Mommy’s open-letter confession to sucking at her job (and a promise to be better)

Today I did a lot of bitching.

Imagine that.

Today’s main topic: baseball. Our two oldest sons are playing again this summer, and this week kicked off what will end up being a looong few months of waking up early, fighting about whose baseball socks are clean and whose are dirty (each of you gets one clean one and one dirty one. There, that’s fair. Now shut up.) and chasing the 2 1/2 year old around the damn parks.

Agh.

As if getting up early, dealing with all the crap and bad weather weren’t enough, there’s that little spark plug to chase around. And since we’re on separate fields at separate ballparks this season, we’re going to have to flip to see who has to deal with Little Man during games. And since this wasn’t my idea to put them in different leagues, and since I freakin’ pointed that out from Day One, I should just get to sit my fat ass on a chair and enjoy the game and not have to deal with the nonstop activity on the playground.

And just typing that MAKES MY HEART HURT.

I know. I know. It’s horrible. There are families who have lost babies way too soon who would do anything, ANYTHING, to chase their 2-year-old around the ballpark.

A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

And obviously I would as well. But it’s so damn easy to complain and caught up in the ins and outs of everyday life and lose track of the little things.

I suck for feeling that way. But I know we all do. It’s hard to admit. And most people probably wouldn’t. But now I am. And now I’m the ass for doing it.

It’s time to put it out of my head. Get back to the sweet images.

Little hands gripping a baseball. Little Man finding his voice and saying “baseball” for the first time, clear as day. Sliding down the slide and LOVING it.

So I told myself I wasn’t going to read any bad news today about babies being sick or dying, but then this Twitter shit has everyone all-a-twitter, so I just HAD TO click on a link that now has me all sad again. I do this to myself. I can’t stop reading about a friend of an acquaintance and her mind-numbing loss this week. Which led me to start thinking about one of my great friends and the loss she suffered-and still does-a few years ago when her own baby passed from a rare disease.

And then there’s my own “loss” of sorts that came in December when a dear, young friend lost her battle with cancer at the tender age of 9. NINE. It’s not fair. And all I could think about for days (who am I kidding? I still think it) was WHY she would go like she went and why she was smiling all the way to the end and why she had so many challenges that she never saw as a challenge and why she touched me in such a way that will forever change me and make me want to hug my kids and love them and squeeze them and call them George.

Why?

Why would she never run the marathon she wanted to? Why would she never grow up and get married and have her own kids? Why did she tell me one day, in my hotel room, that she KNEW she would never get married and have kids? Why has that haunted me since she said it? It makes me so sad to think that she felt that way. Like she KNEW her time was limited. How could she? That’s just my mind doing what it does-playing tricks and manipulating truth into something else. Right? But … it still happened. It still sucks. It still makes me sad and angry.

The grieving process is long and hard.

And the more grief and loss we suffer somehow brings this burden to bear. Why are some kids healthy? Why do I feel like it could be a jinx JUST TO TYPE THAT MY KIDS ARE HEALTHY? Why do I KNOW that other moms are feeling this way and thinking that just by typing how they feel might make all their worst fears come true? Why are some people blessed with what seems like a perfect life and others are dealt blow after blow? Why do we suffer from what is otherwise known as “survivor guilt?”

But it’s time to heal. It’s time to make promises to myself and everyone else who has lost loved ones too soon. It’s always time to celebrate life. We all know that. But why is it so damn hard? Why do we really just want to curl up in bed and go to sleep forever when bad things happen, even if it happens to someone else?

Is this crazy??? Have I finally lost it?

So … promises.

I will not complain and I will not bitch and I will love every f*%$#@! minute of tomorrow’s game, which I will miss while I’m chasing Little Man from the slide to the swings to the ladder to the escape route to the parking lot. I will love to hear the kids fight when we get home (it’s healthy, right?). I will stop yelling (or at least be quieter about it when I do). I will love every minute and stop being so hurried and irritated because I can’t find chapstick or ants have taken over the kitchen.

I will breathe instead of complaining that the kids pooped and didn’t flush-or wipe.

I will read a great story at bedtime even if we’re an hour late going to bed.

I’ll let them eat dessert first to mark Backwards Day on Thursdays, and secretly laugh at all the other kids whose moms are not as cool.

I’ll kiss them till they puke when I’m mad at them instead of screaming at them and sending them to their room.

I will do my damn best to be a better mom.

There, I said it.

I will force myself to channel the Maddies and Rashales of the world and just enjoy life and SMILE, like they would.

I will smile and wish they could be on that playground with Little Man tomorrow.

Even though I’m sure they’re all playing together right now on their very own.

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Rashale Arana
November 11, 1999-December 22, 2008

If you, too, feel pain in your heart for children who suffer from illness or other life-altering circumstances, check out these Web sites for more information on how you can help. Donate if you can.

http://www.fastercure.org

http://healachild.org/home.asp

http://www.marchofdimes.com/howtohelp/645.asp

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