Thursday, August 16, 2012

Slipping Through My Fingers

Everything makes me cry these days: pictures of my friend's new baby, my friends' kids' senior pictures, pictures of the homecoming dresses we won't be shopping for, back-to-school shopping, the list of things Chloe needs to bring next week to her dorm room. Everything. I cried all the way around Target last week picking out sheets and towels and laundry soap. It was a little bit embarrassing. I hope it gets better next week, but this week: I'm a mess.

It's funny how people who don't even really know me are hesitant to ask me how I'm doing because even they know I'm gonna cry. Seriously. I signed Lily up for dance, and the teacher, who had been Chloe's teacher as well, said very sympathetically, "So...how ya doing with the big day looming?" I've nearly perfected this really pathetic smiling-amidst-a-choked-back-sob response of, "I can't really talk about it."

Brad says I need to feel my feelings. I feel them, all right. He's trying to keep me sane. The little ones are trying in their own way too, by misbehaving and fighting to the point that perhaps I'll be so distracted with them and their nonsense that I will stop crying about their sister leaving. That's not really working. Lately, my life is a dysfunctional cycle of crying, screaming, apologizing, asking forgiveness, crying, screaming, working, praying, and sleeping.

Even things that should distract me make me cry, like going to Peyton's scrimmage last night, which reminded me that Chloe won't be on the sidelines cheering this year. On a side note, watching your child cheer is a different and less nervewracking dynamic than watching your child play football. If someone could hear my thoughts at a football game, it would sound something like: "Please protect him, Lord. Please don't let him get hurt. Why is he guarding that big guy? Is that guy gonna tackle him? Oh no, please, God, no! Lord, wrap Your arms around him. Run faster, buddy! Get up. Get UP. LORD, PLEASE LET HIM GET UP!!!! Thank you."

It's fantastic. Brad said one time that he'd like to spend an hour in my head. No. No, you wouldn't. It's a bizarre and frightening place.

I feel a lot like one of my favorite Abba songs from Mamma Mia:

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...

And now, I'm crying, and Lily and Peyton are fighting again, and it must be time for a cocktail.

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