Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rain Running and Having Faith and Praying for a Sign

*Please excuse this rambling from my morning run...

This rambling of a tangled web of cluttered thoughts that cloud my brain until I can sort through them on my runs. Put each thought, each doubt, each worry, each fear, each self-hating, negative, horrible criticism in their place. I have a compartment in my brain for each one. I did just that on my run this morning.

The morning was gray, and the sky was crying this gentle, beautiful sprinkle of rain; the kind that leaves your soul cleansed and your mind emptied and your heart open and your spirit renewed. I needed that. I needed my spirit renewed. I needed to feel like myself again. Whole and happy and *together, not the huge, disastrous self I've been lately; walking around in a haze of sugar-coated-everything-is-fineness, when in fact everything has been a little bit hard for me lately. I have a bad attitude and an impatient brain and some days I need help that I don't ask for and what I really want is sleep and I cry sometimes when I'm in the bathroom alone, and I ask God to give me a sign that everything will work out, which I never do. I never ask for signs because I have faith. I have faith that everything will work out like it should.

But last week, my faith faltered and waned and my doubts and fears were bigger than life and I prayed hard for a sign. I shouldn't need a sign if I have faith. I DO know deep down that everything will be ok. It will all work out. And not on my own timeline, that is out of my control.

This morning on my beautiful rainy run, I was brought back to my 16-year-old self who ran in the rain for the first time and my teen-anguished self ran and ran and with each puddle I ran through, I felt heartbreak heal. With each drop of sweat-mixed rain dripping off the tip of my nose, I felt lighter, and my teen problems weren't so all-consuming anymore. That's when I fell in love.

I remember that run like it was yesterday. Sloshy shoes and dripping hair and a happy heart upon return. My rain runs, I remember them all. They are few and far between but they are some of my best runs. They leave me open and transparent and breathless. I looked up to the sky this morning and thanked God once again for making me a runner and giving me the soul and mind and spirit for running because it's not really about the physical self, and all of a sudden I could breathe again.

After two long, hard, bad attitude weeks, I could breathe. I didn't feel suffocated. I didn't feel like I was drowning on land anymore, I wasn't holding on by my fingertips and I felt a little bit free again. I felt myself smile. Just me and my footsteps and the the beat of my heart. And everything will be ok.

I just need to have faith. I need to run and have faith and get more sleep and remember that I'm in good hands. My children, they'll be fine. They'll be ok. They're thriving right now and that's really the only thing that matters. And I'm surviving. Someday I'll be thriving too; but for right now, surviving will do.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Flawed Mom

I have the best kids. They are thoughtful and kind and helpful and caring and nice. Really, really nice. Like, stop-in-the-hall-to-help-another-kid-in-school nice.

And mothering these not-so-tiny humans is the hardest thing I've ever done.

The other night I went to bed, and I thought to myself, today is the first day that I haven't felt like a bad mom in a really long time. The guilt is overwhelming sometimes. I'm positive I'm screwing them up for life. I've considered buying them therapy sessions for when they're adults for all the screwed up things I've done. I'm pretty sure I'm too hard on them. I'm positive I yell too much. I expect a lot from them. I worry about them constantly. I just want them to be happy, and not end up on drugs or in jail, but really, mostly, I just want them to be happy. And I think they are, I hope they are, but I'm not certain.

The older they get, the harder this mom thing becomes. Bigger kids, bigger problems. They are at the age where I can put myself in each of their shoes and remember what it was like to be right where they're at. They seem much cooler than I ever was. I was very much the ugly duckling and the odd man out. My mom still calls me the odd man out; the black sheep. I don't quite fit in anywhere. My kids, though, they aren't like I was, and I hope they never are. They are themselves, which I was always uncomfortable being.

Being a mom means I have four pieces of my heart walking around outside my body. Being a mom has broken my heart and mended it more times than I can count. Being a mom is the greatest thing I have ever done with my life. Being a mom has brought me to tears and to my knees all in a second. It has made me smile and cry and laugh and yell and want to pull my hair out and squeeze them so hard they can't breathe. It's made me want to lock them up and away from the big bad world and at the same time send them out to be the light in the darkness, because I know they're the helpers and the do-gooders of this world. They are my light and my sun and my rainbow after the storm, even though sometimes they cause the storm. They are my heart and my soul and my laughter through tears; they are my good morning and good night and hello and good-bye. They are the sparkle in my eye and the break in my heart and the smile on my face and the furrow in my brow. They are the reason I go to bed at night praying that I'll be better and do better tomorrow.

Today I don't need to be celebrated. I don't WANT to be celebrated. I want to celebrate these wondrous creatures God has given me and thank them for making me a mom. I want to give them more of me and my time and attention and more of my energy...because they deserve it. I want to give them the best part of me, and not always the exhausted part. I want to give them my joy and my patience instead of my hopeless, useless, ungracious self. I want to give them the grace they deserve, just like they give to me. 

So, Happy Mother's Day to my kids who made me a mom. What I'm really celebrating today is you.