One of the welcome byproducts of coping with my ongoing family crisis is that the superfluous things fall away, leaving only essentials.
I like this aspect of special needs parenting. There are a lot of aspects I’d be okay with flinging into outer space, but this one is good.
I’ve been thinking of the good that has come from putting away things that used to really matter to me.
Things have left during my struggle to stay afloat as a mother. Things like crafting: cards and baby quilts and home decor and embroidery—that’s all gone, the practice and the desire. I once loved it, but now I don’t miss it. My creativity is channeled these days into sentences and parenting strategies.
For a time, I hung my hat on people-pleasing, but there wasn’t room for it to stay. This is when my dormant contrariness stirred, looked around with an eye-roll and an annoyed sigh, and was all, “No. Just no.”
Doing and agreeing to do too much outside the wild demands of my complex home life used to be a major source of my inner turmoil (See previous paragraph.) I lopped it off when I realized we were dying on our own already, without taking on excess assignments we couldn’t manage.
Comparing my life and my kids to others’ lives and kids-–this one took longer to eradicate, but ultimately I believe I won. I don’t let myself do this anymore because it’s dumb and counterproductive. And when I slip and do it anyway, I want to eat all the chocolate ice cream in the world and every box of Girl Scout Thin Mints everywhere.
I used to be a martyr. Now I choose life.
If the universe wants to cull more from my life, it can consider the poop and the violent rampages.
Maybe this list sounds like a humble brag, which it isn’t meant to be. I spent the better part of the last few days crying over the loss and pain of life with a severely mentally disabled person. Things happened that made a perfect storm of violence, hopelessness, and struggle. This morning, I woke with the familiar sense of a sucking chest wound. Sadness.
It’s May now, and cool, blossomy air breezes in my windows. The cottonwood leaves whisper. I inhale deeply. Dutch gave me a blessing, which turned out to be a manifesto of peace.
Some things go away, and it’s okay. I have to remind myself of this.