She lays next to me. Fidgeting. Unable to settle into the call of sleep.
I lay still beside her.
Reflecting on the day.
The pressure behind my right eye is immense.
Unsure of whether or not it's an actual impending headache or a ball of tears, I pretend I don't feel it.
My patience wears thin as she finds yet another need-to-do moment before shutting her eyes.
Tonight she became a Brownie.
A huge step for my little Daisy girl who has grown so over the last three years.
Time flew so fast. I realized as we settled in at home and tried to figure out a late dinner that I had no pictures of the two of us. I tried to get one and her focus was elsewhere.
Sometimes 7-year-olds are so self-centered.
That sounds RIDICULOUS. I know it. But it mattered anyway.
Her. Distracted. Me. Emotional. My husband. His hands full.
The picture didn't happen.
Me. Offended. Almost. Sort of.
Ridiculous, I know.
She rolls to me.
I'm sorry ... she says. The words that follow don't matter. She says she's sorry for whatever she thinks upset me. Whether it was a talk with my husband as I disappeared upstairs to change or her own thoughts, she's got an apology for me.
I well up silently.
I'm the mom. Why does she have to apologize?
Shouldn't I have control over my emotions by now? I mean, she's SEVEN.
The reactions still come. I still struggle. I'm still me. A mom. Yes. But a human being. A person. A woman who balls up inside when I become overwhelmed. A woman who thinks afterwards about whether or not she overreacted when she raised her voice. Who says her own I'm sorries to her daughter - way more than once in a while.
A woman who misses her own father desperately.
It's hard because I don't mean to say that that's what this comes down to. It's not. I've been this person since long before my father left us. Wow. Those words, like that? Put some blame on him. That's wrong - it wasn't his fault. G-d's plan and all - or something. But I have been this mom for oh-so-long. So very long.
And I'm finding my way. Finding ways to not feel so overwhelmed.
I'm a stay-at-home-mom with a daughter in school. What's to overwhelm me? I say it - I say it because I feel that others must think it. I mean, it's true. I do work. Part-time. I do blog. Sometimes. I do write. Volunteer. Do more. Sometimes.
And sometimes, like the other day? I watch 4 hours of reality TV in an hour (loads of fast-forwarding) and find out who won Dancing with the Stars AND The Voice. And I forget about a cup of coffee on the newly updated Keurig and I think about things and I want to hide from the phone and I say something on Twitter and nobody answers and I'm that person - longing for a connection - looking for something to remind me I'm human and not alone. And I'm trying to BE that person for other people like me. And sometimes I just need to remind myself that the tears WILL fall. And that's okay.
And so, last night, my beautiful daughter apologized. And I rolled towards her and hugged her. And when she pretty much ordered me to hold her hand, I did. I didn't repeat the sentence as a question so she could add a please or a thank you, or say things correctly. I held her hand.
And I listened as her breath steadied. And I didn't want to let go of those tiny fingers entwined in mine. But I did. And I slid carefully out of her bed, pretty much tiptoed out of her room, closed the door and winced, angry with myself when she called out "Come back!" ... I whispered words of comfort and promised I'd be back. I always promise. And she's asleep in minutes.
And later that night - the tears fell. Finally. The pressure gone some. Not all, but some.
As I think about things. Life. Motherhood. Loss. Grief. Parenting. Death. Exhaustion.
They fell. Silently.
And eventually I crawled into my own bed, distracting myself until I was too tired to think anymore.
Because some days? Sometimes?
It's just so so very much.