Friday, July 17, 2015

the day the tower fell over

I wrote this a few months ago and it's been sitting in my "Drafts" box ever since.  I was afraid to publish it, not because of embarrassment, but because I didn't want to get - as weird as this might sound - encouraging comments.  I purposely waited until months after the day passed to even think about posting it.  I've always been a very dependent person, and while I do ask for help when I need it, I didn't want this to sound like a desperate plea.  I'd rather it sound like "I have bad days, too."  It's also a little more personal than I sometimes post, and that was another reason I held back.  But the idea of being authentic keeps showing up in what I've been reading and listening to lately, so now's the time.  There are wonderful, wonderful things about my life.  There are also intensely difficult things.  My life is a beautiful mix of both, and my blog's pretty representative of how I really am.  But here's a taste of the harder side of my authentic.

My tower is tall.

I'm a wife, foster mom, and serve in the Young Women presidency at church.  Other than regular life (making food, helping kids learn how to help keep our house presentable, playing, supervising homework, doing hair, reading stories), I volunteer once a week at school and up to four times per week at church, depending on the week.  I teach piano lessons.  I drive people to therapy and visitations.  I try to figure out what play dates are.  I have a cling-on child for about three hours a day.  If it's the time of day when I'm giving that child "play alone" time, I listen to sobbing.  I record piano music for the middle school choir.

I make time for my stuff, too.

I love doing these things.  But I probably offer to do too much and don't call babysitters enough.

And one day, the tower fell over.

"Where are you, Mom?"
"Joel, she's just laying on the floor in her office with her glasses off."
"Mo-ooooooooooooom." (poke)
"Mommy." (poke poke)

(Sometimes I need to pretend I'm sleeping.)

And here is what I have to say:
Sometimes towers fall over.  It doesn't mean they're weak.  It means they've simultaneously been getting piled higher and higher, and being hit with a wrecking ball over and over.

And then, when you've cried, told someone how they can support you because you've finally just figured out how, taken a couple hours off, and eaten a frozen custard waffle cone,
then you start to feel like maybe you can start building your tower again.

This time, it'll be better.  It'll have better supports and hopefully be shorter.  Because sometimes towers have to get shaken up before you realize what kind of scaffolding you need, and which levels can be given away.  You'll also realize that, what felt like a wrecking ball, was debris from a baby person's tower being hit, and if it's hard for you, imagine what it feels like for them.

If it takes a little longer than that to start picking up the mess - like maybe you also need to go to the library or watch "The Voice" - it's okay.  Because big messes can be overwhelming to pick up.

But you can do it.  And clean-up crews are around to help, too.


“I would assume that you were going to offer me refreshment,” Dumbledore said to Uncle Vernon,
“but the evidence so far suggests that that would be optimistic to the point of foolishness.”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Brooke Evans said...

Good post. I need to get better at using babysitters, too.

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