These last three weeks have been a test of something. I’m still trying to figure out what the universe is saying. I really am intently listening, but, her message is being drowned out by my perpetual yelling at my children.
We are at the tail end of the school year. We’re all proceeding as if we are in our last week of work after 50 years with the company. We’re physically present and emotionally in Aruba.
Every school morning has become a pained documentary about the world’s slowest and most mismanaged mile. School lunches have basically been reduced to a box of band-aids.
Like marathon runners in the home stretch, we are limping in and drenched in our own urine. We’re shutting the fuck down.
And, because of this, I have been “that mom” more often than usual. Which for me means, I’ve been “that mom” almost constantly.
I hate being “that mom”. But, they are being “those kids”. And this mom turns to THAT mom like a wildfire starts in the dry and brittle California hills.
We’re on the world’s most annoying roller coaster of all uphill and no sweet release of the easy and exhilarating down. Nothing has been easy.
I have fully given up my societal facade of decorum. “That mom” with the screaming two year old with only one shoe hanging sideways under her arm? Yep. Totally me. And, “that mom” carrying 3 backpacks and stomp-fuming toward the playground her children ran off to without telling her first? Nice to meet you!
And “that mom” running after her toddler who has developed a new obsession with parking lots…her thighs causing enough friction to create an electrical storm? Me again.
And, “that mom” trying to avoid after school play dates like the a middle school band concert? Also me.
And, “that mom” grounding everyone and then happily letting them go to parties and slumber parties because GET OUT OF HERE! Howdy.
And they are “those kids” with the constant whining and fighting and running off and the terrible case of doing whatever the hell we want-itis.
And I’m the one trying not to eat her young.
I know it’s the season of discontentment. They can taste summer. They are railing against structure and time constraints. They are done with school and not moving their bodies while the sun is shining through unopened school windows.
I can taste summer. I am railing against muffin baking and school fundraisers and kill-me-now packing lunches and not moving my body after a winter in which I ate my weight in bread and cheese and all of the buttered things.
I have to remind myself that the great thing about this time of perpetual deconstruction is that eventually we will hit rock bottom.
I love rock bottom.
That point at which the sand castle you built all year crumbles. The foundation is flat and you have no choice but to all look at each other and say, “Our home is gone. I love you. Let’s start again.”
We always rebuild.
I don’t know what our rock bottom this year will be. Will it be me completely flipping out at a Farmer’s Market when my 2 year old tries to steal someone’s goat? Will it be when I undoubtedly forget someone’s end of year school field trip and they vow to hate me forever?
I don’t know, but, I do know that when we sit surrounded by the ashes of this school year, we’ll come together like everyone does after defeat and complete devastation and the trauma of life and all of the hard things we share.
Like family. We may be “that mom” and “those kids”, but, we’re in this together.
I can’t wait to see next year’s castle. I hope it has an in-ground pool.