Teenaged boys are not quiet by nature, but the squeak of the door is my fault entirely. I don’t oil it because it alerts me to people entering and leaving the house. And when you have teenaged boys, you want to know if someone is leaving or entering your home in the wee hours of the night.
The dog barks and heads downstairs, hoping she’ll get part of his breakfast.
I hear the shower turn on, the television come alive.
These are the moments I try not to let my worries come crowding in. I tell them not to disturb my peace. My sense that all is right with the world because both of my boys are home. Healthy. About to tackle a new day with new challenges.
In the corners of my mind creep the to-dos and screaming meanies. Call the garage door guy before winter comes. Call the handymen to replace the broken arbor, hang the large painting in the master bath. Am I spending enough time overseeing homework? Is the middle school transition going OK? Why has a good friend stopped being supportive? Is there something wrong? I can’t stand people who can’t tell you when something is wrong. Passive aggressive is for cowards. Will my work contract be renewed? How can I put what my financial advisor wants me to put in a retirement fund as I pay tuition and bills?
I don’t know if everyone awakes this way. Maybe being a single mother has something to do with it. You feel it’s on you. The screaming meanies know you’re an easy target. Well, they’ve got another thing coming.
As I drive carpool, pay bills, create marketing campaigns, tend to sick children, clear the clutter, I think about my many compadres around the world doing these same things.
Are they trying to cut carbs like I am? Ready to tackle a 10-year-old for his soft pretzel with cheese?
Are they worried about their job, their relationship, their kids?
Are they eagerly anticipating that weekend away?
There’s an age-old battle for many of us, those who think beyond the coffee, of love versus fear. Do I awake grateful for my boys, my home and the myriad things that fill my day? Or do I awake fearful of what’s not done, not anticipated, not perfect?
Those of you an inch deep and a mile wide won’t understand this post. But those of you wired for high-def will feel a response immediately.
Choose the love, friends. Fight to see the love.
The fear is a dead-end. A self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s not always the epic battles that matter. Much of life is how you wake up. How you drive carpool. If you plan the vacation, however small, so memories can be made.
At least, that’s how it appears in my corner of the world.
I’m trying very hard to choose the love.