Life is messy. And Hard. And beautiful. And, most days, all at the same time.
This week was particularly messy. And hard.
I sat in the room with the wee girl as she talked to her therapist for the first time. I sat. And I listened. I watched. I watched as she started to fidget. Started to pace. Started to do her silly faces and hand motions she does when the situation gets too Big. Too awkward. I watched. For the first time in nine years, I didn’t reach out and touch her, ground her. Calm her. I plant my feet, and watch. Because the councilor needed to see. Needed to witness.
I’ve dealt with parents all week who believe that, somehow, their child’s feelings are not being taken seriously, validated. Their child is 2. Everything single feeling is Huge. I’ve had to reassure them that, yes, we listen. We engage. We keep her safe. And she is happy. And still, they sit there wanting me to do More. Be more. They are upset because I don’t answer work emails at home. Because they don’t have my phone number. I plant my feet, and I stand my ground. Because my time is sacred. My home is sacred.
A text from my nephew earlier in the week, simply asking if he could leave his car at our house over the weekend, brought up all of the times his brother would text to ask if we were home and could he stop by. I’ve stopped expecting it to get easier. Better. I think I’m prepared for the pain, but I never am. Grief is messy. So very messy. It seeps into everything and anything. I love that he’s close, and comfortable with just dropping in. But I miss his brother. So much. And one reminds me of the other. But I’m not going to withdraw from the one just because it hurts and it’s messy. So I plant my feet, and I welcome him and I hold him. So tight. He knows I don’t want to let go. And he lets me hug him.
Yesterday I came home from work Done. The girl came home from school weary. She wanted to bake. I wanted Rest. So she waited. And then she baked. But we all forgot we needed the oven for an early supper because the boy and I had a Thing. Fridays here aren’t celebrated by everyone. Because it’s also chemo day. Messy, ugly, painful chemo day. But he was still going to insure the boy and I had supper before we left. It ended up not being ready. The boy ate in the car. I ate when we got home—much later. And he was stressed, and frustrated, and in loads of pain. But he was doing his best to control the situation. And I was only making it worse. In my own frustration and messiness, I wasn’t able to get the right words out. The ones that told him how much I appreciated him trying to take care of us, and to fix this thing that didn’t need to be fixed. I needed to tell him I saw him. I see him. I see the things he does. All of what he does for this family. For me. I see him. But it was messy and it all came out wrong. And so I plant my feet, and I stand. I stand in his storm. His body and brain are hijacked by forces he cannot always control. It’s not an excuse. But the knowledge enables me to stand in that storm. And to walk out on the other side.
Today, I sat down to work on a cake order. I have a couple of weeks, but there are components that need to be completed early so they can dry, be painted, and dry some more. I sat at the kitchen island, my own music softly playing, and I created. I let my hands do what they know to do. Delicate yellow roses sculpted out of sugar. And I let it all go.
Because, sometimes? We need to create our own peace.