Wednesday, August 05, 2009

the wrong and the right of it

Today was rotten. This is not my complainy place but I can't be one of those happy all the time, organic cotton and clotted cream bloggers. Oh you know the genre. Not the mommybloggers, but the betterthanyouraveragemommybloggers. I don't really think that everyone who blogs such constant contentment and harmony and unicorns is really like that all of the time. I appreciate presenting a certain public image. I do it myself, to a lesser degree. I'm not blogging with my pants down here, you know. It's me, but a muted me. The one that can say, hey internet! I'm here, too! But will hopefully not get me in trouble anywhere.

So even if I feel like I'm crashing some kind of blogging party by even daring to stick my words someplace and think other people might read them, I like being here. But as I was sitting on a blanket at the park today, at a park day sort of thing that is supposed to be friendly and fun and terrific, for children and parents alike, I was thinking about what a party crasher I always am, about how I really shouldn't bother. I managed, all morning, to be the same old cheerful mama that my children expect of me, the humorous and laughing mama, the engaged and patient one. It was a going through the motions morning, but the motions are such well-worn paths, I can close my eyes and steer without thinking and arrive, effortlessly, at the same gentle and kind (but firm) destination.

But by mid-day, the auto pilot went awry and I struggled to keep on track at all. Everything felt hard and wrong and rotten. So there I was at the park, and it happened that I had to be supportive of my daughter who had just experienced a huge disappointment (she was hoping to run into a kindred spirit she knows, who she has seen only once all summer and fell apart a little when she learned that was not to be). And in trying to comfort her, I just cracked. The plaster facade chipped away I have never been so glad to be wearing large dark sunglasses.

I sat there by myself and let all of my worries and regrets collide in a fiery explosion in my head. I sat there and wondered What The Eff Am I Doing Here?! Here being the park, an obvious outsider. Here being my town, lovely but not enough. Here being my life and situation, here being unknown and unemployable and thirty-three and, let me tell you, if you're going to have an existential crisis, maybe don't do it in a public park. Not that anybody noticed or that there was anything to notice, but it was an awful feeling. Maybe you call that feeling feeling-sorry-for-yourself, whatever. I was sorry and I was feeling and I was all by myself and if the shoe fits. . .

And then my boy fell off the play structure. His foot slipped on one of those big, curvey ladders and he fell, the back of his head bonking on the way down. He screamed, I ran to him, scooped him up, "I just want to go home wight now" he cried. And I couldn't have agreed with him more. We quickly gathered our things and made a beeline for the car. We've had other park day busts before, but this is the first one that felt weightier, more of a symbol of our not belonging, than any other.

I did not intend to write about this. I guess it just fell out and I am too jumbleheaded to erase and think of something else.

But even when so much is wrong, even when I seem to keep setting myself (and my kids) up for disappointment all the time, even when I don't know how to begin to get things right, I have to remember this: there are still books and blackberries, there are aprons and pockets and toast, there are songs and sunflowers, full moons and laundry on the line, and a dear little boy and his cat.



milkstained said...

oh, sweetheart.

april. said...

i'm good. everybody has unexpected extra-wrong days.

april. said...

(also freewriting jumblehead entries are probably a bad idea. dang. editing some obvious repeats now. i usually don't re-read anything i've written, but today i did and yikes!)

omy said...

Aw, darling. I feel you. I have also had those existential parenting crises, and once or twice in public. You're not the only one! And by the way, I really respect people who can write about the hard stuff, and let others read it. It takes some bravery to put your not-so-sunshiney parts out there. But in some sense, I think it helps others to read. (I know I have been helped at times by reading about someone else's depression or black times- just to know I am not alone in those feelings when they come.)

But feeling that way in front of our kids, and especially in front of strangers, is not fun.

Okay, also, that is the cutest kitten- you're giving me kitten lust with that.

jamey r said...

hi. i read your blog sometimes. its been awhile though because i've been away. i needed to scroll through the things i found comforting on the days that were a little less busy certainly colder...and i found this. i wanted to tell you how much i appreciate it. i know what you mean. and i'm there too this week. it seems a lot of us are.
thanks. truly.

Deb said...

Oh, honey, what a rotten day. I hate that you're in such a bad place right now. And your poor boy. I hope today is better.

P.S. LOVE the new banner.

Molly said...

i so get this. all of it. i wonder perhaps if more people feel this way than let on. and i completely understand the experience of having the good stuff at the same time as the bad stuff. just had one of those days. actually more of a string of days. they suck. but i think it helps to write about them. bravo.