There are weeknights when I am putting the monsners to bed and I am empty. I have been patient and kissed boo boos and given cuddles and cleaned up accidents and tamed tantrums and put notes in lunchboxes and gone to meetings with teachers and advocated for my child and then at the end of the day, when its bedtime, I’m empty. I just have nothing left. I literally feel hollow. My monsners are too young to have too much self-awareness to notice all the things that are done for them in a day, and I’m not sure I would want them to notice anyway, that isn’t the point, but they simply are too young to “give” a lot back in the way of cooperation. Its like trying to herd cats getting everyone moving in the right direction. With so little left of me at the end of the day sometimes it is so very very hard. I try to take a deep breath and to be thankful. Be thankful that I have this problem. Be thankful that I have 3 monsners to herd. Be thankful that I get to be the one to do the herding in the first place. When I am in that moment though and Miss S has decided that she doesn’t want to be my mommy anymore, (she gets confused with her words) and M is just not with us mentally because he’s tired and therefore not able to even focus enough to follow simple directions, and middle child A is overly tired and bouncing himself silly, its very hard to dig deep and find the patience for those last moments of love during the day before sleep. Most of the time, I dig well. I gather my mind and remember my blessings and curb my selfish desires to collapse on the couch with a tv show, and I herd those cats into bed and give hugs and kisses and listen to haphazard thoughts about the day and I get cups of water and pick up clothes off the floor and I make it all the way to the end of that finish line. #doitlikeajob Sometimes I lose my temper along the way. The bouncing on the bed really bothers me because I really am afraid that someone is going to 1) get hurt or 2) break the bed. Sometimes I yell and I don’t mean to. Often I threaten to call their Granny and tell her about their bad behavior. Once I threatened to e-mail Santa. This works better than you might imagine. But I always, always end with hugs and kisses. I dig deep until I find them and have one more thing to give. One more thing for my daughter who has not had a cuddly day in her life, for my autistic son who I’m pretty sure equates me with an itchy sweater at bedtime, and my middle son who does love all the cuddles and really needs them to feel secure.
I wonder sometimes about my perspective on this. I wonder about my mom and whether she gave and gave until she just didn’t have anything left. I wonder about my dad. I can’t see through their eyes though at their situation when I was young so I have no idea what they felt like. I only remember through the eyes of a child. I do remember one time at Christmas, my dad went out in rainy, sleeting cold weather and put together a gigantic trampoline for me outside so that I would believe that Santa brought it and left it for me no matter the weather. That’s giving. That was his language of love. I hope that when my children are older they will understand at least some of my language of love. Everyone’s language of love is different – some people spend money, some people spend time, some people bake or cook for others. I hope they will understand what I do for them is out of love for them.
Be Fierce. Herd your cats.