I think of myself as a fairly strong person. No, not physically. Anyone who knows me knows that while I can carry feed bags around and buckets of water, I’m not going to win a strongman competition. I mean that mentally, I’m a fairly strong person. I’ve got some pretty good patience skills, some great coping skills, and it’s really hard to rattle me. So why did I dissolve into a crying mess in the middle of church today? Why did someone’s encouragement have me in tears? To those that were standing close enough to sympathy cry with me, I love you and I’m sorry!
Maybe it’s because I cope too well for too long. Let me explain. With Cowman night calving right now, our whole schedules have changed. Everything. Which I don’t mind, really. I know that Cowman loves to night calve more than day calve. He finds it peaceful and I get that. I’m not a slave to a schedule either. ( Honestly, sometimes it would help me more if I were.) However, Jolly Rancher doesn’t like when things vary too much from normal for too long. If you remember from this post, Little Jolly Rancher , Jolly’s CP has some strings attached to it. Strings that we are fully aware of, strings that seem to get more flexible as he gets older, but strings that can also decide to get tied into knots at the most random and unexpected times and places. Like church the last four weeks.
Jolly Rancher loves music, doesn’t matter what kind, he just loves music. Which means he loves church! He loves the piano and the drums and the guitar. He loves watching everyone sing and making his own music to blend in. And he loves to do all of this while Cowman is holding him. Yup, Cowman who is on nights right now. Cowman, who is at home sleeping while we are at church right now. Cowman, who is not there holding him. Do you see where this is going?
For the last four weeks we get to church and do our normal greet everyone, smile, take our seats, everything is great. Then the music starts. And Jolly Rancher starts crying which quickly escalates into screaming / throwing his whole body around and basically letting himself be heard by everyone in the church building and parking lot and any unsuspecting person walking past on the sidewalk, ( I promise we aren’t torturing anyone in there!) Yes, I get up and walk out to the other room with him but you know what? All I really want to do is stand there and sing with everyone else. I want to be able to tell him he needs to be quiet and to have that be the end of it. I don’t want to smile at everyone while I am seething inside as I carry him out, AGAIN. I just want to stand there and sing.
Does that make me selfish? I don’t think so. Does it make me insensitive to his special needs? Trust me, nobody is more in-tune with those needs than Cowman and me. What it does make me, is a mom. A very human mom who does a pretty darn good job of holding it all together and looking on the bright side, but who sometimes has coped for too long. The problem with coping for too long is that I in turn am never in control of when I’m going to break. Not break as in, oh go get her some counseling, but break as in bursts into tears at the super nice thoughtful comment as simple as, “Hey Bobbie, I hope you know that we never mind when Jolly gets loud, we understand!” You know why I cried? Because I care.
Sometimes I just want normal, and I can’t have that. And I feel so guilty for even saying that because I wouldn’t trade Jolly for all of the “problem” free kids in the world. But sometimes it’s hard. It’s just plain hard. And you sound awful and whiny for saying it out loud because you know that there are so many people out there who would love to have as simple a situation as yours, but it’s there anyways. It lurks, and no matter how much you are ok with the situation, no matter how deeply rooted is your love for this child, the longing for “normal” moments will always be there. Again, does this make me a bad mom? No, I know that it doesn’t. But no matter how many nice things you say to me I am still going to feel guilty to a certain degree about this.
So yes, that is how I found myself crying in the middle of church today. When I was supposed to be corralling the kids and teaching children’s church I instead walked out of the room (yes, with older kids there to keep a watchful eye) and went back upstairs to find those who would cry with me, (again ladies, I’m sorry for that!). And you know what? I cried, I got it out, I hugged and I went and taught that class. Because sometimes that is all you need. You need someone to just be there while you get it all out, even if they don’t fully know why or what you are getting out, they stand there and let you let it go.
If you know what I am talking about with this post, please know that you aren’t alone. You aren’t a bad parent. And please don’t cope for too long. Don’t wallow, but don’t hold it in for too long either. Our kids need to see us strong, but they also need to see us vulnerable, and open, and yes, crying with others in the middle of church for no apparent reason.
Love from here,