I rushed through traffic to see my boys and I’m greeted with both the heater and air conditioner running. Dishes are on display in half eaten array next to the places they’ve plopped to game. I’m greeted with hugs where I get to hold them and they stand as if being hugged is all they need to offer and really it is.
I offer up dinner that I schelp through after an 8 hour shift and they get to scarf it down with a request for something that takes more time and more love. They don’t complain where I know I could have done better but they know what to ask for. They ask me to jump and halfway up I get to ask how high, because I actually miss whipping up amazing food joy for someone else sometimes.
Sometime in the middle of the night Kid2 wanted to play with my contact lenses. He likes to touch and hold them and I need to not freak out because a contact lens means far less to me than he does. I get to keep calm and let him know I’m not to be feared because I want my kids to respect and love me, not fear and be dominated by me. I get to teach him empathy because he lost something important to me. I get to point out that I wear them all of the time and they make me feel beautiful but more than that, when it rains, I don’t get raindrops on my glasses. I get to point out it’s gross that those suckers sit on my eyeballs all day and now they were in his hands. I get to let it go.
I wake up and the child that superman flies his arms underneath me, waking me at 3 this morning with little feet marks walking the wall along the bed needed to get up and onto the computer but exhaustion won, so I find him on the floor where he just wanted to rest his head.
“How do you feel about testing out your bed in your brother’s room tonight? I’m not kicking you out, but you know, it’s there for you.” I ask, knowing it’ll be a celebration to have my bed completely to myself all of the time. I ask, hoping he doesn’t see my excitement because I want him to finally feel that the security he needed when our world fell apart is no longer necessary. I want him to know he’s safe when he’s here.
“Sure mom. I’ll try it out one night and let you know how it feels. But I can come back to our bed, right?”
Right. Baby steps. Being patient. Story of my life. But I’m used to waiting for things that I see value in. My son’s sense of security is high on that list. Why would I ever want to give up these precious years that are all mine? One day they’ll move out, or they won’t, but this liminal space in their identity is all mine. I get to be present before I am pushed away by the natural force of growth that is at the heart of parenting.
I was primed and ready to take the next class in the MITT series. I was enrolled. I conjured my deposit. I stood in the power of being LP 139. Things happened and I was ready to go. But I had to really look at what I was doing and my motives.
I’ve always been a strong person. It’s my birthright. I am learning to find my voice again. I spent too many years in a marriage where it wasn’t okay to be who I am. I’m standing on who I am, in a way that is brave through fear and courageous through discomfort and always considering the greater good. It’s not okay to be last but it’s also not okay to be selfish.
Taking the next step when I wasn’t financially ready means I was going to step on the toes of my Mom, who is my landlord as well as my Angel and friend who’s belief in me put down my Advanced course deposit. She may have withheld a deadline on repayment but my obligation to her is important to me.
Taking the next step placed a burden on my children. There’s a cost to the life I get to live, but that cost was one my children would have had to pay. Most of the dates set aside for the conferences and training happened during the 50% of the time I have my kids. There was only one meeting weekend when I was kid free. It’s not about a babysitter. I can get one of those. I have an amazing support system that has shown me repeatedly that they will walk through fire for me.
My older two sons are autistic. Interrupting our schedule is difficult on them. My little one was willing to sacrifice his time with me on his 10th birthday and at the end of the day, he only gets one 10th birthday. He reaches his first decade and I’ve been present for every single one of their birthdays. I won’t give up this one, even with his blessing.
When my family was falling apart and before we fell into place, I promised my kids that they will always come first. I won’t find a sitter so I can go on dates. That’s what their time with Dad is for. I won’t take on a responsibility that takes me out of their lives farther than I already don’t want to be. I have nights where I want to show up for friends. I use a sitter for that, but I make sure I’m home for snuggles before bed. That’s not something I want to give up.
I’m postponing the Legacy Program, both with and without blessings from those inclined to offer them. I’m doing it because I am a woman of integrity with enough sense to know this is not right for me right now but one day soon, things will shift in a way that will be perfect. I’m keeping my Go Fund Me going because I will take the course in the first half of 2017. I’m willing to ask for and accept help, but it’s not about desperation for a timeline I’m not choosing. I’m going to set my goal and start saving toward it. It may be the class with a kickoff date of December 6. It might be later. But the timing will be perfect. It always is.
Right now, there are Kid3 snuggles as I type and he shows me videos. Right now I get random texts that bring a smile to my face because the people in my life are amazing and even the boys that amuse me know how to make a girl smile even though I don’t want to give up my alone time for them. Right now there is coffee. Right now I’m bracing for a day of picking up around the house because having the kids home means I’m going to be home, and scrubbing walls. Later I will jump into crafts with my boys, assuming they’ll join me.