She bravely suited up, donning a pink backpack, her sparkling eyes full of promise for the start of a new year at Montessori; the expression on my face painted the picture of a proud mother as if her child was geared up for a trip to Mars…
Today was stressful in ways I knew it would be. Prepared as one could be for looming academic deadlines, the inevitable sob story of a toddler’s first day of school, and the burden of financial hardship renewed at dawn, I readied myself for the hours ahead, barely coating my lashes with mascara before running headlong out the sliding glass door.
Every single day, and some days more than frequently, I marvel at the speed of which time travels. From a philosophical perspective, I wonder if time does not move at all, but rather it is the pace of a modern day single mother with two kids which makes hours never seem long enough.
Accomplishment, for me, means getting a hot meal ready for one, and a half-pint picky eater. It means staying focused long enough to meet that educational goal of posting, strictly out of my own determination, another discussion in a time-stamped school board. Most often, it means simply making it where we need to be on time. . . Nothing about this is easy, and yet, the droning hours these days seem too commonplace to be avoided.
I yearn for something new, but I know each day is predestined; filled with the sole responsibility of a functioning day on me alone. There is little variation from one moment to the next. We don’t have cable, so I don’t get the news. We don’t have internet, so I don’t spend my time surfing the web. We don’t have much extra money set aside for “fun”; everything about life right now feels just plain stuck.
In the scheme of things, however, I suppose that may just be all right. What do I need besides the love of Layla and Jemma? What do I need besides two furry “kids” meowing at my feet for attention? What do I need besides the assurance that God provides for us?
I cannot answer to this rhetoric any more than I can be sure tomorrow won’t produce the exact same set of rituals that today has seen… all I can do is be positive that what I am doing, my role as mother, caretaker, financial planner, and friend is considered as essential to this time and place.
Christina, with her doubts, anxieties, and uncertainty needn’t find any alternative to where she belongs. Right?
Then why do I hunger for something more?
My daughter sought my left leg this morning for sanctuary from the inevitable departure for school. She turned her face up towards me, tears in her eyes, and begged me not to make her go. I pryed her loose and smiled haphazardly to her sweet teacher and turned my back to walk away. I had a job to get to, I had a paper to write, I had a house to clean…
Life has no regard for the wishes of a toddler afraid of the unknown, left yet again for another season of academic growth. Time has no regard for a mother yearning for an infant ripped away from my embrace for a two-week stint with a father so openly hateful of me that he refuses to even let me speak to our child. Time has no regard for overdue bills, strict educational guidelines of a scholarship recipient, or the purposeful placement of the socialogical factors of a single mother trying to manage a household on a “just getting by” income.
Time just sticks out her tongue and laughs at me.
I hate how I am mocked by another evening of restlessness, quiet longing, and unwieldy resolve to endure despite the stacked odds. At times, I admit how easily I could meet defeat instead of face unshakeable determination to beat out my circumstances.
I ask God every single moment I am breathing for some purpose to be revealed in all of this seemingly-persistent strife. For some assurance that the, “I’m doing the best I can,” really will mean something, some day.
I want my children to have reason to be proud of their mother beyond a perfectly timed kiss and a hug. I want my checking account to reflect security rather than overdraft fees because my second husband refuses to pay child support on time. I want to be disciplined enough to find true worth in my educational goals instead of always feeling as though I’m just doing enough to get through it. More patience, less anxiety. More love, less fear.
More time… less of a realization that my life is happening before I have a chance to truly direct my journey.
I need my self to be enough, right now, so that I can stop yearning for some fictitious man in some distant future to come and take me from this loneliness.
I need my children to find peace in our home. Structure. Reliance. Not chaos, disorganization, and demanding control. I want to be an authoritative parent, not authoritarian parent. I want to guide, encourage, and support my children, not control, manipulate, and neglect their needs for any reason.
I want to learn how to forgive AJ and stop wishing he’d just find a new wife and forget all about his first family. I want to forgive his parents and stop hating what they did to tear him away from his commitment to my daughters and I.
I want to talk to my family and friends back in Washington more often, and not just because I need a safe place to vent.
I want to have more time with my mom here in Texas, and show her how grateful I am to have her in our lives…
All of this. The yearning for more. It isn’t material. It isn’t superficial.
It is more God, and less me.
More freedom because I am forgiving, and less worry of what others may think of what has become of my life.
I do not require a lottery ticket with a few too many zeros. I do not require trips to exotic lands. I do not require someone to come sweep me off my feet and make me forget I was ever left alone.
I just want more time.
More time to love, and less time spent fretting over what I cannot change.
More motivation, and less excuses.
More forgiveness, and less validation that what I feel is justified.
I watched my baby girl walk out that door this morning and realized life is going too fast…
I am tired of missing it – missing the things that matter most. Missing the mark entirely because I spent my time caring too much about things that don’t really matter…
I just wish I had more time… and in that time, I wish I had a better way of using it the way God would love to see.
Less me. More Him. Less me…