Friday, June 8, 2012

Help. Me.

The past month has flown by in a blur of dances, t-ball and baseball games, graduation, and now yard work and graduation party preparations. I feel like I did before we got married. I wake up every morning wondering what tasks I can accomplish and usually go to bed at night feeling as if I haven't accomplished enough. I had to start keeping a notebook next to my bed for fear of forgetting one of the eight million things that goes through my mind before I go to sleep. My purse is full of little scraps of paper on which I've written vitally important reminders.

In the meantime, I haven't made the picture boards, I haven't rented tables, I haven't finalized a menu, I haven't gotten Chloe a dress. I did mail invitations. Most of them anyway. Part of me wonders if I'm subconsciously avoiding it all so that I don't have to deal with the reality that my baby girl is moving away in two months and 14 days. I guess it isn't subconscious if I'm acknowledging it, but I don't feel as if I'm consciously dragging my feet.

All I have been consistently doing in preparation is praying. Childish, helpless prayers of desperation. "Please God, don't let me have a nervous breakdown." "Please protect my girl." "Please let grass grow in the back yard." "Please help me find homes for these kittens." "Please don't let me have a nervous breakdown." That seems to be a key element in the equation, so I usually pray for that repeatedly. I don't think Brad has been praying as much, but if he is, it's probably something like, "Please, God, don't let Mary have a nervous breakdown."

And I realized that my family history taught me very well to project these emotions onto other less vital things. For example, my mom barely cried when my dad and my brothers died, but when my cat died 6 years ago, she sobbed. Evidently, it's much healthier to focus on a broken dryer than a breaking heart. It's more productive to worry about the fate of eight little fluff balls than one little girl. Yes, I know she's an adult, but when I look at her, I don't see an adult, I see my tiny little girl. It's far less painful to nag said girl about writing thank you notes, than to start packing up her belongings so she can leave for college in two months and 14 days.

I guess I'm pretty aware of my inability to deal with these milestones, but I'm not sure what to do about it. In a group therapy class years ago, the professor/therapist asked me, "What do you think will happen if you let yourself focus on that emotion?" I wasn't too sure, but I'm pretty sure now if I focus on Chloe leaving for college that I'm going to curl up into a fetal position and cry until all that's left of me is an empty shell and a soaking wet pillow. Brad will have to institutionalize me, and I will be of useless to all of my children. Then the little ones will resent Chloe, whose moving away, they will see as the catalyst for my breakdown. The overthinking is endless. I hear that same professor/therapist asking, "Does that seem realistic?" Well, no, but lots of other things in my life happened that weren't very realistic either.

I know that God is bigger than all of this silly human stuff. And time has taught me that even though these things may be very minor in the grand scheme of life, because they're important to me, they're important to Him. So today, I just prayed Anne Lamott style, "Help me, Help me, Help me, Lord." And even if I don't accomplish one other thing, I guess I accomplished one very important thing.

6 comments:

  1. How does all of this relate to my magnificent porn stache?

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  2. and we're back to rich. owait, did we ever leave?

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  3. It's ALL about me. I have decided that everything that has come since is really an extended coma dream from the night Vince and I got hit by that drunk chick in the Camaro.

    If not, it is my way of avoiding any consideration of the fact that I will be in your same position one day (except I'll be way old and will have prematurely reached the Swan time of weeping openly at Hallmark commercials, contemplating whether or not today is Tuesdy and taking pot shits at stray cats with a sometimes loaded pellet gun).

    Also, aren't you the one who always told me that I needed to concentrate on realistic outciomes and actions? Now I see that advice was blatantly stolen from some shrink? That hurts.

    Also, I make it about me so that you take pause and make sure that in your quest to fill your every moment with frenzied activity that you don't make it so much about you that you don't slow down and enjoy the time and allow the one who this is all really about to be the center of attention.

    Ok, I just made that all up, but it sounded damn good for a split second didn't it?

    Now, back to the porn stache...

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  4. It did sound good. Thank you :)

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  5. I guess you did. ;-)

    "Because it is important to me.." I like that.

    Wrangled with "adult." Not sure if that is because of my age compared to her age, or a sort of "let me just think a minute," while we double check and make sure that all systems are go, that we have somehow managed to infuse her with whatever it is that mothers give their children every day. Our way of being is about watching over them, sometimes up close, sometimes from farther back, but always watching. Adjusting to a change in that --- just easier said than done.

    Many of my happiest moments are moments of observation, rather than interaction. There is something about just soaking them up --- the way they pump their legs as they swing, get serious with their sandbox project, pour over the recipe they're making for lunch, chat with each other as they sit on the patio swing --- just *seeing* them makes me happier.

    I wish I had something useful to offer re: dealing with the milestones, but I am fresh out of "smarts" today.

    I believe in Chloe though, and I believe in you.

    XO

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    Replies
    1. awww, my precious victoria, that is more than enough.

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