When we were teaching J to swim, it was not a pretty sight. “Are you swimming or drowning?” I would yell, getting ready to jump in and save him if needed. Most of the time he would yell back, “Swimming!” Sometimes he would tell me he wasn’t sure. I always wondered how it was possible that he didn’t know if he was swimming or drowning. And then these last couple of weeks happened…and now I get it.
Our kids are attending the school program for day care so that they can attend summer school…it’s making them sicker. There are a million different caregivers (ie high school kids), limited structure and supervision, and far too much electronics. Charlie and I are managing some unexpected grief issues, and this leaves us (me?) emotionally slightly unavailable. We are negotiating the contact agreement for T, and it’s leaving me feeling frustrated and sad and angry. Grad school finished up…and rather than feeling like a huge giant relief, it kind of left this weird hole. Not a bad hole, mind you, but a hole I need to fill. I just finished reading the book “God-Shaped Hole,” and I have been reflecting on this a lot.
“We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls. Some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin. A lot of people even use the concept of God itself. I could go on and on. I used to know a girl who used shoes. She had over two-hundred pairs. But it’s all the same thing, really. People, for some stupid reason, think they can escape their sorrows.”
― Tiffanie DeBartolo, God-Shaped Hole
Last week, I had my lowest moment in motherhood thus far. I let their hate be bigger than my love, and I really sort of lost it. (read: I (honestly) threw a banana across the room). In a desperate moment, knowing I needed to re-connect but feeling too out of control and angry and sad to do so, I scooped J up and I wept. We sobbed together for a solid 20 minutes. Afterwards, he cried…”I like living here and I like that you are my Mom and I’m SORRY I do those things.”
There is a fine line between swimming and drowning, folks.