I am always keenly aware of what I put out into the public view…especially when it comes to Enslie and how I deal with her and all of the extras that come with her. I adore her. I am obsessed with her. When I tuck her into bed at night…I sing the same good night prayer to her that my Mimi used to say with me. Now I lay me down to sleep. Pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Then I kiss her and say: Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. Jesus loves you sweet girl. This is the night time routine for all three of my girls and has been since they were born. Except, Ennie gets one extra line tacked on to hers. The last thing I say to her is: You are my most precious thing. And that is what she is. It doesn’t mean I love her more than the other two. It means she is my most precious, my most treasured…a few times I haven’t known if I would get to keep her and those scares have made us all different. She has been and is my most valued thing ever to come to my life. She has changed me and most of the time for the better.
I say all of this before I lead into the negatives. So, now back to the part about the public and about us not even being cuteish. We are busy. Not normal busy. Not, we have three kids and lots of practices to get to. No, we are B.U.S.Y. Dusty is in grad school and working a million clinical hours at the moment. I work full time. Gracie plays one sport at a time…right now it is soccer. Addie takes one ninja class. I work on a big community project and am hosting a Women’s Conference. We make time for our friends. We make individual time a priority. Then, we have Enslie June who has about 6 physical, 4 occupational, 3 speech and 2 PAT appointments a month. When you roll this all together, like I said, we’re busy. I, however, do best when I’m busy. I don’t need my brain to have downtime. In fact, I like to think of it as needing my brain to be at least doubly booked. If I’m working on something mindless at work, I need to have a podcast on. I need projects to be planning, trips to be planning, you get the idea. An idle mind leaves me with time to worry.
The problem with all of this is that sometimes I get tired, like way too tired. On days like this when mental and physical fatigue become too much, I can’t even pretend to handle all of Enslie’s stuff well. This happen to me recently at one of the girls’ activities. Dusty was working late so I was doing the evening running to/from practices. Ennie doesn’t do well of an evening. She’s tired and cranky and missed me during the day so she needs to be thisclose to me at all times. I’ve mentioned before that she doesn’t really like toys. She doesn’t really like T.V. She likes…me. And she needs me to entertain her alllllllllllll the time. So, on this particular evening I am trying to keep her happy but it isn’t working. People we don’t know try to talk to her, not realizing of course that she can’t talk back. They offer her things to play with not realizing that her fingers don’t really work quite right. She looks “normal.” She looks like she should walk and talk but she doesn’t. She looks like she should be out chasing the soccer ball or in a little ballet outfit at the dance gym. But, she’s not. I can’t even picture what that looks like. How is it possible that I can’t picture my daughter kicking a soccer ball or dancing around in a ballet costume? I don’t know but I can’t… In addition to her physical and speech delays, she is still very infant like in some ways. She still puts things in her mouth. She wants to lay down to drink her sippy. She also, though, has the attitude of a typical two year old, except she has even more built up frustration…with the whole not walking/talking thing. So, on this particular day, everyone is being nice, trying to help me side track her. A random guy behind us growls back at her when she kind of growls at him…ok, I mean he was interacting so yeah its fine. I look down to see her LICKING the floor. That is right she is straight up licking the floor, as if that isn’t bad enough, she’s licking it in a room full of people….I mean that’s not really ideal. This doesn’t put out the whole “we’re fine and have it handled vibe”. So, I go to pick up her, she’s mad. She doesn’t want picked up. She immediately pinches my arm and pulls my hair. I think she tried to bite me too but missed. So, I pull her hair back and pinch her and set her on the floor until she can be good. As she’s sitting there, I’m again looking out at all of the kids doing things that I can’t imagine her doing and I can feel it coming. The tears are so close. It is taking every last thing in me to keep it together. I do, barely….at least until I get in the car and I start sobbing uncontrollably. And, then I recognize that I am back down the dark hole of worry and sadness. I know myself well enough to know that it won’t last. It never does. It will take me a few weeks and hopefully a night or two of actual good rest and I’ll be back to normal.
But this had me thinking that maybe I am too careful about what I let people see. I don’t have it all together. I actually have none of “it” together. I’m not a perfect mom…lots of days I’m not even a good one. I lose my temper. I yell. I feel guilty. I’m not a perfect wife or daughter or sister or friend or anything really. So, if you don’t have it all together (and who does?!?) …whether it be because you have a special needs little one, or maybe your kids have been especially bratty this week (hand held up high here), or you’re struggling with how you’re going to make it until the next paycheck, or trying to figure out how to fix a relationship, whatever it is you may be dealing with, please don’t look at me and think that I am one ounce better at life than you, because I am most certainly not. I need to work on not only putting life out there when its cute or cuteish…because a whole lot of life is not. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be, to still be full of a whole lot of good.