Sunday, April 10, 2011

Between yours and mine

I live between your needs and mine. Your needs are limitless and intense and always. I, ever the introvert, cannot step away from them and clear my head at times. This is why I believe that I can feel so low. I am not myself in those moments, not the loving, nurturing mother that I want to be and create an image in my head that I should be. I love you both so much, but I hurt and I despair in those moments because I can't pull myself together and be me for you. I see people walking around so incredibly normal when I do get away to step into work mode. All of these students walking around on campus, consumed with their lives. Talking on cell phones, buying a coffee, talking loudly about school assignments or work or their social lives. Everything seems so normal. But I don't feel normal in that environment. I wonder if the fact that I brushed my teeth and hair in a matter or seconds and put eye shadow in the car, just to arrive breathless minutes before teaching my class each afternoon is written all over my face. Not really a true transition between all day long at the park, or at the library or at home with you both to becoming The Teacher in the afternoon, but it has to do. This is how we do it, Mommy during the day and Daddy "at night". We do it for you. Sometimes I feel that this is the hardest thing I've ever done, and I'm not even truly sure what "this" is. Is it staying home with you? Is it leaving you in the afternoons when I really want all of us to spend our evenings together? Is it the grading, and preparing and "extras" of teaching that I must fit in here and there? What is so hard, after all? I love you and I wouldn't have it any other way because I get to be with you, and even in those few hours each day that I'm not, I rest easily in the fact that the person who takes my place is just as special and important to you as I am. He's your daddy and he loves to be with you. What could be better? I am between your needs and mine. There are unresolved passions and desires in my heart of hearts to pursue. I wrestle with my ego. I want to live for me, like those (God love them) blisslessly unaware 20-somethings I see each afternoon. I want to be them somedays. I remember my own days of free-spirited travel and living to follow my dreams. I wonder, am I content to just be who I am where I am? Some days I am, and I rejoice. I am at peace, and I rest in between in that tiny sweet spot between your needs and mine. You give me great joy and I love you so much. I am completely surrendered this time and space in my life, and I realize that you are the pearl of greatest price. I must not break it, I must do whatever it takes to perserve its immense value and worth but just being there for you, moment by moment. I need to just keep moving and do the next thing, even as my back is hurting and my hair needs done and could I just get an uninterrupted shower for crying out loud? I do need to go to work this afternoon....and really, do you have to get me up at night because of a bad dream or a late-night feeding again? And every night? And then, I'd like a weekend for myself, and maybe a month to travel, and on and on it goes. My mind just follows that well-traveled path over and over and over again. The hard part is just that--putting aside my needs when yours are greater. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I feel so incredibly angry, and sometimes I feel like I'm going to break. But I never quite do. Someone greater than me is lifting me up and carrying me through, even though I only seem to notice in retrospect. That's why I'm still here, living between your needs and mine. Every day.