Followed by the hardest week beginnings.
Chris had to leave me on Sunday, shortly after noon. His job training is intense, and he has projects and homework assignments he has to complete every week after he gets off work. So he left me early to go finish up projects at work, and Sunday afternoon dragged on and on without him.
Monday morning I woke up to the usual two-year-old alarm. He flopped around in my bed for a while and then I decided to get up and sneak out of the room before Duncan woke up. I've been oil pulling in the morning, and it's much less stressful to swish coconut oil around in my mouth for 20 minutes if I'm not being assaulted by a barrage of questions from a talkative child. Bless his heart. Washing your mouth with coconut oil is laborious on it's own.
Duncan woke up after a while and we went about our morning in the usual ways. I couldn't shake the cloud that hung over my head, though. I felt grouchy, short, and mildly frantic. Before the morning was over I was sitting on the kitchen floor with tears streaming down my face. The thought of the endless week ahead of me, and all the other weeks after that have to pass before life feels the way I think it should feel... was too much for the moment. I cried quietly for a few minutes, and then Duncan walked in to inform me of his plans to play hide-and-seek with Phineas. He started talking, but after a closer look at me he pulled back and opened his mouth in shock. (Dramatic emphasis on his part.)
"Are you crying?" He asked.
"Awwww.." He said, and wrapped his arms around me.
"Don't worry, Mommy. You'll be okay."
I thanked him.
Shortly after Phineas waltzed in and sat on my lap. He looked at me and kissed my lips tenderly. "You cry?" he asked. I told him I was. He didn't find any comforting words for me in his small vocabulary, but he looked into my face compassionately and grazed my cheek with his hand in a sweet caress.
I couldn't cry after that. My boys sat on me and clung to me for as long as they could without getting bored or bickering, and when that became impossible I sent them off to play again.
Sometimes the weight of life presses you down, with memories of past difficult days and the fear of plentiful future ones colliding in hours of crushing despondency. It's then that I pray for mercy, for grace, for a way out. This time it came with an idea; maybe today would be a good day to ask for help.
I called my mom and she said she would be happy to switch spots with me. We don't usually see her much during weekdays, and Duncan thanked me repeatedly for "letting" his grandma come over.
I packed a survival kit for the afternoon with my camera, a chocolate bar, a pound of yarn and two crochet hooks, a book (a memoir, to be exact), my phone, and wallet.
It was wonderful. My stress melted away like the chocolate did in my mouth. I finished the entire book, went on a long walk, picked dandelion greens to eat, took pictures, did yard work (does anyone else find that fun?), and then rode my mom's bike back to my house feeling refreshed, wild, and free.
And now I'm back in my living room with a snuggly boy on my lap. I think the rest of the week will be just fine.