Last week I talked about how summer was very difficult for me.
I really hoped that after that kind of season, the Universe would give me a pass and help us glide effortlessly right back into the school routine. However, that was not the case.
Marie became very sick over Labor Day weekend. A scary rash started in her face and then covered her entire body which we originally thought was an allergic reaction to red food dye. I remained vigilant, noting the times I have her medication and taking photos of her rash. We ended up going to the ER three times because none of her medications were working and her hands and feet became swollen along with an itchy, tight throat.
Being in the ER at 2am with my kid who is not responding to medicine is a scary place to be. Friends and family would let her know that they were worried for her, which makes an sensitive, analytical person like Marie feel uncomfortable.
At one time, she asked me, “All of these people are worried about me, Mom. Are you worried? You don’t seem worried.”
The question took me a bit off guard, and I thought about what I wanted to say. “I don’t have the luxury of being worried. Worried is something that takes me to a place where my emotions take over and decisions are made out of fear. I am concerned so I can remember important information to give to the doctors and help you get better.” I wanted to dissolve into my worry and cry, but I needed the energy to stay focused. She couldn’t feel safe if I was loosing my shit.
Thomas noticed this laser-like focus. It was the night before the first day of school, and Marie was devastated that she would not be going. We were getting ready for bed, and I was giving Marie her medicine while Thomas was putting toothpaste on his toothbrush. In the middle of Marie’s meltdown, Thomas not-so-gently reminded me, “You have to take care of me, too, Mom!” Even though Harrington had been with him, it still didn’t fill the void of his mother’s undivided attention.
Mom guilt – it’s the worst.
After Marie was diagnosed with mycoplasma and fully recovered after her antibiotics, I felt the heavy weight of mom guilt as I left my children to go to New Jersey with my Mom and visit family.
It was the same pang when I was relieved, instead of sad, when summer was over. What kind of mom does not cherish! every! moment?!
A mom who fiercely loves her children and who has also experienced the unadulterated joy of feeding her soul with creativity, that’s who.
I almost wrote “but” instead of “and” in that sentence because it often feels that these two things cannot exist together.
And yet they must.
I show up for my family in big and important ways. I am there in all the small, significant moments. I flow in their lives, and like water, I pool up where I need to be. I unapologetically take up space in their lives because, as a mother, that is what I am supposed to do. That is what I want to do.
I then limit the space that I reserve for myself because I worry that it might take away from them.
But I am allowed to take up space, too.
I must remind myself that I am not less of a mom for needing to write. This Magic Lessons podcast where Elizabeth Gilbert interviews Glennon Doyle Melton serves as a good reminder.
After listening to Rob Bell’s podcast about seasons , I am reminded that this season of raising young kids is just that – a season. It isn’t always going to be this frustrating nor will it always be this sweet.
But I can no longer deny the importance of quiet time and creativity.
I need it.
What fills me will overflow into them, clearing a space to fully soak up the light of each season.
Since I am committing more time to writing my book, my blog might not be as active.