My life, the one I live on a daily basis, it’s a bit nutty. Anyone who knows me would laugh as this is severely understated. The one thing that is never understated, however, is my need for chocolate. It’s not a craving, here, people; it’s a daily prescription for my sanity. Honest!
Take this morning… The boy-child was ready early for school. That sounds fantastic, but what that really means is that he is ready and actively able to annoy sisters all morning long. He’s 10. ‘Nuff said.
Boy-child runs around annoying his sisters, stirring up the dogs and making our morning routine a bit of a ruckus. The girls, ages 13 and a month shy of 15 both are in full meltdown mode for multiple facts. A.) Laundry did not magically do itself. (I’m mean and make them do their own laundry so they can be self-sufficient adults later in life) B.) Someone, aka the annoying little brother, is taking too long in the bathroom doing nothing in particular. And C.) Hair is not cooperating with the desired style of the day. It’s tragic and life changing stuff. Seriously. It is, so I’m told.
This is a normal and typical day. It’s truly a no-big-deal-it’s-gonna-be-fine kinda daily life sorta thing. It’s teenagers-and-a-household-full-of-chaos kinda thing.
Then our personal goofiness begins to twist it up. The boy is sitting on the couch in a somewhat forced manner. Not quite a time-out, but a, “Calm-down-before-Mom-loses-her-cool” kinda thing. The dogs are running amok and one jumps up on the couch, turns to the boy and pukes all over him. It’s not a little bit; it’s a crazy lot for a little dog. Suddenly we are not ready early for school; we are going to run late. It’s five minutes before the bus comes. There are clothes to change, a boy to wash, a couch to clean, mess on the floor and all those puky clothes. He’s traumatized to boot. It’s hairy but it’s not abnormal. Not really.
The girls are battling it out and one is storming around slamming things. Lunch money is an afterthought and breakfast was not even a consideration. One slams herself into her room and the other storms out. Somehow we’ve managed to get two out the door to the bus just in the last seconds of the squeaky bus wheels grinding to a halt and its loud exhale coincides with mine. I’m weary and it’s just now 7a.m.
The third child you ask? Why is she not on a bus too? Well the 4th and 7th graders both ride a morning bus. The freshman in high school is staying home. I am very ungracefully traversing the waters of home-schooling her. Truthfully? I am kicking and screaming all the way. I just am not one of those amazing moms who can do this with flair and fantabulous style. I am not a teacher and I don’t fake it well. I struggled to get through school myself. I’m a fraud adult and I’m about to be found out. I can’t do the algebra and it’s painfully obvious that someone else needs to help with that area.
So why am I doing it? In our house, we struggle with a host of hard things. One of the biggest of which lands my eldest child at home learning to manage her issues as life reveals them to her. I hesitate to even put them on the page now because there are such negative connotations to them. But it’s time that families who have hidden lives were not hidden. Time to let someone know that they are not alone. There are a lot of us out there living these hidden lives — and they are hard and odd looking to most others, but they are OUR lives to live, and truthfully, while I TOTALLY WOULD trade all the issues with someone, I wouldn’t trade my kids or my life for anything.
Two of my three kids struggle with ADHD, two struggle with mental illnesses, one with dyslexia, one with OCD and one has so many issues to contend with it’s been paralyzing; changing the entire structure and dynamics of our family. For every situation, every interaction, each issue and every parenting task, we have to view it in light of each of their various diagnoses. Then there’s the whole normal growing up stuff and (cue scary music) hormones of puberty to contend with.
We have issues here. Heck, our issues have issues. It makes for an interesting life behind the front door. I shut that door tightly to most people and let the mask of what I want people to know of our life be what they see. I like keeping our Facebook family picture life be what people believe of us … but that truly helps no one. It makes me lonely, and it lets others believe the lie that I have my act together and that they should, too.
Just about every day, at any given moment, I say, “Seriously… I need some chocolate.” I let out a huge sigh and try hard to gain composure and rational thought.
Right now? Today? I could really use a nap. BAD. I have insomnia on a regular basis. You’d think as exhausted as I am usually I would simply fall into bed and crash easily. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, as long as it’s daytime. As soon as it’s kid-free and quiet and it’s dark outside, nope, not gonna happen.
So naps and chocolate are a constant desire. I crave them both. But in truth, every time, I’d settle for chocolate.