Tuesday, August 3, 2010

perspective from below

My son is in love with a pinata. It's a Dora pinata (rather large) and he drags it everywhere behind him by a string.

And I'm depressed.

Those are the main news items coming over the reel.

I hate that I get depressed. It's just a part of my life, something that comes and goes, and these days as long as it doesn't hang around for too long, I can ride it. I've been so tired, so tired all the time. I thought at first it was because I hadn't been exercising, but then several days of 40 minutes on the elliptical at the gym didn't seem to change much.

I'm having trouble keeping in perspective that I won't have a 2-year-old forever. One day, no one in this house will scream at the absolute top of his lungs anytime he disagrees. Somedays I feel like this, this, is my world forever and ever, packing snacks and cajoling into carseats, wrestling hollering toddlers to the ground simply to change a diaper, pulling dimes out of mouths to screams of protest.

But then there are clear moments when I can see my life in a long flat plane, and I realize that This Time--with babies--is a distinct phase, and one day (and not that long from now) I'll look back on it as some previous lifetime. When I think this way it all feels so sweet, their chubby little cheeks, their tight hugs, the way Clark smashes his entire face into mine. There are people, certainly, who are best cut out for this work, who in previous eras served as wet nurses and nannies for an entire career lifetime. Though I sometimes wish I were, that's not how I'm built. And, frankly, I suspect most women aren't built this way. Isn't that the trouble, though? That we all expect ourselves to be good at all the jobs, or at this one in particular? We think we are somehow less if we can't easily do this mom thing.

But all that is another issue. For now, I just try to see them. (They are both so sweet. Yesterday Clark brought Frances his own cherished blanket when she hurt herself, because we were at a friend's house and it was the only blanket available. He tucked it under her chin and then patted her back.) I focus and feel my smile every single time Clark says "No dis going," the cutest phrase ever, which means several things from "this toy isn't working" to "I can't get the lid off the applesauce." Cute cute cute stage (except when it isn't), even when he's mad. One of my favorite moves of his right now is his hollering: MOMMY! BAD! GIRL! when I lose my cool and holler at him for hollering at me. Nothing like being called flat out on your stuff.


andrea said...

Relating, really. Your words are so full of color and vivid images and conjure feelings that I wish I couldn't relate to but, there you have it.
I think carpe diem comes so seldom that when I feel it I want to bottle it up and remember it forever and more importantly, how I got there.
Kids are the best teachers and mirrors. Argh.

twigandtoadstool said...

What a wonderfully honest and heartfelt post! I can relate to the depression...I tend to get seasonal depression, and for some reason end of July, August, I go through some rough days...and the demands of parenting small children doesn't always help the matter!
Thank you for being so candid!
xo maureen