I want to talk about the meaning behind this coffee pod. Some recent days as a mom have been sucking the very life out of my soul. Nothing is more exhausting and isolating than watching other children around you happily transition, participate, enter a space, engage, and enjoy their world freely, while your child seems to be the only one on the planet who can’t just DO THE THING that ALL THE OTHER KIDS SEEM TO BE ABLE TO DO with ease. Like walk into their school or classroom in the morning. Put on roller skates and frolic with the rest of the kids at the birthday party. Jump in the bouncy house or climb the climbing thing at the other birthday party. Sit and watch the movie made for freaking kids at the movie theater, or the Disney on Ice show, which is also made for freaking kids. Or the kindergarten school carnival. Made for freaking kids.
Of course I know this is not true. In reality there are children who have similar sensitivities and difficulties to those of my children. And some whose are far worse than my children’s. But my god, when morning after morning I spend 20-30 minutes wrestling with a child screaming like he’s having a limb amputated and having to physically peel him out of his car seat and drag his kicking and screaming body into school, as smiling toddlers and parents stroll past us in the parking lot and into the building with a happy bounce… I just want to crawl into a cave of self-pity. And anger. And guilt for feeling angry.
Or when my other child is terrified to set foot inside the movie theater or Disney on Ice show because the lights go dark and the sounds are too harsh, while once again I gaze around at hundreds of other kids HALF HIS AGE, giggling and dancing and enjoying the spectacle in front of them. And we have to make deals, like we’ll make sure we sit near the aisle, and we’ll get up and take frequent walks, and we can get up and stand near the door at any time. The frustration. The guilt. The cave again.
I have a dear friend and coworker who is sometimes my roommate in this cave of parenting-self-loathing-child-resenting. She has stories of her own that involve tears and vomit. We text, we call each other, we cry in each other’s offices, we even say shameful curse words about our own children. We hug and we laugh.
This friend was telephonically with me on one recent jab-me-in-the-eye-with-a-screwdriver kind of momming morning. She gets it, she gets me. I came into my office on this particularly rough morning to find this coffee pod from her waiting on my desk, as a show of solidarity and support. And I felt seen.