December 10, 2008
I was putting on a pair of earrings the other morning, and had a quick thought... These are the third pair I've worn this week- I think I'm me again! Silly, I know... but the Me I long to be cares about things like this... and about remembering birthdays, and sending cards, and having time for the ones I love. It is nice to know that I am back... but it does bring back memories from the last time I lost myself during what I call the Pre-School Years. Those years were wonderful for my kids... new discoveries, making friends, exploring the great wide world. But for me? I enjoyed their moments... their joys were my joys... their lives were what mine revolved around, and rightly so. But what did that leave for me? Not much energy... not much patience... and months between any moment with my husband more intimate than an obligatory kiss goodbye as he left for work. I loved staying home with my kids. I wanted to be there... and I enjoyed it... but along the way I lost Me. The Me that cared about sending a birthday card, or painting toe nails, or preparing a meal. During those years I think my husband carried his 100%, and half of mine. In the moment, you push on... perhaps taking a moment to sit behind a locked door, tears spilling into your hands, instead of walking out the door. Life just is, and you carry on the best you can... making time for friends with little ones, so that at least you know you are not alone. But looking back on it? It was hard... and messy... and I would never go back. Sure, I miss those tiny hands and feet... and experiencing, through new eyes, all of the wonderous things that little ones discover and learn. But as I see my sister going through this herself, all of the feelings of inadequacy tumble back around me, and my heart breaks for her. Watching her struggle, and juggle joy with frustration with weary eyes and soul is painful- and knowing I can't take it from her is worse. Everyday she has my prayers, my encouragement and my love... but I wish I could do more. I don't really think there is any way to skip over this phase though... the tough times and how we handle them become valuable lessons that we need for another day. I hope though, that one day soon my sister will catch a glimpse of herself in the mirror and think Oh, there you are! I thought I had lost you.