All Sorts of Bombs

The hours that stretched between late afternoon and evening yesterday were tough.

I hustled my three girls off the bus and into the car, rushing off into the next installment of the ‘passport debacle’ (I may pen a frustrating short story of the same title). They were tired, hot, sticky, hungry, and probably would’ve had to pee if they weren’t so dehydrated from the high temperatures. After toting them through two venues and experiencing botched passport attempts (adding to the overall debacle), they hooted and hollered, spat and pinched the whole ride home. Home. The place where I got to give my husband a quick smooch, eat a hamburger right off the grill as I set the table for the sit-down dinner the rest of my family would be enjoying while I rushed off to a curriculum night at the school. School. The place that was boarded up tight because the curriculum night is, in fact, tonight. I got back in the car and thanked my lucky stars that I’d loaded Led Zeppelin II in the CD player so I wouldn’t go out of my ever-living mind. I promptly popped a bottle of beer when I got home and joined my husband on the porch. Trying to recount my frustration and agitation to him, I was repeatedly interrupted by our cherubs, one of whom snagged a butterfly net over my cranium, God bless her.

In a rare moment of calm, I said to him, life would be so much easier if we hadn’t had them.

That’s one of those statements you know you probably shouldn’t say out loud; that you know was a mistake as soon as you see your spouse’s face.

In his ever-present magnamity in the face of my melancholy, he replied, but we wouldn’t have the joy, either.

I know, you’re right, I sheepishly yet grudgingly replied. Still, my days the last week or so have been fine – until I have to get them off the bus.

And then – not with a lightning bolt, but with a gradual blossoming like a-bomb footage on slow mo – I realized that I’d have had depression anyway – with or without them. If left to my own devices, depression would’ve snuck in in the quiet moments, seeped through the cracks of career dissatisfaction, cycles of stress and PMS, self-loathing and pity.

abomb

Life with three little people is insane. It would be so easy to pin my struggles on them. It’s hard to see anything else, to even draw a spare breath. And the tenor of my life with them did seem to kickstart whatever this alternate mental atmosphere I’m living in is – but in that one absurdly clear and dissonant moment, I saw my struggle, my illness, my self for what it is.

That doesn’t make it any easier to raise three littles in the midst of all that. But it makes it easier not to resent them and their needs. And to love myself – faults and all.

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8 Comments

  1. Wow. You just described my life the last two days — except I only have two kids and they’re boys. I uttered these words to my husband last night after I collapsed once they were FINALLY in bed, “My days are okay…until they get off the bus. Then it’s hell until they’re asleep.” I’m sorry you’re struggling. I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  September 10, 2015

      Oh, my heart aches for you – cause it’s what’s going on in mine. So hard. Sending peaceful, patient vibes!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Wonderful blog post. I read somewhere that the unhappiest group of people are “parents”. You feel alone with these thoughts because most people don’t admit it out loud, but most people have them, some more often than others. My husband used to say the reason we didn’t get a divorce was because no one wanted custody of the kids–boy, did he get some shocked looks from people when he said that! He was mostly kidding, but I guess that’s a taboo area.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  September 11, 2015

      Thank you, Gale, for the laugh out loud I desperately needed when your comment landed in my inbox! Your husband’s comment: priceless!

      I feel like I’ve committed a grave sin just admitting the thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. I love how many moms can relate to this, the sigh of relief when the kids are tucked in bed, only to grab a hot cuppa coffee and doze off midway. The joy of it all however, surpasses those lonely thoughts that tend to make it easy to blame em for the frenetic pace of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Gail Mitchell

     /  September 11, 2015

    Beautifully done, Sweetie. I’ve been there. Now they’re grown with their own families and problems. I just hope you realize that “this, too, shall pass” and rejoice in your survival.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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