Today was hard, but it was special
There is just something lonely about a Monday morning. It started off early, as most days do, and I felt the weight of the week in front of me as I started tidying up a living room that was left messy from the weekend.
I went to put away some toiletries that little hands carried away from the bathroom, and I determinedly looked away when I passed the full-length mirror. My diet lately has consisted of handfuls of chocolate chips in between carbolicious meals and queso. Lots and lots of queso. I knew that avoiding my own reflection was a bad sign. I stepped on the scale. Bummer. I downloaded a calorie tracking app and vowed to be better. Fortunately, there was no time to wallow in self-loathing. I had an infant to spoon-feed and a toddler whose hair needed brushing. I gulped down a meal-replacement shake in two seconds (I felt hungrier than before) and then pinned Ellie down with my legs as I tried to brush her hair into a pony-tail. She screamed like I was pulling her toe-nails off while Scarlett started fussing in her high-chair because she was ready for another scoop of banana. A few diaper changes and face-wipes later and I had Scarlett in her car seat and was trying to coax Ellie off of the sofa. She got so mad at me that she threw her sippy-cup across the room, a choice that she regretted immediately. She collapsed in a fit of tears and I scooped her under one arm and the car-seat under the other and corralled them out to the car.
Ellie does this thing now where she refuses to hold my hand. She crosses her arms in the sassiest way she can think of and pouts, “I walk all by myself!” It’s especially frustrating when we are trying to get from the car into the store/gym/anywhere…because, parking lots and cars. When I grab her hand anyway (because I don’t want her to, you know, get hit by a car and die) she starts screaming and sits down right where she’s standing to protest. So there I stand, my ever-heavier baby in her carrier on one arm and a flailing two-year-old tucked under the other, waddling to my car as quickly as I can.
This, the hot weather, the mounting pile of laundry, the early morning, the medical bills on the counter, the outburst of “No, no, no!! Miiiiiineeeeee!!!” made the day hard.
And for a minute I felt really sad.
I mean, you hear people say all the time that motherhood is a roller coaster of emotions. And truly, it is. I feel overwhelming happiness sometimes during the most ordinary moments like when I’m reading books before naps, spreading peanut butter onto gram crackers, slapping bandaids on invisible owies. Small moments that make me marvel at how I hit the husband jackpot and the mommy lottery. But to be honest—on the flip-side, I feel deep sadness during those same ordinary moments sometimes, too. Just today I was sweeping smashed goldfish crackers off of the floor for the eighth time and I felt just down. For a job that gives you such little alone time, it sure can feel like a lonely gig.
And I’m not sure why some days feel like the twenty-fifth mile of a marathon and other days feel like a Hallmark movie, but I do know that even the hardest days are pretty special. They are packed with a hundred squeezy-hugs and made up songs and a little voice that pleads, “'Nuggle me, Mama!” It’s for this reason that, no matter how hard the day is, after the girls are in bed Michael and I go over every cute little thing they did or said in the past 24-hours. My heart swells thinking about how they really are such special little humans and I get the privilege of watching them grow up. I get excited to see what the next day will bring---smashed goldfish on the hardwood floor and all.
There’s no way Scarlett or even Ellie will remember today. They won't remember or care if I were five pounds heavier or five pounds lighter. They won't know if I left the clean laundry folded in the basket for so long that everything was wrinkled. They won't be able to recall if the books on their bookshelves were in order or not. For them, these days will blur together and the years will pass and all they will have are the stories we share with them of what they were like and the security of a happy childhood. But for me, the memories we are making now will be the happy place I look back on for the rest of my life.
Today was hard, but it was special.