Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I Got Lost At The Grocery Store
Whoosh went the doors as I passed within range of the sensor. I rushed on through the sliding double doors intent on getting back to L before he screamed himself into a tizzy. My pink cellphone was dead so there was no way to reach me if I was needed, as well as no way to find out if I was remembering everything I needed to get. My mind raced with my feet as I flew from one aisle to the other gathering my bounty. Then I slowed down as I went to find the contact solution for my husband. I searched three aisles and couldn't find it. I would have to go to the other store. I don't have anything against the other store, and I like the staff. I just knew I'd talk about my day. I'd have to think about my day, and all I wanted to do was forget about my day.
As I went to the cashier I felt like I was going to my doom. My mind began to wander to my day. A lump rose in my throat. Tears burned my eyes. I wasn't going to break. Today was NOT going to break me. I can stay strong. I CAN bottle this day in.
I paid for my bounty and carried the bags in the cold to my silver steed. I prepared for my next trip to the other store. I was hoping that no one I knew was there. That way I wouldn't have to think or talk. I almost missed the person waving at me as I walked inside. I just about broke into tears as she asked how I was.
Oh Lord, when did I become a horrible parent? Just a short time ago I was drinking, a lot. Getting lost in myself and everything around me. Then in some whirlwind I had a son and became a single parent. I pushed myself into the real world to get out of my isolating anxiety zone. I started a program that I didn't finish. It led to going back to school and getting my grade 12. I tried out college but I was drowning. I couldn't keep my head above water. I dropped out and wandered some more for four months before working at a fast food restaurant. I got out of housing and moved in with my sister. It was hard on our relationship. I moved out and we didn't speak for almost a year. I moved in with my parents, then into a one room apartment with my son. Every day was a struggle. I hated, absolutely hated my job. But I did it. I pushed through every piece of crap that was thrown at me and the crap I made myself just so that that incredible little boy could have everything he wanted. We battled, butted heads. We still do. Only then, he still loved me. The thing that annoyed me the most, was the one thing that I miss the most now. "Hug and kiss Mom? Hug and kiss?" Little arms open wide, tiny feet running full speed towards me. A toothy grin that ran from ear to ear. So needy he was. Every few minutes was the same request. It drove me batty. Now while I don't feel it's appropriate for a 13 year old to be the same in words an action as that beautiful 4 year old. I don't expect to be told that I'm a "bully mom". Sure like anyone I make mistakes. I do expect a lot out of him as I know most moms do of their first. He still has it easier than I did though. He also has so much more. So why does he dislike me so? Why is he so disrespectful? Why does he give more respect to his commanding officer than me? When it was just us, I gave up so much of what I wanted just for him. Because that's what parents do. I went without meals, clothes. Heck, there are days I still give up things, like sleep to sew on badges and the sixty dollar pair of jeans I know would make me feel 10 years younger. I know people say the reward is watching them grow. Call me selfish, but I want a reward that tugs at my heart strings and builds my "mommy" self-esteem. I don't want "can't", "I hate you", "you're a bully". I want "thanks", "I think you're great for sewing on badges until the wee hours of the morning". Heck, even "I'm glad you're my mom" more than once a year on Mother's Day would make my day.
As I hold back my tears and vent bits and pieces of conversation, I struggle between wanting that lovable four year old back and trying to understand an angry thirteen year old who has his own struggles with life. I want him to grow and push and pull, but I also want him to do it with the least amount of damage to me.
Thoughts of little L crying for me pop into my head and bust my thoughts like soap bubbles in a sink full of dirty dishes. I pack up my tears, hurt, words and say good-bye to my current sounding board and head to another cashier. I drag my feet to the car with a heavy heart. I can feel I'm holding a grudge. I'm hoping it's just for a few hours and a good old fashion cry will release me from this painful vice grip. I'm going to try to remind myself that tomorrow is another day and that in a few years if I do not break and just learn along with him, I'll get my reward. Until then, I'll keep losing myself at the Grocery Store. Hey, it beats locking myself inside a stinky bathroom to get be able to get away and clear my head.