I can not tell you how happy I am that it is finally fall. Autumn looks much better on me than the red sweaty complexion and exposed pasty white legs that summer forces out of me.
Don't worry, I plan to tell you just how much I love fall soon. But for right now I can only focus on one thought concerning it, and it is that I am so tired of sweating.
I have not missed sweating for two years, I can tell you that.
And being a mother is a tiny bit easier in the fall. I want to be outside with you. I want to take you to the park, and pull all three of you in the loaded down wagon. I want to sit on the front porch and watch you push the stroller back and forth on the sidewalk for hours. Okay, so want may not be the right word. But I definitely like it more.
Without going into too much details about my son's personal battles during this time, I will let you know that being a mom is super hard for me right now. I'm just putting this out there in case anyone else is having a super hard beginning of the school year and thinks they are all alone.
You are not alone.
A few weeks ago in our Sunday School class at church we were talking about parenting and someone said, "I thought everything was so hard when they were little, but then they get older and it gets EVEN HARDER." That took my breath away friends. My reaction was, "You mean it GETS HARDER!?!?!?" Originally I was under the impression that I just thought the above sentence in my quiet little well-behaved head, but based on everyone's laughter and looks of pity I quickly realized that I said it out loud. Okay, so I didn't say it, I gasped it. Like I was hyperventilating.
And it made for a funny moment in Sunday School.
But then I went home and CRIED. I really cried. Because God can't possibly expect me to do harder. I cried in my bathroom, because that is my crying room where I go so no one else can see me cry. (And when you live in a one bedroom apartment with four boys everyone sees you cry.) It is my crying place. That, and Target. It's like I feel so at-ease in that place that all of my emotions just flood out of me. I'm the one wandering around Target after 6pm alone. On those days I walk slowly down every single aisle of our Target and buy nothing. Just look. Every single aisle. Okay, I'm totally lying - not about the every aisle part, but about not buying anything. I'd like to meet someone who has walked out of a Target without at least one bag. I'd like to meet them, because that person knows something I don't know. (Like how to resist the magical spell of Target and all of it's beautiful things I never knew I needed.) So to recap, my bathroom and Target are my crying places. And my car. I forgot about my car.
So anyway, I cried. And to be honest, I'm really pretty tired of crying.
I know I can do hard things.
I know I can do them bravely.
I know that in the big scheme of the whole wide world that what I'm dealing with isn't even comparable to the refugee mothers that don't know where they're going to lay their kids down at night.
And in my head I have a voice that is saying, "no one could possibly understand how hard this is. You are alone." Which is a really stupid thing for my head voice to say to me right now.
So today when I found myself back in my bathroom after battling through yet another morning, dropping Miles off at school, and then plopping Liam down in front of Sesame Street I knew that this is a time to be brave. If there was ever a time to be brave, it is now. I need to be Katniss Everdeen brave.
I mean, this is what I signed up for, right? This is what I spent years yearning and craving as a childless mother lying in bed at night and wondering when it was going to be my turn.
As water from the shower mixed with the tears that fell from my face it occurred to me that maybe this is a huge compliment from God. God must have thought more of me than I think of myself. She must have known a secret stash of bravery was hidden away inside of me that would make it all okay. And my friends and family. God must have known I was well-equipped for this challenge. This deep desire for motherhood wouldn't have been put here otherwise.
This. This is what I dreamed of for years. This is what I wanted with every ounce of my being.
All of this.