Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kim

I miss my friend Kim. We've been friends since we were little girls and our relationship has evolved from school kids to college girls to women.  She's my best friend in the whole world, the person who will get my kids if anything ever happens to me and Howie, the first person I called when my mom died, one of the only people who can make me feel better because she loves me through and through.

She's going through a rough time right now.  Her mom is sick and she's going through this intense period where there is a lot of frustration and work and stress.  It's not easy to watch your parents fall apart.  It's not easy to know that you will soon be planning their funeral.  It's not easy to come to terms with the fact that you will soon be without parents altogether.  The work associated with all of it is overwhelming.  I know this only because I went through it with my own mother.  The details associated with the care of a medically fragile parent are nerve wracking.

And to say that our mothers were cut from the same thread is the same as saying that there is a similarity between six and half a dozen.  Those women put us through hell.  A kind of hell that can only be understood by people who have been through the depths of physical disability and addiction.  It's a hell unique unto itself.  But they are our mothers and no matter how much anguish we have sustained at their hands, we love them still.  We still love that part of them that was amazing and here is where I have to take a moment and check myself about how I feel about myself as a mother.  I worry that I've made too many mistakes, that at some point my kids will just hate me!  They'll grow up and tell their therapists that I've ruined their lives.  But the truth? Well, the truth is that they will love me no matter that I yell at them to clean their rooms or make them behave or make them miss birthday parties for bad behavior and refuse to let them watch too much tv and beg them to eat vegetables.  That even though they say they hate me sometimes, the truth is that it would take a nearly immeasurable amount of my wickedness for them to really hate me and I know this only  because my own mother was beyond wicked at times, put me through some of the most painful experiences and in the end, I still clung to the part of her that used to run her fingers through my hair and hug me until I ran out of breath.

So Kim is in the middle of that whirlwind, this stressful and difficult time and it kills me that we don't live closer so that at the end of the day she might be able to come to my house and collapse into my hugs. That I might somehow be able to ease her burden. I so wish I could be there for her, do more for her.  It's so hard to watch her struggle and I miss her.  I miss her laughing, her silliness, her friendship. We're too young to be going through this.  We are too young to be completely without our parents.  There is a reason this is so hard, that the decisions and work associated with it all can nearly crush you.  Because, it's just not natural to be burying your parents when you are 32 years old.  We're not mature enough; mentally, physically, spiritually.  We don't have the tools or the wisdom or the experience to deal with such a thing with grace.  All we can do is survive.  And all I can do right now is stand next to her and offer my hand.

Broken Resolutions

Hey, remember that time when I made a resolution to write everyday? *hysterical laughter*  That was before I considered that at some point, my children were going to have a summer vacation that would slowly (but not painfully) suck the life out of me.

It's not so much that they've been bad kids, in fact it's just the opposite. It's just the toll of it all, of being together for an entire summer virtually every day.  Sure, we've had adventures and laughed and overall enjoyed each other but still- there's only so much time we can be together and we're quickly approaching that limit.  I only have so much patience.  Like, if my patience was a bottle of ketchup, I'd be holding it upside down, shaking it, pounding it hard on the counter and then putting a little water in the bottle to dilute what little there is left, hoping and praying that it will close the distance between now and September 1st.

Thank God they were well behaved. Or else I might have run out of patience back in July and that would have been ugly.  I might be writing this from the loony bin instead of my kitchen. Birdie made some major improvements over the summer, coming to grips with the fact that she in fact is NOT the boss and finally learning to control many of her emotions.  She's still loud, she's still a bit on the eccentric side but overall, huge improvement.  The dramatic outbursts have all but disappeared.  The crying is gone, the whining has reduced dramatically and even the talking back is nearly gone.  She still has her bad days but in general, she's sooooo much better!  She even built a really solid friendship over the summer which has been so great for her.  In the past, this has been difficult for her for many reasons, not the least of which was her bossy nature.  But she's learned to compromise a lot better and is just a lot more mature than even 3 months ago.  Where last summer we saw major improvements with Bubba, this year was all about the bird.  I'm finally able to actually enjoy my little girl.  Not that I didn't like her before, it's just that it's hard to get cozy with a porcupine.

Oh so much has happened this summer, I have no idea where to start or if I should even bother.