Still emotionally dealing with the Boston Marathon, that our family attended. (We are all safe.)Will try to chime in my thoughts when I am feeling stable. Tonight, well, tonight was a sneak into the crib at 1am with my littlest baby to stroke his hair kind of night.
Lately I am doing some big soul searching. It is painful to sort through the mind, shake out some dust, check out what is going on in my mind and heart and I don't know if I like everything I am seeing under the hood, so to speak. I am digging back a little trying to understand where I am right now. I couldn't sleep, so I arose from my bed to tackle tomorrow's to do list. I am finding my college degree, not surprising, Psychology, is not helping me in my current career, which is at the moment defined by cleaning up goo I cannot identify, and signing my kids up for stuff online with forms called 'Infinitely Complicated Registration Wizards' etc.
And speaking of, my hard-earned, very expensive diploma does not help me with other advanced skills I have been steered by life into mastering. But I didn't know back then as a college freshman I should have taken these classes:
How to Find a Therapist 101-401
How to Ditch the Wrong Doctor After Two Visits
How to Deal with Medical Trauma in a Marriage
How to Cook for 12+ people 101, 201
How to Decide what is Normal and what Warrants Professional Help?
How to keep a kid with Sensory Processing Issues Safe, or Avoiding CPS 101 and 201
Breastfeeding in Front of your Father-in-law: Journeys into Extended Family Relationships
Future Homeopathic Food Hippies: Your Friends may Consume Part of their Placentas but you Don't Have to
White People: Why Some Insist Reverse Racism is Possible and you Want to Barf
Coping and Dealing: When One Finds Oneself a Somewhat Liberal Christian
Secondary Trauma: How Families Cope with PTSD resulting from Someone Else's PTSD
Home schooling: Wear Denim Jumpers or Don't, Either way, Don't be Afraid
Open Adoption: It's Best 97% of the Time
Ethics in International Adoption. (Well, looks like I wrote my own course in it)
Perhaps the best course I could have taken would have been titled something like, Your Undergraduate Experience: It Doesn't Get Easier Than This, Life is Going to Sock you in the Face so Enjoy This Now
In actuality, I loved college. And despite my degree not taking me to another more advanced degree or a career that I had all hand picked when I graduated, I need to remind myself what it did prepare me to accomplish in respect to my current circumstances.
See, I went to school full time as a Psych major at Brandeis University, then ranked in the top thirty universities in the country. I worked anywhere from two to four jobs each semester to afford my housing and the very small amount of food I bought as well as pay back student loans that were already sending bills. I worked at the library, driving a campus van, at an events center, as a lifeguard, a babysitter and an Residential Adviser. I was a section leader in orchestra, took ballet classes, practiced karate, visited my friends aerobics classes, took voice and violin lessons, sang in small chamber choirs and recitals, participated in and eventually directed an a Capella group, and attended church each Sunday, all in addition to classes.
Me on the left, carefree and still blonde with my awesome college roommate at her rugby match. I had no idea what was in store.I did NOT achieve a fabulous GPA the university level. We are talking a laughable GPA. I even missed a final once. I hung on by the seat of my pants. Sometimes I didn't pick up my phone because I was afraid someone was calling to say "You are late for work" or "You are supposed to be here at our study group!" I knew I was a bit out of my league. I had to get comfortable with discomfort, letting things go here and there, sometimes in entirety, my work and output being imperfect. Sometimes I couldn't do the things I loved, sometimes I kept doing the things I loved and the thing I had to do suffered.
The maelstrom of activity, the back-to-back-to-back schedule I kept up, with many sleepless nights, looking back looks awfully familiar. Back then I was passionate and energetic and determined and reckless and had to do my own thing come hell or high water, which both came in their turns.
That girl has morphed into someone who now must multitask like crazy, let things go, advocate for those I love like no one's business, be relentless, go on little sleep, sometimes ignore the phone, know when to hang on, when to let something slide and each day wake up to do it again. Now other lives hang in the balance. I am accountable to more than just myself. But I kinda smile when I think that time in college, where I took on a little more than I could handle, was practice for motherhood in a big way.
I weep sometimes when I think of how poorly I mess up every day. I am impatient in moments I know they need me to give them a pass. I am angry when I know they aren't trying to ruin things. I let other people, on the phone, in my life, tick me off and it gets taken out in a terse, raised voice to my little people. Sometimes, I am overwhelmed. Sometimes they aren't just being lazy and belligerent and the shoes truly do not fit anymore. Sometimes, they aren't throwing a tantrum and the cries actually mean a leg is caught in the crib bars. It is so painful to be aware of my frailty and not know how these frailties may unintentionally weaken armor I am trying to build around my children.
I would like to allow myself to be proud of myself for all that I do juggle, and be proud when it works and when there are smiles and love and giggles and connection and learning. Yet it pains me that someday they, the six little people, shall rightly sit around discussing the merits of how I took them on this journey. They will dissect with clarity and precision where I went wrong, my failings and faults. They will know, as I do, where I didn't quite give them what they really could have used.
I hate that I will fail them. I hope they can forgive me. I hope I can forgive myself. That would be a college course worth taking.
Big questions for a girl, (woman, though I don't always feel it) who still needs to figure out a poorly designed website and make sure her baby can play t-ball this spring. He's been asking for two years, he's finally old enough for the real thing, and I don't want to let him down. Surely, that $120,000 piece of paper hiding in a frame in the basement can help me navigate this essential item on my to-do list. Right?