Saturday, April 16, 2011

Real Today

Today had moments that were hard. I don't mean emotionally hard, which is what I usually write about. I'm going to step outside of the fairy land of the beauty and love of my amazing life with my four amazing living children (an amazing concept, but yes, there are four alive right now) and address the reality of sometimes.
Sometimes, days stretch on for weeks. The children don't really want to play with each other, or play by themselves, and each child wants an adult all to him/herself. Sometimes, each child cries or complains or whines until said adult attends to the want of the day. Sometimes, I wish we didn't have all these wonderful science kits and fancy art activities so that my children could each just sneak off into a corner and entertain themselves while I lie on the couch and read my book. Sometimes, I fantasize about hiring a mother's helper to follow around the most adorable 17 month old baby on the planet, so that I can have an hour off from the exhausting existence of keeping tabs on her every step and every word. If you don't respond to everything Fiona says, she keeps repeating herself, louder and louder each time. Sometimes, the din in the house, with the two older kids trying to tell competing stories, and Fiona vying for her own spot at the mike, is deafening.
I am low on energy right now, I know this, and this is why today this was my experience. I don't have the foresight or planning skills to think through how I can best integrate the needs of these three sweet, amazing children into a fun afternoon for everyone. I am ready for a rest, a real rest, but at the same time I want this rest to include my sweet babies because I love them so desperately.
It's a catch-22 I find myself in often, this need and desire and desperation for some space and time and breathing room, and my simultaneous hunger for having my children around me, on me, with me all the time. Right now I dream of us all lying quietly in a big bed, watching some old VHS tape from the 1980's, maybe eating cinnamon toast and drinking milky English Breakfast tea with sugar. I dream of lying on a chaise in the backyard while the two older children scamper around in the woods, lost in a fairy-fantasy game, and Fiona digs quietly in the sandbox, immersed in her bucket and shovel and the white sand pouring through her tiny fingers.
Mostly, I dream of my body in the prone position, where I'm not bending over, the bile rising in my throat as my ever-growing baby presses onto my stomach.

I'm living the dream, the dream of real life, right now. I love it, I do, even though I am writing about its challenges. The truth, the end story of the Catch-22, is that if somebody offered me 2 nights at the spa in the Berkshires, all expenses paid, and a car to drive me there in the morning, I would politely decline. I don't want to escape my life, I just need to be true to what it is sometimes.

That being said, if somebody offered to cook all the meals, keep the house picked up, fold and put away the laundry, and watch the kids while I ran to town for an hour for a massage, I would gladly accept.

Tomorrow, the sun is supposed to shine again. It should be warmer, and I may get some moments by the sandbox, even though I don't have a chaise to lie on. Right now the little baby in my belly is stretching and kicking and so vital, and I am so excited for its arrival. I am due in a few days over 5 weeks. This is so amazing.


Hope's Mama said...

Hah, I read your paragraph about the fact you'd decline the offer of two nights away at a spa and I thought I'll comment "I'll tell her she needs/deserves at least an hour long massage and a rest day" and you wrote that exact thing in the next paragraph! If I were closer, I'd come and be your house work fairy for the day. Angus could play with Fiona (or bonk her on the head with her toys, as tends to be the way with 17 month old boys, or at least my own) and I'd happily entertain the older two and keep them out of trouble. I wish I could do that for you. I hope someone else can. Just for an hour.

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

I appreciated the realness of this post and speaking to the catch-22. As I anticipate the arrival of my rainbow baby, I imagine only wanting to be with her, no matter how hard it is. And I imagine it will be hard - but not wanting to get away - at least not for too long. :)

Ya Chun said...

Oh I hear ya! And I am not even pregnant - which is tiring in and of itself.

I sometimes I feel like I need a break from Beanie, but then I don't want to leave her, either!

And get that massage!

Pietrowski's of North Andover said...

You know how facebook has a "like" button... I wish blogs did too! :-)


Kimberly said...

Ugh - I feel ya. I'm 6 weeks pregnant and needing a bit of that prone time too.

Hope you get yours!

Best, Kim

Sara said...

This is such an apt blog post for me to read at this moment. All I wanted this evening was to get the kids to bed after a long day, so I could relax with my novel. But then I came across some old baby photos of both of them and got immersed looking through all the sweet images - and now all I want to do is be close to my (big) babies and snuggle them both.

Sarah said...

Watching, waiting, wondering with much anticipation!

Rika said...

Carol you are such an amazing Mama. That push and pull is so true. I long for some "me time" then miss the girls. xo