July 21, 2002

stresssssssss

I rested for two hours this afternoon--stretched out on the bed across four or five pillows... I love lots of pillows because it's like laying on a cloud. The "nap" was something I could do only rarely the last four months. I didn't get much rest--hardly any from April-July. But since George has been home, I have had sweet relaxation, the kind I forgot existed, the kind where you don't wake up in a panic. I drifted off thinking about how many single moms were wishing, at that very moment, that they could lay down too. Take a break. Listen to silence for just a half hour.

So many single moms, single dads never get the relief I got today, while Jenna and George worked on the computer, and I slept, pure simple uninterrupted rest, until she couldn't stand it another minute and came to find me, her hair smelling like bubble gum and baby powder, the scents of the oils daddy had put in her hair as he combed it through while I slept.

I wish I could bottle the feeling and send it to other moms who are missing their rest. I can't pretend to know what it's like to be a single parent day in and day out, but I do know what it was like for almost four months to carry the load by myself, to have my child on my own, with Dad on the other side of the world. I do know the fried patience, the wear and tear that sometimes buckles your knees as you wonder, can I do this another day? Why won't she listen to me? What happened to my kid? Who is she and who am I? Why can't I focus? Why can't I pay the bills, keep the house up? And will frozen dinners for one more night kill us? And if they did, would it be so terrible? And who's taking care of me anyway?

Showers for mom put off until after bedtime, books I'd like to read piled up with the mail; instead it's Phonics and fights over bathtime, friends I'd like to talk to who can't hear me through the wildings of a four year old who wants nothing more than my undivided attention.

I think of Halley, who posted today that she will be getting divorced, and I'm sad and sorry for her trauma, her stress, and wish I could bottle my rest today for her, for a time in the future when she will need it most.

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