- June 13 x2
- June 14th 2-4:30 Z,
- June 16 yellow +book
- June 17th $2, 10am
- June 19th $4, no lunch, IG BB
- June 23 1/2 no help
- June 24 10:38, 11 Albany, no help
- June 25 B last, 1/2 no, SFGE
The details swim and I don’t recognize the information, are they cryptograms? Who belongs to which?
The storage unit that was only to be kept for a few months has now languished for 3 years. I forgot to send the check. I think someone has a doctor’s appointment. I have things to write, calls to return, and my daughter wants to remember exactly which field trip it was that I missed and I am going to stop by her room when I go to her sister’s thing, right?
I am bewildered that there was no beep, no flashing light to let me know how close to empty I’d gotten. Blogging commitments I had tug at me, I write a post. I think it’s good, it’s about marriage. There have been no deadlines there, no ‘but you promised’ accusations. I show it to Sean and wait.
I got things wrong. He’s hurt. The words I’d thought were true sit in a file on my desk top titled That’s All, I add “wrong” when I see it.
Turns out I did miss some things with him too. I’m utterly crestfallen at how comprehensively I am failing, almost like I’m trying.
They’re playing rainy music at Starbucks, songs that lift memories of divorce like steam, aches of not fitting in and the tears come harder. For every two things I remember or finish, there seem to be dozens more that have slipped, teetering on the verge of too late.
Yesterday on the drive to school Finley said something about me not doing something again and I spoke before I thought, “You know Fin, when you say that it makes me feel like you think that I am doing a bad job as a mom.” She immediately and astutely said things to soothe me, not apologetic, matter of fact but also knowing. I gnashed my teeth and wished to take the words back. I’ve got a six year old caught in the web of guilt. Rock meet bottom.
I don’t want to be at Starbucks crying, but I think I need it. Like the pollen that’s been coating our region, I think I’ve been caked in a thick film of too much and it’s time to clean it off so that I can see again.