Is it just me, or is it because I am now on my own most of the day, since school started? I have found that having my children in the car at the end of a peaceful day is well, shocking. It must have been that way all summer, right? I rode everywhere with these same children every single day, all day long. But now when they jump in the car and the talking starts and doesn’t stop until they go to sleep at night (notice I didn’t say ‘when they go to bed’), I flinch. I flinch hard. My eyes shut a little, and I feel as though someone is yelling at me, with a big old foghorn, three millimeters from my face.
I start to concentrate really hard as questions and responses and stories and lamentations begin to fly at me like little needles through the air. I find I forget what I am doing because I am concentrating on the three conversations going on, everyone talking over everyone else, quickly, loudly, obtrusively.
I will myself to keep up because, after all, this is my real job, right? After a day of phone calls, work appointments, various social engagements, cleaning, cooking and shopping, I find the intrusion of social distortion is worse than a blast of cold water on my face, from a large elephant, in a snowstorm, far from home. I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s like that. My mind is spinning as I sit in my quiet office and write about the phenomenon that will happen as I pick up my children from school this afternoon, and I will be confused and overwhelmed for an entire weekend this time. My body has released itself from a summer of large doses of adrenaline, and I have settled into something like my natural state of being.
And only last week I was pouring tears like a waterfall at the idea of them being gone. And now I am scared that I will be unable to live up to my necessary standards of survival when my weekend begins. I am planning ways of talking quieter when I want to yell. I am trying to pick which child to answer first when they all talk at once, all ten of them, wait, only two. I’m so confused. I am trying to decide if making a 6:00PM bedtime is too much or much too little? I am trying to decide if drinking whiskey in a sippy cup is wrong or dangerous? Or is it more dangerous for me to try to cope on my own?
I am wondering if I should go jump off the roof of the house into a pile of cactus in order to get my adrenaline flowing before I pick up the kids. I don’t know. I am trying to decide. I am climbing. I WILL be able to cope today, I will.