Standing by the dryer, I listened to some rogue item clank around inside it’s metal barrel. It’s probably a dime or some chapstick that I’ve accidentally bathed for the millionth time.
For the moment, I felt like a worn out shell of a person. The house is still in boxes so it never looks clean. There is construction going on by the living room which right now is 2 ottomans in front of a TV on the fireplace with hodge podge furniture sitting all around it. My whole life is chaos right now from the two kids right down to the pluming in the half renovated bathroom whose hot water faucet quite producing not just hot water, but water at all.
I feel like I can’t get anything done. I feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t feel at home much less do I have a place to relax in the home in which I currently dwell.
I sit on my old couch in the front room while I nurse Salem with my eyes half open. Eden cries for me to read her a book and I can tell she needs my attention. My lack of sleep from two kids waking up last night is catching up with the fact that I couldn’t get a nap today. Then enters the most overwhelming part of parenting with a new baby: knowing that as exhausted as you are, there is still a night of wakefulness ahead of you.
I put Salem down and Eden followed me into the room with a book in hand and throws a fit next to my newly sleeping baby. I feel at the end of my rope. Eden needs me and I feel the weight of that. Salem is asleep which means I also feel the weight of the chaos that needs to be managed in this house. I feel guilty. I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of responsibilities.
Lance walks in and says, “Just go to Starbucks by yourself. I’ll put Eden down.”
In true “I can handle it all” fashion, I say no and go in to the other room to be productive. As I did, tears started welling up in my eyes and I said, “I’m just going leave” and within 2 minutes of turning down the offer, I was pulling out of the driveway.
I cried. Cried for the first time since having two kids. I sat at the stop sign at the front of my neighborhood and dug through my CD’s for something for me. Not Yo Gabba Gabba or Kids Songs 2, but a CD I use to like. A CD I use to get to listen to.
No one was behind me so I just sat there a minute before I pulled off. I realized pulling out into the headlights in front of me that it was the first time I had been totally alone in 6 weeks. Life becomes just one long day and before I know it, it’s been a month and a half before I’ve had the stillness of just being me.
I drove to Starbucks and rolled down the windows and played an old Matisyahu song that I still adore. I hardly noticed that I was listening to an Amish rapper in my minivan with the windows down while I drove around crying. It was an honest moment for anyone in my hometown that was blessed with the sight of me. It was very Rebecca. As funny as it looked, I was a serious, beaten down mommy.
Sometimes in the madness you forget who you were which is still who you are it’s just pushed to the side to some back corner somewhere where the spontaneity of who you were before marriage, kids, and reality pushed you aside. I can’t even remember the last time I just sang in my house. I did that every day for my entire life until it stopped. Now it drives me crazy to hear Lance sing around the house because I just want silence. I use to never understand why my mom just wanted peace and quiet. There was a time that it seemed so boring to crave that.
I sipped on my caramel apple cider and felt the breeze of the almost fall-ish feeling night blow on my face that didn’t have time for make-up today. Today I was busy changing diapers, mending bee stings, and beating blasted ants to death that the exterminators can’t seem to knock.
I drove around my old university and remembered how long ago 8 years seemed. Then I was a newly engaged girl who loved to write who struggled between Journalism and Psychology majors until the latter won out. I never could come to terms with the rules of writing that they forced on you. Sometimes incomplete sentences pack more punch and lame introductions seldom ever held the feeling of what I wanted to say.
I passed by a university hang out where college kids enjoyed the new summer air and spent their parents money. They are closer to their minivan years than they know.
I blasted more songs and cried some more as I went from one place to the next. I can’t tell you specifically why the tears kept coming but it was nice to be alone with just me and my tears. It’s nice to be reminded of what solitude, a good drink, and a good song in my throat feels like.
On the way home, I caught every red light…the ones that with children I usually try to avoid. I lingered. I sang. I sipped on my Starbucks with double whip and listened to songs too loud, drove too slow, and thought just enough. I took deep breathes and did just that…I breathed.
Hi, Rebecca. It’s good to see you. It’s been too long.