Monday, September 26, 2016


The older kids are at school... the preschooler (just on Tuesdays and Thursdays) is napping... probably.  And I?

I'm almost 37.

I put that picture up instead of a selfie because I'm realizing I am kind of uncomfortable being anything but their mom.  I've been that for so long that being anything else doesn't feel... right.  I went into motherhood kicking and screaming louder than the kids came into this world.   And now, it's a shield.  I'm bad at life?  That's cool.  I stand behind the spastastic half-nekid toddler to distract from my own crazy.  Or the dizzying autistic kid.  Or the loud tween.

I was a teen once.  It took a while to take myself seriously and realize that I was old enough to be expected to have the capacity to drive myself across the state for rehearsals, auditions, etc.  And to be responsible for so, so much knowledge - that if I didn't get and retain it, I'd have no shot at college and the life college brings.

Then I was a college student, which is what I'd always wanted to be.  It was hard, but I loved it.

Then I was old enough to graduate and it took a while to recognize that I wasn't just a college kid anymore.  Teaching high school was so confusing and difficult.  I just couldn't picture myself as that person and I was a ball of nerves and contradictions the entire time.

Then I got married.  That was a hard transition, but the plus side is I got a husband who loved me and wanted to be with me forever.  That's kind of awesome.

Then I got pregnant.  And moved to Brasil.  The day we went to get visas and junk, the lady processing us asked me what my occupation was and I couldn't answer violinist - violin teacher - or anything familiar, because I wouldn't be doing those things there.  So she put "Homemaker" on my form.  I turned to Jared and started silently yelling.  Not that there is anything wrong with that job - but I had no experience with that, no history, and it was not something I'd ever, ever had to come to terms with.

In Brasil, I was alone with a baby.  I was suicidal, scared, sick, and a total mess.  I couldn't come to terms that I was now a mother.  Being a mother meant that I had given up everything familiar and was now going through the worst physical and emotional pain I could imagine.  A few years down the road, with experience and medication under my belt, I started feeling less like a liar when I said I had a daughter.  And then a son.  And then another son.  I was and still am a mess of an adult - I don't understand mortgages, or the stock market, but no one really judges you on those things when they see you chasing your half naked son through a library.  They are just like - "that's a mom."

So I am a mom.  It's safe and protective.  It covers a multitude of my inadequacies.

But for 3 hours a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'm not a mom.  I'm a woman who has their 3 year old in preschool.  I don't know what to do with myself, and it makes me panic to think that in 2 years, I'll have 8 hours a day 5 days a week where I won't be able to hide behind a spastic child.

It's weird how terrifying that is.


M said...

When Rob (the youngest) was still pretty small, and he and Evie started doing part-time preschool, I realized I didn't want my whole life and world to be my kids. I needed something that was me/mine. Because they grow up and go away (usually) and I didn't want to face being an empty shell somewhere down the line. I love my husband and my kids, but if (G-d forbid) anything ever happened and I was just me, alone, who would I be? So I went back to what I love, and kind of know. And I'm glad of that now because they are all in school, and I volunteer at the school but I don't want that to be my life either. I want to be involved but... Yeah. Anyway, I guess all this boils down to: I hear you. I was there once. Looking down the tunnel and thinking, "Wait. Um. Hmm. Now what? Who am I?" And now I can answer that. I'm a mom, yes, and a wife, yes, but take those away--because those are really only what I am relative to other people, but what/who am I *really*?--and I can still say, "I'm a writer."

Find your answer to that question. It's hard and scary sometimes but you need to know.

Jane said...

I don't think you're a mess as an adult. You're a freakin' rock star for cryin' out loud!! - without all the drugs and alcohol - and you look much better doing all of it than many of us, with less successes, do.
You rock. And you will always be younger than me!

HEAR YE. I need to document the fact that I ran 3 miles and didn't feel like death.  So just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did...