Real life from the crack of dawn....
Thursday, September 20, 2012
If there is one thing that I did not fully comprehend when I planned to have children, it is the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies having them. I swear, the ride gets more intense as they get older. When I had my first newborn, it was intense. Hormones were going every which way, I was sleep deprived and afraid of making a massive mistake and somehow breaking the baby. I doubted my ability to figure out what Kate needed and had difficulty predicted when and why she would go from happy to screaming in less than ten seconds flat. It was definitely a challenge. I'm happy to report, though, that I did become more capable and confident with her and with the subsequent newborns we had. There seemed to be a pretty even spell there in the middle. Kids went to school, did homework, had activities. There were baths and bedtimes and stories. Trips to the Zoo, vacations and play dates. Autopilot, if you will. There were off days to be sure, and trying phases (and the constant illness OMG) but overall it was predictable, day after day, with no major surprises, just a lot of work. Somehow, in the past two years or so, I feel like the roller coaster has ramped up and once again, I am holding on for dear life and screaming at the top of my lungs. The kids have their own lives and their own problems and they bring every bit of that home with them. I never know how any one kid will be when I pick them up. Chris has been, still Thank God, my most steady kid. He has been somewhat more emotional than he usually is but even so, it tends to be short lived and his overall set point is joy. Kate has had much to navigate this year already, with difficult classes, college applications, volleyball season and a boyfriend. She experiences highs and lows, stress, joy and disappointment. Most of this is completely unrelated to me, yet somehow I find myself being sucked in to the emotion and the drama. I try not to but it is awfully hard. Trey is my other spicy little bookend. When things are good, they really are. When they aren't.. ahem. And I know full well that I have MUCH more difficulty divesting myself of emotion when it comes to that boy. I don't know why and there is probably all kinds of unhealthy written all over it. I am going to have to get a grip before he gets to high school or we are really going to have a time. I guess that's my area, the thing I need to learn to do. I need to be able to step back and try to be more of a safe place without being sucked into the vortex of emotion or drama or need. I'm not sure how. Is this a common struggle or am I over my head?