Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Transatlantic Tuesdays: Walking on Eggshells


Dear Maxine,

Well, life has really taken me places recently, so much that I completely forgot that it was my turn to respond to you, so I apologize that I'm finally writing a week late. You were kind and didn't even bug me about it. You really do take things at a slow pace, and I love it. No pressure.

Which reminds me of what you said in your last letter:

"Since Rukai has come into our world, the big has got smaller and the small has got bigger and everything meets in the middle in a place called 'What Rukai Needs.'"

I love your motherhood philosophy--all mothers would do well to take life as it comes with their children. Comparing only brings discontent. Your mantra, "At the speed of Rukai," is inspired. Go, you.

And now to your question (from two weeks ago--sorry, again):

Hints of spring are scooting around these shores and I know there's been a shortage of the white stuff on the ground over there as the weather settles. With the warmer weather on the horizon I'd ask what your biggest concerns or worries are when you get out and about, outside the confines of the safe space of 'Home'. I'm always worried I'll bump into some horrible person who says something for which I'm unprepared and I won't stand up for my son as well as I should. I don't want to be caught off guard. What are those worries for you? How do you prepare to face them?

Well, there's always a shortage of white stuff in good old Southern California, but the trees are blooming and scenting the air around them and it's my favorite time of year. Yes, we will be getting out and about more--in fact, we are leaving soon to visit family out of state for the Easter holiday and spring break. Luckily, this visit will be with family, and they never judge me or my kids, but we will for sure be visiting some sites and taking little trips in that state to places that are not too familiar.

I'm not going to lie--I get stressed, EASILY, when going places with my entire family. A 12-year-old daughter on the spectrum, a 9-year-old son who is quickly becoming a master negotiator, and a 3-year-old son who needs more attention than them all. My husband will be on break with us, so it will be nice to have extra help, and I'll have some family to help, but don't mothers almost always take the brunt of it all? They feel the difficulty, the distress, the disarray, more than anyone else, and this means that I don't always enjoy myself while I'm out with my family. I'm trying to let go more and not try to control every situation...but that's another post for another day.

I guess what worries me the most is the unpredictable moments that will inevitably happen with my daughter. Take going to a bookstore, for example. My daughter loves books. Even when I tell her, repeatedly, that we are not buying anything--we are just looking--she will no doubt find SOMETHING in that store that she absolutely has to have. Now, for most kids, the parent can say, "Now dear, remember, I told you that we aren't buying anything today." But not me. Telling her that would mean certain death. It would mean a total meltdown, because once she has her heart set on something, there's no going back. Nothing will appease her, or calm her. And I have dragged her out of stores many times while she kicked and screamed. Sure, that seems okay if, say, my 3-year-old does it (no one would bat an eye, more likely smile knowingly if they've ever parented at toddler), but when it's a tall 12-year-old? No knowing smiles--only quiet whispers with the person nearby, glaring eyes directed our way, heads shaking in disapproval and shock.

I feel like I'm walking on egg shells whenever I go out in public. Trying so hard to avoid any tantrums or meltdowns. It's exhausting, physically and mentally. And I've been doing it for a long time now. I felt like I was completely spent about a year ago--like I had hit a wall, literally, and had nothing left to give. And then I started writing more, and sharing my writing, and things began to turn around. Writing has been my therapy.

So here's to my upcoming family trip--may I learn to worry less and enjoy more (haha!) Life is meant to be enjoyed, right? As long as I can enjoy it through the lens of my children, it is possible.

And now for your question of the week:

I talked about how I hit a wall last year. Have you hit your wall? Have you ever felt spent as a mother? What helps, (or helped) you overcome this?

Sincerely,

Your friend, Kera, across the wide Atlantic

Links to all Transatlantic Tuesdays Posts:
02 Feb 2016  |  http://downinfrontplease.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/transatlantic-tuesday-letters-from.html
02 Feb 2016  |  http://thespecialreds.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/transatlantic-tuesdays-letters-from.html

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