Perhaps because the past seems so glamorous, more so than the laundry, shopping list, dishes, homework shuffle I'm contending with now.
The phases of life have struck me so hard lately it's as if I'm not thoroughly feeling the warm sun on my skin or the sweetness of the sugar.
I think of my own mom. She didn't ask herself so many damn questions! Why is that? She just did. I shot out from between her legs and was there to contend with, not to ponder, test, probe, experiment analyze, fear, loathe and focus on.
Not that I focus on my kids; I obviously don't otherwise how the hell would I be writing this email to you? Someone says miserable people go through their lives feeling either guilt or resentment. If I focus on them: resentment. If I don't: guilt. hat a joke. And they become the brunt of it.
Take this morning for example. There's my 7 year old son, sitting at the counter eating his dry graham cracker cereal. He refuses to put milk in his cereal, never have, never will. He won't sit at the table with Maeva and Antonia because, he says, something stinks over there, and it's just "too complicated." Mom is rushing around the kitchen, making Maeva's lunch, worrying about whether Toni took her Omega 3s, thinking about how she has to walk the dog... and I look at his bare feet under the counter. No shoes on yet. And where's his backpack? I go to his room: A bear pit! I just cleaned it for him last week, that ungrateful little oinker! With pencil sharpenings all over the floor mixed in with clothes and books and blankets and other sludge. No, no backpack in there... there it is, in the living room bay window, his homework strewn all over the place. I start screaming at him! Ari! What is this! And your hair's not combed! And you didn't write in your reading log (the guy reads novels already but they make him write what book and how many minutes in this damn log) and look at your spelling choices! you didn't do them right! and and and! I keep going, I'm on a rollercoaster of Nag.
I hate you, mom.
Yes, I know, I am hateful at that moment. Resentment crashes up against guilt, creating waves of darkness, the darkness that at best is the fodder for sitcom conflicts and at worst the motive for Lizzie Borden. All the self help books, all the yoga, breathing exercises, affirmations, massage therapy, all the wisdom of the ages and knowledge of human behavior, nothing can stop me from wanting to throw both him and myself out that brand new casement bay window that cost us more than a ski vacation in Austria, including the flight.
But I hold back. I withdraw. I pack up Maeva's lunch, I get her dressed against all her protests. I bargain and bicker and bribe and manipulate and prepare until we are all in the minivan.
Then I drive those little mo'fo' to school. God I love em.