Originally uploaded by jenijen.
I need one, And, yes, a couple of those crayons were a little bit used; they were in my purse so that Willow could draw while we waited to see my doctor. I just waited too long to take the photo.
Today was hard. I can’t really get into all the details since the boy involved wouldn’t be very pleased, but I can say that one of my kids was upset after school and took off, running away from me. I let him go, partly because I know him so very well that I knew he’d run it off and come back when he was ready, and partly because my arms were full of lunchboxes, valentines, coats and my empty tea mug. The other boy decided, totally against my made-very-clear-to-him wishes, to follow him and try to talk him into coming back. It came from a place of wanting to help, but what ended up happening was that while I was talking so Sophie, who was also upset, Willow got lost because she followed him. We know lots of people at the school, and Willow knows the maintenance man and the secretary, so I figured she was okay. But, still, it really scared me that she’d go looking for the van which was across the road. I walked all around the school, crying because I couldn’t find her and because my son not only wouldn’t speak to me, he wouldn’t even let me get near him. It didn’t have anything to do with me, but he was mad at me all the same.
By the time a sobbing, snot-nosed Willow was brought to me by two boys we know, I was feeling so crushed and awful. I got everyone home, with more drama, and ended up dumping my armload of everyone’s stuff on the front porch, telling the kids to go inside and be with John for awhile and then heading back out the front gate. I sat on the cement driveway, crying because I feel like I’m doing this all wrong. I didn’t want to be anyone’s mother in that moment.
Finally, I came inside and starting doing things I needed to. I paid a bunch of bills, then left to walk over to the store for stamps. As I walked out the front door, this
caught my eye. I planted those bulbs a few years ago, maybe in the winter of 2001-2002 when we first moved in here. Every year some of them come up, but they rarely survive the stomping feet and bike tires and hardly ever get to bloom. Still, it was good to see them there. I know it’s sappy and lame, but seriously, sprouting plants are hope in cellular form. I got outside the gate and remembered that I had the box of crayons in my bag still, so I took them out and took a few pictures of them. When I opened them for Willow this morning that smell and the sight of them all so perfectly lined up took me right back. I need fresh starts now and then, and they are difficult to come by when you’ve got so many people depending on you. This weekend we are going to rearrange the living room, and that will have to tide me over until I can make other changes.
After I got stamps and paid the bills, I realized that I needed to make a trip to Hole Foods. So I went alone, listening to loud music and feeling a little better. In the store I suddenly remembered Rescue Remedy. I found it and bought some and dosed myself before driving home.
Also, since I was taking pictures inside the van. . .
Altoids make me feel better, too.
I came back from the store and had a tearful making up session with the kids. They probably think I’m a little unbalanced these days and they are right. I’m stressed and tired and feeling so inept at raising them. Right now the big kids are with their dad and step mom, Willow is watching Simpsons.** John is out at a concert. I’m going to take a bath with Willow, put her to bed and go hang out with these goodies that somehow ended up in my grocery cart.
I just remembered there is a ripe mango in the kitchen waiting for me too.
Have a lovely weekend, take a hot bath and read a good book.
**I know. There are references to prositutes and sex and Willow has learned to say "What the hell. . . " but deep down under its offensive exterior, the Simpsons is all about doing what’s right and making us laugh.
I was just thinking as I popped in the dvd for her that maybe part of my parenting failure comes from my inability to be consistent. For example: the kids are allowed to watch the Simpsons, but not Family Guy. Talk about mixed messages!