I couldn’t shake the fog from my forehead this morning before realizing that we were out of coffee. Which meant, I wouldn’t shake the fog until after 10 am when I was able to walk myself to Dunkin Donuts and procure a cup, which by then had already gone stale having been poured out for early risers and truckers and dealers just coming home from the night. I found myself empathizing with the finger-printed coffee dispenser. She must be so tired of feeling poured out.
The bright-eyed maniac to whom I gave life was already pouncing on every nerve ending. Jumping all over my patience. if I had a shred of dignity left, sitting in my pajamas with the hole in the left butt cheek, teeth unbrushed, hair in rats nest array, I’m sure she would have peed all over it.
That’s how kids do it, you know. Just like animals, they mark their territory. Stake their claim. This disheveled woman with 5 inch roots and a terrible penchant for colored jeans is mine.
I didn’t want to be anyone’s territory today. I mildly engaged in playing kitchen, while simultaneously checking instagram for pictures of other children who are behaving as angels ; then scolded angrily when she smashed the dry macaroni to pieces all over the floor, to undoubtedly, get my attention.
I shouted as she whined. Gave time outs left and right for disobedience. I packed us up in the car. I was going to head to Costco for more milk, meat, and a distraction from my insular reality that was closing in around me like an itchy Christmas sweater in August,
She fell asleep.
My child, who scoffs at the idea of night, falls asleep in the car at 11 am. I turn the car around. Perhaps this is good. Perhaps I will get a moments peace to allow God to put me back together again. I let his new mercies go unchecked this morning underneath caffeine withdrawal and bitterness.
She stays asleep for approximately, 30 minutes. She is having some sort of allergy attack, or catching a cold and woke herself by sneezing in succession.
I find myself angry. At her. At her audacity to behave like a two year old and catch a cold today when all I really want to do is wallow in pity and self-deprication while delude myself into thinking that I wanted the time to PRAY.
It is standing in her room that it bites me. I am angry with my two year old. ANGRY. For being sick. For acting her age. For getting in my way. For being a bother. For needing to be fed, cleaned, attended to, nurtured.
I hold on to my angry like one would a dead thing. I am afraid to let it touch me. To confirm that it is, in fact, what I think it is.
I am so ashamed.
I feel my shame run hot and red and wild and she doesn’t seem to notice that her Mama is having a meltdown as she sings, “Praise Ye the Yord!”
While in my flesh I longed today to be far from this beautiful life I’ve been given, from her, she is singing Hallelujah.
I scooped her up.
I took her to the mall.
We shared a Jamba Juice and I cried as I watched her dance holding a princess wand in the Disney Store. She’s so perfect. So beautiful. So. So.
I am struck at the oddity of how my heart, which ran white hot with rage today, was emptied out and refilled so quickly by a wink in the mirror- a twirl of a skirt. A touch of our noses together.
This is a terrible and painful and heartbreaking and life-giving and fulfilling and dream killing and door opening and exhausting and rewarding and lovely journey I am on.
I sit in my own chair tonight, looking out over my overgrown backyard with a few strewn beer bottles and wrappers, back to my living room covered in laundry and play dough, to my desk with the bills forever piling and remember my girl as she sang Hallelujah right in my angry face.
And I hum it until I have the strength of my daughter to sing it myself.