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I think I generally come off as a fairly together mom, in person and in my writing. One of the ways that I maintain my sanity in the face of a very challenging child is to try to keep a veneer of calm, even if inside I am screaming. There are cracks in that veneer, usually small--a tense voice, a hand too tight around a little arm. Sometimes, usually when I am tired, these cracks become larger. I yell at the kids, or cry a lot, or say mean things. Less a crack, more a fissure. This usually relieves some stress and I'm able to go back to the calm.
Sometimes, though, the lurking fear and darkness inside become difficult to manage. They never go totally away. And it is just primal and raw, this stuff that sometimes comes spewing out, and I can't even really write about it, as much as I want to. But of course I will try.
It is fear--fear that I am doing everything wrong, fear that Luke will turn out to be a horrible person and that it will be all my fault. It is childlike insecurity, it is a feeling that no one understands what I am going through, that everyone wonders what the hell I'm doing to my kid that makes him scream and thrash around (at age five) this day, try to steal something from my friend's house the next day, bite his little brother (at age five) still the next.
It is fear that people don't know that I know. I know. I know. I know and I read and I talk to people and I think and I pursue labels or don't pursue labels and seek professional help or don't seek professional help. I've time outed and time inned and sticker charted and spanked and talked, talked, talked.
And you know, it is really tiring. It is exhausting. And I know it is life. Repetitive, ongoing, challenging. But this life with Luke is life on fast forward, life special edition, life warp speed. I know, because I have another child that shows me what an easier, slower life could look like.
I'm not saying easier and slower is what I want, necessarily. Because then I would have a different child. I would have a different life. But sometimes, just sometimes--usually when I'm tired, when I've just recieved, as I just have, the fourth phone call in a week from Luke's teacher--I wish that I could maybe just pause this life for a little bit. Slow it down.
Maybe I'm being overly dramatic because I'm frustrated and I'm tired. Or maybe not. It is simply impossible for me to tell, because I'm in it. It is what it is and usually it is okay, even fabulous and joyous and wonderful. Because dayglow life is really great sometimes.