Saturday, September 17, 2011
Motherhood Bipolar Disorder
It was first diagnosed here. But it can be found in most homes wherein small children reside. Here at Cicada Cottage, we've got a raving case of it. It is also known as Too Much of a Good Thing. The "Good Thing" being the small children. "Too Much" being 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of touching, asking, whining, feeding, dressing, peeing, quarreling, fitful children. These children are also brilliant, strong, beautiful, inspiring, humbling.
Are you catching the bipolar part of this?
I can hardly stand them breathing on me AND I want nothing more than to be right next to them. Do you see? Do you see?
How does a woman cope? I ask.
Our financial situation right now requires Dr. Gooch to spend many more hours in the hospital than at home. Please don't make me go into details.
This prolonged spouselessness only serves to exacerbate the condition. I'm looking ahead at the calendar and there are so many things sketched into those short days that require me to drag those runty rascals solo around the world. A baptism to attend, church, soccer, piano, preschool potluck, Why does this feel like Kilamanjaro to me?
With mountain climbing on my mind, I took a shower, hoping to scrub away my sour attitude. I cut my ankle shaving. It bled so much for such a small cut. I channeled all my angst into that silly slice that was clearly overreacting. It barely smarted and now I have a blood stain on the bath rug that I had just washed. I dressed and served a lunch of oatmeal and bananas then I sat down with Lucy at the bottom of the stairwell and propped her right leg on my lap. I began rubbing vitamin E oil on her scars.
They were still so pink and raw but beautiful, too.
"That feels good," she sighed and dropped her head back on her shoulder watching me finish the task.
In that small sigh I found a cure. The uneven skin and muscle, the too tight tendon, and her strong left thigh and calf and the very presence of a right leg filled up my emptiness. I looked at her relaxed face and, as I finished, she rolled her pant leg down and hopped away to join the others in the next room. I followed her quietly and looked at Seth with his skiwompous sleep hair hurling cushions into fort formations, and Hazel's voice heard above all other possible sounds, and big Avery occasionally swatting at the still baby hair hanging down over her soft eyes then looking up at me sideways like a curious hen.
I flop onto the couch with my own, much larger sigh. Enjoying the healing power of perspective and the temporary fix of an ongoing ail.
The lessons? Don't bleed out so much when, in the universe of things, it was merely a nick.
And...let the culprit be your cure.