I do this Jillian Michael’s workout DVD and at the end of one of the workouts she says, “I feel broken. I feel really broken.” When she says it, she’s saying it in regard to exhaustion and I guess in a way that’s how I mean it today, too.
I have this picture that lives right on the tip of my memory. It was the middle of the night and I opened my eyes and there were metal rails on my bed and a bassinet right there beside. She was wide awake, wrapped up tight in pastel stripes. Big blue-grey eyes fixed right on mine. She wasn’t crying–just watching and waiting. It was too much to bear and I groaned my way to her. I brought her to me and held her just because I couldn’t imagine not.
That memory. It lives so close I can reach out and touch it at will.
And then like a lightning strike…
If ever you’ve listened in awe to a tiny heartbeat from within. If ever life has come bursting forth. If ever you’ve rocked and soothed–swaddled and hummed. If ever any of these things then you know the hopes a mother hopes and you know the dreams a mother dreams and you know the total and the complete the utter and THE ALL that is poured out.
You know that we have this well and we draw and we pour and we draw and we pour and we draw and we pour.
And then one day you go to draw and it just–it scrapes bottom.
Nobody wants to say that though. Nobody wants to admit that–yes–even the mothers among us have an Empty. I wish somebody would say it. I wish that I didn’t open Facebook to find all these perfect stories of perfect daughters in perfect dorm rooms and perfect sororities and perfect perfectness. I wish that just once Facebook would tell the story of one of those perfect daughters coming home all tatted up.
I’m not one of those moms who has a group of girlfriends that drink wine together once a month. Within my reach I have but one mom friend who has teenagers–even those are stepdaughters and so the full extent of commiseration falls short. And so if you’re reading this and you have a teenage or young adult daughter and your rearing of her has resulted in a young life that can be even loosely-categorized as perfect then please click away right now. But if your parenting has resulted in a teenage or young adult daughter whose independent decisions are marginal at best–by all means–put it on Facebook. Or at the very least, call me. No really. Call me.
I mean because yes, I did some things. Oh, did I do some things. But to date in my life there is nothing I’ve tried harder NOT to fail at. You know? I mean, the pouring. I kept going back to that stupid well because this was the one thing I simply would not fail. Would not.
But some days, I feel like I did.