Posted on | July 20, 2012 | 19 Comments
You know those moments when you sort of hover over your body and look down on your life with the distant, observational eye of an outsider? And then you realize that you’re freaking ridiculous and you wonder why no one is coming to strap you into a straight jacket and haul you away?
Yeah. That was last night.
I’ve been having a string of bad luck lately. Nothing epic, just little tick tack horrors that are piling up around me like tiny carcasses of madness, reaching all the way up to the bottom side of my knees. I realize they’re not heavy and could be easily moved, but somehow I’m just mired down by my disgust at how many there are. I’ve been finding the humor, laughing at myself, and pushing down the urge to scream at the top of my lungs and maybe, just maybe tell someone (ANY ONE) at exactly which stop they should get off. But there’s only so much pushing down you can do.
Last night, all of that pushed down emotion erupted out of me with a force great enough to floor my son.
We had been reading stories on the sofa, nothing major, and I got up to go to the bathroom. He followed me in, as he often does when I forget to lock the door, and he was chattering about… well, I don’t know what, because I wasn’t paying attention. Apparently he said something that required a negative response but didn’t receive one because, well, I wasn’t listening. So without getting the “no” that he possibly expected, he gleefully shouted “LIKE THIS!?” and hurled my $42 brand new glass bottle of Laura Mercier Foundation at my feet.
It was a silly straw to break my back, but break it it did.
I began to sob with such ridiculous force that J began to cry. I was simultaneously wailing and trying to tell him that I wasn’t mad at him so I sounded a bit like a Lifetime Movie alcoholic “No, no, no. nononononononononono. It’s broken. WHYYYYYYYYYYY. It’s okay, baby. Mommy’s not mad at you. (WAIL WAIL SOB SOB) I’m just so sad because… OHGODITSBROKEN. Mommy’s silly. Mommy’s being crazy. I love you, J. I’m so sorry. OHMYGOD.”
All the while, mascara was running down my cheeks and staining my shirt with black lines, I’m still sitting square on the pot with my pants around my ankles, and tiny droplets of $42 foundation are splashing down through the vent while I wail like I just got the worst news ever.
J was standing outside the bathroom sniffling and saying, on repeat, “Mommy. Please stop being sad now. Mommy stop crying now, okay? Mommy I didn’t mean to.” Which was making me cry harder because he looked so broken by my tears, so hurt and harmed and scarred by my inability to just push it down… just one more time.
It took me the better part of 20 minutes to pull my shit together.
It took an hour of snuggling and reading books to convince J that I wasn’t mad at him. It then took two hours of sipping wine and reading a good book to make me feel less like walking out the front door and never coming back.
Because honestly, I know how good I have things. I love my son and my house and my job and my dogs. I realize that crying over broken foundation is stupid, crying over poison ivy and broken air conditioning and getting bitch slapped at work and … and… and… I know. It’s stupid. I’m a grown woman with responsibilities. So I do what I did last night. I dry my tears. I tell my son that I was being silly. I read Richard Scarry until I want to kick Goldbug in the nuts.
Because yes, I know, I am blessed to have all that I have. But there are moments, oh are there moments, when I just want three minutes, three hours or maybe even three days to cry without feeling like my tears are letting someone else down. And THAT is one of the hardest parts of single motherhood.