In case you are wondering, I have been sitting in the chair in my bedroom all day, drowning my sorrows in Johnny Cash, crocheting the heck out of my fingers, and just generally feeling blue.
It is day 2. Day 1 was snippy. Day 2 is wallowing. I am pretty sure the kids like wallowing better.
Before you call the local school board and report me as a deadbeat homeschooling mom, note that the kids have each read for at least a good hour this morning, voluntarily completed a plethora (I originally wrote “buttload”, but edited just in case someone really does call the school board) of math problems, practiced their instruments, written stories, cleaned up after themselves, and ventured in and out of my room to share with me their excitement over what they are currently learning and sit on my lap to snuggle — without me uttering a single request. It’s all stuff they enjoy doing. And they have eaten — partially because I occasionally emerge from the room to make sure they have adequate supplies and are not silently bleeding, but mostly because they all know how to cook.
One of the things that we cannot avoid as a homeschooling family is our feelings. There is never a day where I cry alone at home while the kids are at school and then meet them at the bus stop with a huge smile on my face (Oh, would that there could be a day when I spend the morning on a massage table with a masseuse named Bartley and a pot of chocolate fondue just beneath the hole in the face pillow).
What they are watching today is their mom feeling sad. Not crazy sad. Not even ugly sad. Just sad sad. Someone very special to me died two years ago yesterday, someone I haven’t seen in a long time but have missed all those years is journeying towards death right now, and a door I wasn’t sure I was ready to close went ahead and made the decision for me a few weeks ago.
While I would love to mainline Cadbury Eggs and watch reruns of Scrubs to just forget about it all, I have been exploring the idea of actually feeling my feelings lately. The other way just wasn’t working for me or for my heart (you can read all about that here). And it wasn’t all that great an example for my kids either.
I had a friend who told me that the first time she ever saw her mom express anger was when she was in her thirties. It sort of messed with her brain, forcing her to question her own sanity because she herself did indeed feel anger.
My kids know what yesterday was; they know what is happening in my life. And they are physically around all day long to watch me handle it. What they learned yesterday is that sadness often times manifests itself as anger. What they are learning today is just how sadness can look when it is allowed to brew.
I know I could call some friends or my husband at work to talk this through — and I am typically a verbal processor — but sometimes sadness needs little more than a bit of space to hold it. Were I to mask my sadness for the sake of my kids, I would deny myself that space. And I would deny them the opportunity to watch healing as it unfolds.
So, for today, I plan to continue feeling sad. The sun is out. The lake, which I can see from my bedroom window, is Caribbean blue and sparkling. The kids and I have plans to take a walk later in the day and I’ve already planned dinner plus another walk with a girlfriend. Things are looking up. My guess is that by tomorrow morning, Day 3, I will have hit acceptance and then Day 4 will bring the gumption to move forward.
But, for now, Day 2, I plan to let sadness take its rightful place in my soul just a little bit longer.