The white iPad falls to the floor and the screen shatters.
Bang. The bedroom door slams. Hard.
Kate yells, "Just LEAVE me alone and get out of my room!!"
The refrigerator door suffers an undeserved beating as Claire hangs on it yelling,
"MOOOOOMMMM....you said you were gonna buy yogurt? WHERE is it? And, why isn't my ballet leotard in the closet?"
And then the high-pitched knife murdering yelp by Sam who cries out,
"WHAT happened to MY iPad? Kate, did you do this????"
I'm upstairs waiting for Sam to kill Kate, trying to decide if I can physically get up from my bed to actually give her a fighting chance. It's 5pm after a day of working with 31 seven and eight year olds, ushering after school car pools, brainstorming dinner options and my feet really hurt, but not as bad as my head.
This is the reel going through my mind..."I hate them. I love them. I want to kill them too. I would do anything for them. I don't want to be a mom tonight. I'm so blessed to be their mother. I think if I close my eyes really, really tightly, I'll fall asleep and they will figure it out. Rise up and make it happen." God, it's all so exhausting.
Not long after that night, I had coffee with a friend. I asked her if we made a mistake. Remember when we didn't know if we'd get married or have kids or create the family we sort of desperately wanted? What would have happened if we hadn't? Would we be enjoying endless spa weekends, luxurious sugar scrubs, fabulous shoes, brilliant downtown condos, cashmere, sleep-in Saturdays, extraordinary careers? I don't know, she said. Who can know what could have been had we veered away from this path and chosen another? It's really neither here nor there. This is the path.
And then, I found this.
And I remembered-- because it's so easy to forget.
There are no real answers, just lots of little twists, turns and deviations along the path.
What works for one woman, one mother, one family is infinitely different from what makes sense to another. And if we were smart, as women, we would videotape or journal or find some tangible way to chronicle where we were and where we are. A picture or song or poem to capture the woman in our 20's, so certain and yet so yearning. The woman in our 30's, softer, rounder, a little more tired, a little less certain of how it will all shake out. The woman in our 40's, slowly, but surely releasing the expectations of the world and maybe even her own, ready to watch the magic of what emerges when you stop trying to force it. Who knows what the remainder of the decades have to offer...
But what I do know is that it's hard. It's tiring. Sometimes, it's all consuming and drowning. And sometimes, it's thrilling and glorious and you can't believe that you've been given all of it. Every ounce of it.
I suppose, this is the beauty and anguish of the becoming.