all answers given (some out loud, others not) when my love called me out on by general unpeachiness last night. no, he did not call me unpeachy. he said something along the lines of "I'm getting frustrated by the dynamic between you two these days...... you just seem more and more frustrated by her lately." ouch. but true. I have, it would seem, not been exceptionally fun to be around the last handful of days. my patience has been eluding me and I've only made half-hearted attempts to grasp it when it comes within reach. instead I've been lazily swatting it away as if to say 'no thanks, too hard. come another day.'
we all have our ups and downs. generally I feel a lot more up than down. generally I try dang hard to stay in the moment with her and remember that is I, after all, who is the grown up, and thus I should act accordingly. and patiently. and grown up-ly.
but it doesn't always play out like that. of course it doesn't. and the poor girl, I haven't even been consistently or predictably grumpy. things are fine, fine, fine, and then, perhaps triggered by one of these three year old meltdowns over nothing I can see or put my finger on, I feel my jaw tense and my heart builds a teeny little wall and I just feel so. over. it. I just want to go to the garden alone and bury my frustrations and fears and shortcomings in the soil. I want to fling the bitterness away and watch it get gobbled up like the grubs I pull from the beds for the hens (though I don't suppose I want to wish for bitter eggs). I know I'm not supposed to feel that way. I know my heart should never build walls, no matter how teeny tiny, that will stand in between this sweet one and I. I know (I mean, I don't exactly remember firsthand but I can surely see now) that three is something quite hard to be. I feel myself hardening when the tears come sometimes. even though I know tears are not something to feel attacked by or begrudge. these meltdowns, they are hard and fast. thank goodness they are fast. surely part of the edginess I'm feeling them bring out in me lately is due to a feeling of helplessness on my part. I want to help. to fix. to soothe. I am denied access and I don't have the proper key nor can I produce acceptable answers. or maybe I do but they aren't doled out in the proper sequence. it's tricky, remember. all very particular. and no I'm not referring to her as it, but rather this ongoing dance we find ourselves in.
at the same time I know better than to allow myself to feel too guilty about these things. I know there is no perfect mother. I know it's deliciously easy to be one until you actually are a mother and then.... well, then all bets are off and we just do what we can. and then beat ourselves up accordingly. or not. and that, I think, is the key- working on the 'not'. on being okay with what is and plugging along to make it right and well whenever humanly possible. when last I wrote about this sort of thing (as opposed to, say, bees or chickens or the current state of my yard and garden) I received these very helpful and wise words from the wonderful miss Karen Maezen Miller: (who I can only imagine found my humble little space through some technical gadgetry that informed her I'd mentioned her here, in that post)
think I may just have to write that out and tape it to the bathroom mirror. or better yet, to many surfaces here around the house. and so it goes. our days are tricky sometimes, as everyone's days are. I remind myself to focus on the joys and to remember them more than the rest, and it helps. I remind myself that I am blessed beyond words and that my challenges (while they may at times feel very difficult to me) pale in comparison to the much more raw and life-splintering challenges felt and experienced across this wide world. I read the books I read to find my calm and my center, I lay with her and read at night, snuggled up together in a state of coziness that nothing could possibly penetrate or dilute. she asks me to come closer. "closer, mama, closer, I want to kiss you. closer mama, so I can hold you..." and the rest just kind of melts away. as it should. as it is meant to.
and what is left is the sweet, sweet goodness that makes the world go 'round.
I write this while sitting at the desk with the window open, allowing the birdsong to come in and kiss my ears. it rained last night and the world feels and smells fresh and clean, as it does after a gentle spring rain. I'm up before she is, something I'd gotten the hang of and then lost this last couple weeks. with a mug of tea in hand and a sweater to balance out the coolish morning breeze coming in, I can't say I'd have it any other way. good medicine, all of it.