I can’t seem to turn off the waterworks today. Maybe it’s the dreary weather getting me down, or the sleeplessness I’ve been suffering from of late. Hell, maybe it’s hormones. Maybe it’s all of it. All I know is that I’m feeling down.
I got up cranky this morning (did I mention the insomnia that’s been plaguing me?), and then after the kids were off to school, and it was just me and Finn, I started cleaning up the playroom, and the tears just started a’flowin’. Broken toys, torn old crayon drawings shoved into the toy chest, ready to be tossed. And with that, my kids’ young childhoods flash before my mind’s eye in a series of snapshots: Kevin in footie pajamas, fresh from a bath; Joey crying on his first day of preschool; Annabelle and Daisy as toddlers, pilfering a carton of chocolate ice cream from the freezer, smuggling it into the playroom, and going to town (there are still traces of chocolate ice cream in the carpet under the toy chest after all this time); Baby Lilah, all done up in a pink dress and a bow in her hair on her first birthday; Finn curled up and snug on the front of me in his Moby Wrap. All the days of their lives pass me by so quickly, sometimes it’s bewildering and painful.
There is something about the quiet and emptiness of the house in the morning after the kids go to school. You would think I would revel in it, but mostly it leaves me feeling a little empty, a little lonely, a little sad. The quiet of the evening after they all go to bed is different – that quiet is a relief; but then, they’re all here, with me, safe in their beds. When they’re gone, I miss them so deeply sometimes it’s a physical ache, and it brings these tears.
Finn misses them, too, I know he does. He often wanders from room to room, as if he’s looking for his playmates. When I put him in the stroller to start our walk to pick up Lilah from kindergarten, he lights up and starts calling, “Lilah! Lilah!” before we even get on the school grounds. And in less than a year, he’ll be going off to preschool, too.
All I ever wanted was to be a mother. I never had any idea how much it would sometimes break my heart.