I’ll be honest, today has been rough. I’ve had worse parenting days, but they all involved puke and fevers.
I’ve snapped and yelled and sent weepy eyes to their room to nap. I’ve huffed and shaken my head and said more than a few cuss words under my breath.
They’ve drawn on the wall, asked me to turn on the television every 5 minutes since 6am, spit in my water, stuck their fingers in my lunch and ignored every, “don’t you dare” I’ve said all day.
They have been a pain in the ass and I’ve been a real bitch about it.
It’s been the kind of day that I’d love to try again, and exhibit the perfect amount of patience and grace. Usually on days like today I take deep breaths and remind myself that tomorrow will be better and that I can try again, but tomorrow I can’t.
Before their heads lift from warm pillows in the morning I’ll leave for the airport and go to a place that’s only a little less home than the two beating hearts I’m leaving behind with their father. I know that half the reason my nerves are shaking is because I’m going away and that the other half is because of where I’m going but that hasn’t helped me much today.
I should have gone home years ago but I wasted no time escaping from the place I was raised, and felt no desire to face the memories drifting like ghosts through the land I love so much.
The proximity of all my ghosts has set my nerves on edge and I hear them calling to me now even as I put off packing to write. The closer I get to stepping on the plane, the more I fear what I long for. The icy hands of what I abandoned to memory ran up my arms when I snapped at my oldest for wheeling the suitcase around the house, they linger now when I question the selfishness of leaving my kids for a few days away. I buried them but they rose and promise to meet me more than halfway home.
When I was a little girl and a teenager they weren’t ghosts, they were people who planted thoughts in my heart and the poison from them has proven hard to recover from. It’s been years and today as I stood in the kitchen and put headphones and music on and told my 4 year old to stop talking for 5 minutes I tasted it and I wondered how far I’d really come from home and if my own children will have to travel the world one day to get away from who their parents were.
As I write I see two sets of legs coming from the pantry where the boys are no doubt eating cookies or crackers or something else that is going to make a good dinner less likely and I’m going to let them and fill the hole where I miss them already with sounds of their giggling and full mouthed conversation.