Friday, February 17, 2012

When a carton of milk brings you to your knees

Wednesday was a good day. I had reliable childcare, I got a lot done, my hair looked all right, and Dude pooped. Twice.

A Red Letter Day, I tell you.

But then I got home, and it went from red letter to scarlet letter - and I didn't even get laid.

One minute everything was cool, and the next minute.....well, the next minute things were surreal. As though I had been operating in a bubble and the bubble burst. Life was coming at me loud and fast and bright. How was I going to manage it all? What had I been thinking? Had I been charging forward blythely signing up for every damn thing in my path? Did I have no concept of limits? DID I EVEN KNOW WHAT DAY IT WAS?

Interesting question, that.

Did you know this weekend was a holiday weekend?

I didn't. I remembered at about 5pm, and the shock of it threw me for a loop. I love me some long holiday weekends. I keep close tabs on these sorts of things. How could I have forgotten?

I have my suspicions.

Dude cries every day from about 3 until about 8 - inconsolable sadness. We walk and bounce and switch shoulders and sing and talk and yet.
But still.
Oh, he is sad.

And in the midst of the sadness and the pacing yesterday, I was running through our plans for the weekend in my head to distract myself from the utter misery in my arms - misery which makes my heart ache - and suddenly it all just started sliding into place click click click and I realized something at that very moment.

I had only *thought* I had a handle on things. In truth, I have no idea what is going on.

Holiday weekend. Off on Monday. Five days off in a row. No school on Monday, either. Huh. How could I have missed that?

And if I only just now realized that I had a 5 day weekend and the kids had vacation, what else was I not remembering?

At that point, my previously fantastic afternoon turned into me pacing the living room with Dude in the carrier, trying to figure out my schedule and take note of everything that I had committed to recently. Field trips, shows, work, more work, oh fuck the mortgage is due, oh fuck we're overdrawn again, cancel appointments for everything that costs money, and then WHAT DO YOU MEAN I AM IN A PARADE ON SATURDAY hit me like a ton of bricks. I sat down on the floor and rocked back and forth (to soothe the baby, not for my mental health THANKYOUVERYMUCH) trying to decide if our parade costumes - which consist of kitchen towels and bathrobes - would offend anyone.

Because it was absolutely too late to do anything at all about it.

I reassured myself with the knowledge that at that very moment, everything was fine. No panic attack required, thanks. Max was writing a report. Lucy had a friend over to play, I had the fixings for dinner and the laundry was drying on the line - we were just rolling right along.  I had this.

Everything is cool, man.

And then, an innocent question: "Mom, can I have some milk?"

Of course. OF COURSE YOU CAN. So I open the fridge and stand there staring and realize we are out of milk.

Now on any other day, that would not be a problem.
But on this particular day, it was an INSURMOUNTABLE PROBLEM.
It was a symptom of a much bigger problem that was just coming to the surface.

In five minutes I went from the mom who was large and in charge, kicking ass and taking names and working outside the home while still putting a home cooked meal on the table each a mom who doesn't know when her kids have vacation, and cannot manage to keep basic staples in the house.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

While we are home enjoying our surprise (for some of us) holiday weekend, or working and hopefully earning overtime, please keep Dude and his mom in your thoughts.

Dude is right here with me, cooing and gurgling and chubby and smiley.
Dude's mom is in detox.

She is doing this for him. She is doing this for herself. She is doing this. And I am sending her all of the love and positive thoughts I have in my heart.

Suddenly, forgetting to buy milk seems totally unimportant. As it should be.


Stacy said...

As always, beautifully written. What you are doing with Dude is just amazing. Foster care is such wonderful thing to provide to these children. I just wanted to let you know, in case you don't know, that it seem like an unfinished post was accidentally left at the very bottom, after your italics and the large space.
Now, I don't want you to freak out, it is no big deal and i love reading anything you write, but i have done that before to and you may find it helpful to know. or you may not find it helpful. Sorry if you don't. Thank you for being the mom i strive to be!

Daffodil Campbell said...

Oh, Stacy. Thank you for letting me know. Good grief.
You are the best! xo