Zack and Addie here. We thought you might need us to remind you that you’re doing a great job.
We’re pretty young but we definitely know a few things.
We know you’re too hard on yourself. We know there are a hundred moments every day where you wonder if you’re just doing alright. We know sometimes you crave a moment by yourself, with a good song and sunshine on your face. And there are other moments you feel like you’re the only adult in the world; the loneliness sneaks up on you and digs firm roots in your heart like the viney weed in the dirt.
Momma, you’re doing more than just alright.
We certainly don’t make it easy on you.
There’s no telling when we will take advantage of you standing over the dinner on the stove to dump the cat food bowls onto the floor. Or when your bladder needs to be relieved in the worst of ways and we choose those 90 seconds to grab a cell phone, checkbook, wireless mouse and remote control off of the desk, but not before we enter some Japanese food store into the search bar of the Internet.
We see the hand smack on the face when you’ve just put clean cushions on the couch and we crunch a slobbery goldfish on it, all while holding up our now empty bowl asking for more crackers as crumbs crash on the floor.
We see the way you come up the stairs for bedtime some nights, moving so slowly, holding your back from bending over weeds during nap time and carrying four clean loads of laundry upstairs after our impromptu dance party in the living room. You still pick us up and sing to us and squeeze us as tightly as you can, but we bet you go downstairs and fight back tears from the pain.
You think sometimes you can’t handle two kids alone — how the simplest tasks like groceries or mailing a package become insane. How one of us is running up the hill on the driveway while the other one screams in their carseat, kicking wires out of the DVD player as you glance at the clock because, again, we are running late. But then some days, Mom, you watch us and our bestie Aubrey and you’re a pro. We all feel equally loved.
We know this is still a transition for you. You’ve gone from business suits and time clocks to jeans and diarrhea diapers. You don’t know if you’re even appreciated some days, or if every one of your friends even remembers your phone number anymore. There are no bonuses or holiday presents for your new job.
Speaking of jobs. Your kicking some butt balancing Mary Kay and your photography business in all of that free time we give you. You know, the 20 minutes we aren’t fighting or crying or asking for more freakin’ CRACKERS.
Or at nap time when all you really want to do is put up your feet and watch a Hepburn movie. Sometimes from your phone in bed while Da-da is snoring and you can barely keep your eyes open.
You quit your anti-depressant a month ago. You held us both in your arms that afternoon and said you were scared of the lows but wanted to feel the joy we brought you stronger than ever before. You hated the numbness, missed the way that excitement and laughter could fill up your belly, fly up your throat and come out in happy tears and silly giggles. You wanted to feel, you told us. You prayed for you and prayed for us and we petted your hair which made you so happy.
We saw you the other day. The way you appreciated us listening and behaving so that we could all spend hour after hour of uninterrupted bliss outside in the sunshine on a beautiful Spring day. You stopped as Zack held a leaf and ran it along the edge of a wall telling a story with words like “people” and “go” and “walk” and “outside” and Addie colored a chalk picture on the sidewalk, looking up at you with pink smeared across her cheek and a spot of blue on her hand. “Everything has come alive,” you said softly. You wiped away a tear and the dirt from your gardening glove smeared by your eye and we laughed. “You’re both so smart, so happy, so big, so full of life,” you added, talking more to the ivy on the sidewalk than anything else. We saw you that day, Momma.
You’re doing a great job, Momma. But here’s a few requests:
– Stop sweeping the floor so much. Wait until we’re asleep. Or we’ve moved out. Either option is safer and less frustrating.
– Way to go with the homemade laundry detergent and other housewife adventures you’re trying. And remember, you haven’t burnt down the house yet and we’ve had three meals every day.
– Don’t be so hard on yourself. About us or about yourself. You’re a good mom and you’re a great person.
– Pick your battles. Addie loves “washing hands” in the bathroom. It’s annoying but she can’t drown. Good hygiene is a nice habit to get into, too. So what if her sleeves get wet. Pick your battles.
– Keep taking risks. Create spontaneous memories for yourself. You’ll create beautiful memories for us, too.
By the way, we know you’re hiding the cinnamon jellybeans somewhere. We will find them.
Oh, and we’d like more crackers, please.
Seriously, you’re a pretty great Momma.
We love you.
Zack & Addie