I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday. And since the meltdown began Monday that probably means it was more than a “bit” of one. It’s the heat and the seven months pregnant and the brokenness in people I love. And it’s Matt’s car deciding not to start which pushed our buying a van up a few weeks, and this planner still gets her panties in a wad when her plan gets messed with. And the firecracker who was fiercely independent at one is about to turn two and is bringing new meaning to the word “independent.”
I texted my bestie yesterday and told her that for two-year-old birthday parties I think it’s the parents who should get the gifts instead–things like pedicures and date nights and maybe a mild sedative. I know now why God gave her those honey curls and big blue eyes. He knew I would be spitting mad, take one look at her, and that Shirley Temple curl falling right down the middle of her forehead would get me every time.
After a good cry and a long trek on the Greenway this morning, I’m feeling better. The spinach and artichoke hummus I found at Costco last weekend didn’t hurt either. I was really craving a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing from Kimmie, but since she lives three hours away and I have my gestational diabetes test tomorrow I’m sticking with the hummus.
I was never an outdoorsy person until I started running last year, and then I realized how healing the outdoors can be. It’s the magical sunlight coming through the canopy of trees and the way dewdrops hang on a spider web. It’s the sound of mockingbirds and cicadas singing their songs, and it’s the sound of nothing at all. No IG pic showing me all the junk in the pumpkin spice latte I’ve been looking forward to for ten months. (Sometimes oblivion is bliss, people.) No Baby Center pregnancy reminder saying that I should be “resting now to prepare for baby.” They should really create a new set of weekly reminders for parents who already have kids with reminders like, “Breathe. And don’t kill anyone today.” “Yes, raisins and Goldfish definitely count for a well-rounded meal.” And “Get a pumpkin spice latte for crying out loud. They cost like four bucks a piece, so you’ll only get two, maybe three, all season anyway. Enjoy every last drop of that caramel color and preservatives.” I really think those would go over well, Baby Center people.
Usually my girls fall asleep somewhere around mile three. That didn’t happen today, but the outdoors must work on them too. A couple miles in after we had identified a few birds using their new bird guide “toy” from Chick-fil-A and after I showed Lydia a dead cicada and she freaked out, they quieted too. And for just a little while I soaked all that quiet in, letting it reset my heart and dry my tears.
These roles of wife and mom, friend and confidante–they aren’t easy. They tear you apart and give you gray hair. They keep you up at night and make you cry. But just like it takes dirt to give us forests and sand to give us beaches, it takes the grit and grime of life to give us the greatest gift of all–the kind of hard-fought love that creates beauty in friendship, strength in marriage, and perseverance in motherhood.