I start to stir, the light is a dark pink as the sunrises through the curtains. One is standing next to me whispering “Mommy? Mommy….you wake? Mommy, I’m here, scoot over.” I do. Of course. I feel the warmth of his body as he moves closer to mine, I smell his hair fresh from last nights bath. I breate it in deeply the scent calms me as I snuggle him close, eyes still closed. His skin is so soft I remember when he was a baby and I’d stroke his cheek as he’d fall asleep back when he fit in my lap but smelled the same.
About thirty minutes later the little one starts making noises from down the hall. I stay in bed listening, holding the big one but enjoying them both. He gets a little louder so I shake Nate a little, “Your brother is up, are you ready for the day?” We get up and walk to Ben’s room. They chat in their own secret code and I am an outsider. I lift Ben and hold him so close I can feel his heart beating, so warm and snuggly, first thing. He too smells fresh from his bath and I again breathe him in as fully as I can. A quick diaper change and he and Nate are off. No longer needing me, they have each other now.
The days aren’t always smooth and easy, some days are but occasionally I’m not well. Somedays I lie on the floor while they play and stare at the ceiling, tears running down my face for no real reason at all. Sometimes I don’t want to talk or play or color, I just need to be. I hate these days, I hate that the best can do is just being in the same room with them. I don’t want to be away from them, that’s for certain. I need them close to me, they remind me that it’s worth it, to keep going. Still, they know. They know when I’m off, they behave a little better and play a little more quite. They know. They are so young but the get me. Mommy’s not always well.
I’m working so hard on being well. So hard that when these days come they are more debilitating then ever. WHY, is this STILL happening!? I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and should do. And yet, depression and anxiety can break through at times. Medicine is helpful, it’s not a cure.
I’m able to appreciate the good days and I try so hard to let the bad ones go. To make the good ones great, Nate’s old enough to remember this now. They say that you choose the good memories over the bad. I hope this is true. I hope he remembers me at my best and not the mom who sometimes lies on the floor and cries.
Both boys were hard to leave today. Nate at pre-school, Ben at the gym. Yesterday was a really hard day. It affected them, they didn’t want to leave me today. I didn’t really want them to go, either.
I just hope they know. Not that mommy is sick but that she is working to be well. She wants to be well. I want nothing more than to raise these boys, to watch them grow up and to love them. That going to the gym so much and not letting them eat fruit snacks and making them wash their hands means I love them. Nate knows when I go to the doctor and it’s a lot. He never asks why, he just tells me he’ll miss me. I clutch my heart and go to therapy. When I come home I know three sets of open arms will be waiting for me. So I go and I do the work. I do it for myself and I do it for them.
I love these people so hard. All of this work is for our family. I love them. I hope they know.