It’s been one of those days.
You know the ones.
The days when computers crash, cars lurch, kids sass and clients ignore. The days when people change the subject and bury their heads, teachers act more like politicians, bills pile up so fast it’s impossible to keep up and bank accounts scream ‘uncle’ because they’re empty.
Yeah. One of those days.
The kind of day in which the only conversations start with ‘can you’ and ‘I need’ and end with ‘but that’s not fair’ and ‘why not’. The ones in which the chocolate burns, the daughter weeps, the son lies and the only thing left to do is cry. Not because of sadness, exactly, but because exhaustion usurps the ability to speak so instead the tears drip. Hands deep in dishwater, floor covered with spilled sugar and the idea of anything being better tomorrow nothing more than a wish as empty as the Diet Dr. Pepper bottle I desperately wish had even half a glass left.
Instead I use rinse water to ponder the proverbial glass half full or glass half empty dilemma as I scrub counters and wash sink after sink of dishes the kids told me they did before I busted them playing on the computer instead.
It’s been one of those days when all this mom wants is a glass of wine and a time out; even five minutes without the constant barrage of what everyone else needs, wants or can’t live without. Five minutes to finish the book that’s almost done, the one that made me wish it had taken longer to donate blood today because that was my break, my ‘me’ time, my escape.
As I pull the brownie pans out of the oven and start to pour on the chocolate chips and the chocolate mini marshmallows that she sheepishly asked me to please not forget as I tucked her in and wiped her tear-streaked cheeks and kissed her forehead and said ‘don’t worry, sweet girl, that’s what mommies are for’ I feel guilty that I can be anything other than thankful.
Thankful that beneath the sticky sugar granules stuck between my toes is the floor of a home that is intact, that I can walk upstairs and take a hot shower after the brownies are done, that I can sneak into the bedrooms to watch them sleep and that I can lay in my bed and read my book if only my eyes will cooperate and refuse to let sleep win.
Thankful that my kids are safe and well enough to sass me and secure enough to challenge me when I say no. Thankful that we have a home and food and time to be together when so many others don’t.
When so many others would give anything to hear their child say ‘I need you to….’ or ‘can you pay for…’ I should be ecstatic to be having one of these days. So even though the tears had stopped as I focused on the marshmallows, they started again as I felt guilty—so guilty—for not appreciating this life when so many others’ have been literally turned upside down.
That’s what perspective does, right? It sneaks up and kicks ass because it knows that’s the only way to get some attention. So I sprinkle more marshmallows and I think about perspective. I think about strength. I think about how even though I feel like I am completely out of both I can’t be.
Because tomorrow might well be another one of those days.