Monday, July 20, 2015

On Everyday Life

I don't post here much anymore - partially because our lives are a whirlwind of moments and I have a house to clean and (temporarily) five children to watch after five days a week, and three the other two, and partially because I simply don't find myself interesting enough to talk about - but I feel the need, now, at least, to try to share some of what goes on in my head.

Things here are.. Okay. We have good days and bad days, and there are moments when I close my eyes and sincerely wish that things were different, but most of the time I wouldn't give up anything I've got in the world. Being mom to an eight year old, a (nearly, in three days) six year old, and 18 month old is absolutely overwhelming, but it's an amazing experience. The downside, of course, is that I'm learning all too well how frighteningly quickly time passes, and that while I may be nearly 30, I don't FEEL like I'm a day over 20. I know one day it'll hit me and I'll suddenly feel absolutely ancient, but until then I keep telling myself I'm still very young. That I'm not likely just under halfway through my life. That the next ten years won't zip by, that I won't be watching G graduate from school when I'm 40. I try not to think about the fact that every moment we're given is a blessing, because if I do, I'll be reminded that nothing is guaranteed and we never know what will happen next in our lives. I try not to remember that I live in an area prone to dangerous thunderstorms, that cars go fast and things fall from the sky sometime and occasionally buildings collapse and that there are deranged idiots in the world who seek only to hurt others or take lives for the sake of having something to do. I have to try not to think about the fact that someday someone may, intentionally or otherwise, seriously hurt or kill one of my children, and I may never know why, or understand the rationale behind their decision. I have to forget about diseases and infections and complications and problems that could arise at any point in time, things I can only do so much (if anything) to protect my children against - and even then there are things like heartache or mental illnesses that I can't predict or foresee. I have to put out of my mind, at least for now, that I cannot control everything and simply hope that I am a part of the lives of my children for as long as humanly possible, and that during that time, nothing hurts them.

I don't want to imply that my children are not intelligent, or aren't capable of taking care of themselves or that they can't adapt and learn to cope with whatever situation presents itself. I don't want to imply that they have especially compromised immune systems or underdeveloped emotional responses. My boys are brilliant, though I'll be the first to admit a certain familial bias toward that opinion, and they are relatively healthy and competent. They have learned thus far to cope with the childhood complications that develop our emotions and have shown themselves able to contend with the stages of grief and to reason through situations and thought processes that are a bit above that which I might equate with a child of their age. They're good kids (though I don't think there's such a thing as a BAD kid) and I adore them.

Honestly, I'm being selfish here, and I'll be the first to admit it: I'm worried about how I'LL react. Not to say that I don't think my children deserve to have long, healthy, fruitful lives - they do! - but I know in my heart that regardless of the situation or diagnosis or complication, they will handle themselves with dignity, honor, and reason. I think they're old souls, that they've been around this life thing once or twice already. I think that when their time comes, as much as I don't want to think about it, that their age won't matter to them so much - they'll know that they lived amazing lives and that they were fantastic people. I'm not sure, however, how I'll do when it comes to that transition (though I hope it doesn't happen while I'm around to see it). I already don't cope well with the issues outside of our direct family when it comes to illness and life transitions, and the idea of something like that occurring within our little family is overwhelming. If thinking about it alone is enough to drive a shiver down my spine, what will happen when it actually occurs? Will I be prepared? Will I be able to be strong for everybody else? Will I be able to coordinate whatever efforts are necessary, make the best decisions, honor my child's wants or legacy appropriately and with a modicum of respect? Will I be able to avoid collapsing into a mess of emotion so that I can continue to be an adult in an otherwise challenging situation? Will I be able to get up the next morning, and continue my life, for the sake of my family?

I have so many questions - all that doubt my capability while espousing the candor of my kids. I don't doubt them at all. I can't bring myself to. But me? I know that, no matter what happens, I'll be continuing to look to them to make me a better person - whether or not they realize that's what's going on.

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