Holding Grudges While Holding It Together

I have time for a quick post, I tell myself, as my quilt stares at me, flabbergasted at my audacity.

Because I don't have time.

Not even close.

But somehow I will find the hours, (between 12 and 2 tomorrow morning, most likely), but for now I need to write.

This morning I was remembering when I had to take Olivia to the hospital when she was only six weeks old and hold her down as they inserted a catheter.  Most of my early mothering is a vague blur of breasts and bottoms, but I clearly remember that moment.  Because I wanted to cry as hard as she was.  I wanted to protest, and be unreasonable, to scream and maybe even punch that sweet-looking nurse right in the mouth for even suggesting the idea, but instead, I held her down and bit my cheek until I could taste blood.  When I picked her up after it was all over, I could tell she was still holding a grudge.  I used to think Olivia never forgave me that moment.  She seemed put-out for nearly two years, and whenever she would get offended again I could see her going back to that moment and pulling out her old list of grievances.

I was on the phone this morning helping a friend solve a prom dress crisis as I was doing Savannah's hair.

And the irritation was practically seeping out of her.

She likes me undivided.

I started to part, and she huffed.

I raised my eyebrows at her.  A question and an admonition in one.

She rolled her eyes.

I tried again.  Pigtails this time.

She was near tears by the time it was over.

Fighting between angry and sad, she came undone and dissolved into yelling about not having enough time to fill her water bottle and the injustice of wearing long pants this late in the season and why she can't find her notebook.

It is clear she has her own list of grievances.

I want to whisper in her ear that it can only get worse.  That she doesn't know the half of it.  That I don't know exactly why she's angry, but that I am sure she is right.  That my list of inadequacies is longer than she can imagine.  I want to sympathize with her and commiserate and conspiratorially add a few grievances that she might have overlooked, just to make her feel justified.  I want to whisper to her that she should protest, that she deserves me undivided and wholly hers.  That she is being robbed.  And then we could scream together.  But instead, I bite my cheek and send her on her way. 

I asked David to put on Adele this morning.

I lay there listening and wishing.

When the rain is blowing in your face

And the whole world is on your case

I could offer you a warm embrace

To make you feel my love

When it was over David asked, "Do you want to hear it again?"

I nodded.  Yes, please. 

I am a mother divided.  Into a hundred different pieces and my children are getting fewer and fewer these days.  Savannah is the only one with the sense to protest.  Everyone else just limps along, trying to pretend it doesn't matter.

It's starting to get hot again here.

Which I usually complain about.  Which is ridiculous, given my location on the earth.  But I do anyway.  I tend to take it personally.

Last night after my meeting, I drove to Olivia's softball game to watch the last two innings.  It was still warm.

For the first time, instead of despair and irritation, I felt freedom.  Freedom, breathing hot and fast on my neck.

I could feel it coming.  I felt like sobbing.  It is going to get hot.  Really hot.  And I am going to be free.  And then we are going to be whole again.  Really whole.  And undivided.   

Hold on darlings.  It is coming.