Monday, March 22, 2010
The Big Break
I was talking to a good friend tonight about how difficult it is to be a parent in general, how we find so much joy in being mothers to our respective three children (two boys and a girl) but that it also often amounts to being just a plain pain in the ass. She spoke to me of a recent health issue with one of her sons and how it taxed her patience and even sanity when she realized that it wasn't a truly serious issue but one that was manageable, really, if it weren't for the difficult behavior of her son. I spoke of dealing with one of my son's current academic difficulties in school and his irrational defiance of help. I told her about the drama of my afternoon with him at the Korean learning center, the tears, the defiance, the obstreperousness and the almost teeth-gritting patience and lack of drama of the teacher at the center.
It makes me feel insane and not because it's really all that stressful. It makes me feel nuts because, sometimes, it's just so damn boring. There's a small -- o.k., maybe slightly bigger than small but certainly not huge -- part of me that just can't be bothered, that just wants the kid to get on with it, stop the drama, accept the help, do the work, be happy and move on. I want to feel those things purely and perhaps not really act on them (I can continue to be encouraging and gentle and oh-so-politically correct and be aware of his self-esteem) but I also don't want the tortured feeling that comes way too quickly after -- the feeling that something might be going on that's deeper and more psychologically intense, that somehow the particular dynamics of being in a family like ours, his birth order, the fact that his sister has a severe disability and he's seen thousands of seizures and she can't talk and nothing seems to help her -- well, all that always, always enters into my thoughts on the tail of the other parenting is such a pain in the ass feelings and I just want to feel the simple parenting is such a pain in the ass feeling all by itself.
And if that isn't enough crabbiness for you, I also told my friend that given my insurance issues of last week (still waiting for birth control prescription for Sophie to be approved), the third grader's academic difficulties, The Husband's spending an absolutely unprecedented time with The Mistress and continued financial woes, well, I want a break.
Actually, I don't want just a break. I want a
I'm so crabby that I don't want to think a telephone call from a friend at a particularly stressful moment is my break. I don't want to think about the grace of God or the moment I have a vision in a yoga class and all is well in that moment. I'm just a teensy tinesy bit tired of the gratitude movement and the thinking positive thing.
I want a
I'm thinking huge here -- my friend suggested to shoot for half a million dollars. I'm thinking the birth control is covered by the insurance company, Sophie begins taking it and her terrible seizures stop. I'm thinking that someone calls me and wants to help me finish putting my book together, represent me and sell it to a publisher for an advance. I'm thinking that a few families with lots of money want to start a school for children like Sophie that is modeled after Waldorf Schools, a beautiful place with lots of nature, art, movement, animals, trees, flowers and music. I'm thinking someone tells me that I will be fifty pounds lighter tomorrow and so perfectly conditioned that I can begin running 3-6 miles daily.
Big sigh. Humor me.