Disclaimer: Deliriously sick, weepy, overly sentimental pregnant woman has entered the tent. She looks a little pale and I’m not altogether sure she’s that coherent. She’s also got a strange look in her eye. Half morose half manic kind of strange. End disclaimer.
Hey you guys.
I’ve attempted to make it back here for the past few days but other things have beckoned, like my bed, or the bucket beside my bed, or the tub of cookies and cream ice cream beside the bucket beside my bed. Things have reached a whole new level of survival mode and never before in my life have I been so dependent on others for my welfare. As a kid, yeah, but I wasn’t aware of it then; being looked after was my God-given right as a kid. As adults? As adults we take care of our own business. We are the carers, not the cared-fors. And can I just admit, it is hard to let ourselves be cared for as adults. I’ve let friends find what that god-awful smell was floating from my fridge and clean the entire thing out. I’ve let them come over with food, and serve it to me, and then clear it all up again, while I lay down in the sun on my front lawn. I’ve let people wash piles of clothes while I watch from the couch. I’ve let parents cover me with blankets and take my daughter away. Every time, EVERY TIME, I have battled with myself to lie there and receive. To receive graciously, and without a hint of self-depreciating talk. Really Rachel? You’re just going to lie there and let these good kind people clean the contents of your rotting fridge? You can’t just stand up for TEN MINUTES and do it yourself?
Yesterday at 4pm I called Renae. Choking back tears, I asked if she had any food to feed my daughter for dinner and could we come over right now. Without a second’s pause she said, yes, of course, yes there is food, come right now. I cried all the way to her house because, yes, I felt pathetic, but mostly because I’ve come to see that people who love you want to love you. I have realized, more than ever, that it’s true how they say we receive the love we think we deserve; how receiving love can be so damn tricky and how it’s loaded with our sense of self-worth. I decided to arrive at her doorstep just as I was. I let her take me into her arms and her home and her heart and I finally gave in to receiving it all. All of it.
Last weekend will go down in history as the one where I left my kid 400 kilometers away and had my first ever child-free night since the day she was born. We were down in Coffs Harbour with my family and friends so close to us I consider them my second family. For two whole days, we were wrapped up in slivers of heaven and I was high with that feeling that only comes when you are with people who are yours.
We had to cut the trip short and come back for a wedding, and since Ella was having such a good time, we made the decision to leave her down there.
Two days without her.
It went as you might imagine.
With weeping tears held until the seconds after we pulled away. With liberating freedom so exhilarating it was like a rush of caffeine straight to one’s blood stream. With texts and calls asking after every sleep and meal. With sleep ins and late breakfasts and the pure indulgence of complete selfishness. With the heartache of letting go of your most prized treasure. With the unspeakable happiness of silence. I loved and hated it, and concluded that quite simply, being somebody’s mother is nuts.