My days are hard.
Lately, I am a pin watching a glossy 13 pound ball roll straight for me, and it knocks me over.
That giant 13 pound ball is my three-and-a-half-year-old. He’s lazy with direction, careless with liquids, he’s loud when I ask for quiet, he is a bulldozer in a field of daffodils. And lately he has stopped sleeping. I’m convinced he’s an alien, or a robot who is surviving off of bananas and Triscuts. He is the first to wake up in the morning, has given up his afternoon nap, and at night, hours after we put him to bed, he finally gives in to sleep. Not sleeping is one thing, but the symptom of no sleep is ruining our relationship. He’s tipsy with tiredness, he falls over and breaks into a million pieces. If I don’t cut his apple just right the whole afternoon is destroyed.
Additionally, I have two other children, one of which is a tiny baby who wakes up in the middle of the night crying for milk. I feel run down, constantly tired, and I need a break.
My husband had to work late, so I called my mom, and she told me to come over. Into the car I threw all three kids, some of which were not properly clothed, and drove to her house for fast food with an ocean view. The kids plodded around the inside of her home, and I quietly retreated onto the deck to watch the trees bend under the weight of the heavy salted air.
I can’t find large chunks of time for myself, so instead I need to uncover small respites.
After tangerine popsicles and sticky fingers they went into the bath, fresh jammies, and I drove them home.
The drive home was detoxifying. The children were uncharacteristically quiet and the music that was playing through the speakers elevated me; Old Jimmy Eat World, Table for Glasses. I rolled the windows down just enough for my kids not to scream at me, “MAAA! TOO MUCH WIND!” And I watched the hills turn gold from the reflexion of the sun setting. My fingertips curled over the glass of the window, they flexed and relaxed with the tempo while they flickered against the breeze. I was having a sort of transcendent moment. The crescendo of the song built up and hit our car with force, I was the drummer, biting my lip and hitting the air with my imaginary drumsticks, because the percussion made me do it, because no one was watching, because it was good. It all felt good.
Lead my skeptic sight to the table and the light
It happens too fast, to make sense of it, make it last
The light was brilliant, golden and pink and shiny. If the sunset could request a song, this one would be it. Sparkly, soft, and brilliant.
And then I saw a dead deer in the road…
“Mooomm!! Wa-waz dat!?
“Was that deer DEAD?!”
Mmoomm! Git da window up!
“How did it die?”
“What happens to deers when they die?”
“I want to listen to Veggie Tales!”
Thus ending my transcendent experience.