At least once a day I sit around and wonder, “What the heck am I doing?” OK, really, there’s usually some sort of full on expletive in place of “heck,” but I digress.
Because Hope and I often surf from one crisis to another, the mundane often feels so elusive to us. You know, I try to maintain key daily routines but still I’m often wondering is this crisis thing just our normal?
For how long?
When the crises cease, will Hope and I even know how to go forward without a bunch of drama? Who knows.
In the meantime, what’s this mom to do? #sigh
We are paddling on a log wave crisis right now, and we’re in the midst of a short lull. It’s allowed me to focus on just trying to maintain a safe, loving place for us–her and me. I don’t feel like I get to intentionally focus on that much with everything always on DEFCON 1. This past week was a close to normal as I feel like we’re going to get for the foreseeable future.
And I probably didn’t do anything special but try a little harder to just practice chillin’.
I listened. We are deep, deep I say, into the first love around here. Ugh. It. Is. Torture. And I’d like to put this little punk under the wheel of my car and make him into a Lifetime Movie that doesn’t end well for him. I’ve given consistent messaging about self-worth and self-respect, but mostly I’ve shut my pie-hole and listened.
Holy Homeboy I’m tired of hearing about this boy and his shenanigans. Tie-erd, I say. But the more I stayed silent, the more Hope talked about her emotional struggles with the epicness of the heart crushing first love. I wish she could articulate like this about her other struggles. But Hope talked and talked. And she was happy to talk. And I managed to be some kind of lamp post on her raggedy road to middle school love.
Side Note: Boyfriend betta be glad that Elihu lurks with a level head…he’s mad protective, but bless him, he prays on the regular to keep a level head. I however, do not, subscribe to such discipline, which is why I will be at the school recklessly eyeballing this punk during band class this week.
I helped her cook. She got some new cookbooks for Christmas, so Hope chose a dinner menu; I bought the necessary ingredients. I played sous chef as she attempted to make her first potato soup, and I helped her fix it when the recipe revealed itself to not provide the best outcome (milk soup with potato lumps?). We avoided a kitchen meltdown, learned about improvisation, and had a lovely dinner with good chatter (see me listening above).
I did her hair. Hope has mostly wanted to wear her hair in twists this last year. She wants her hair to grow long, really long.
Recently she asked me to take down her twists, blow her hair out and flat iron it.
And I did.
On my birthday. #dammit
It took 4+ agonizing hours.
Did I mention this was on *my* birthday?
My feet hurt, my legs hurt, I hurt.
But she was thrilled with her long, bouncy hair. Nevermind that her hair needs to be trimmed and shaped. Nevermind that she was serving first lady of Greater Mt. Zion-Calvary-Horeb/United/AME/Pentecostal/COGIC/Baptist/High Baptist (with gloves on the ushers)/Potter’s House/Temple with Rev. Dr. Bishop Jerome presiding realness; all she needed was a church hat and a doily to toss across her knees. #lawdhafmercy
She was so happy. Absurdly happy. Some kid at school told her she looked like a Black Marilyn Monroe. #idiedlaughing
And I’ll do it all again this week. Fun times (#sideeye); I’m taking some ibuprofen this time and putting that round brush to work. #beenwatchingdominicanyoutubevideos
Next week is back to curly twist outs.
I cut her some slack. I gave her some space. I let her be sad. I gently reminded her of her chores. When wacky stuff turned up on the random cell phone check, I didn’t flip out. I gave her lots of hugs. I just thought about all the stuff she’s got floating around in her head, and I cut her some slack.
And we’re better for it.
Parenting isn’t easy, and despite what some folks say, not every day is the best day of your life. #realtalk There are some really crappy days along the way. But we’re doing this. Day by day, step by step.
We’re doing this.