I love my kids. I really, really, really do (that's three reallys, for those of you counting at home).
Right now I am wearing a pair of Gap capri jeans that I bought at least five years ago. They are saggy. And baggy. Not attractive. My shirt, which I bought right before going back to work after having Sawyer, has partially digested cheddar goldfish crackers caked on the shoulder. It, too, is hanging off me. My hair is clean. But it is a mass of frizzy curls. My expensive flat iron sits ice-cold in my drawer. The entrancing clear plastic clip that I was wearing earlier now lies abandoned somewhere in my bed, the victim of a solid yanking by Sage. The lines around my eyes contain not a trace of leftover eye shadow. My pores are clogged. Not that anyone would particularly notice: my days revolve around soothing and wiping and refereeing and keeping Sawyer from eating the dogs' food.
I'm a mom.
I'm so over it. Not the actually mothering part. My children make my heart sing and dance and leap to the beat of their smiles, cries, belly laughs. They are mine forever. They are light and hope and dreams and everything that help me to be a better, stronger, more optimistic human being.
It's the cliche thing that has me down. Where did I go? The essential ME. The woman. The person who breathes apart from my kids and my husband. I miss me sometimes. And, of course, there's the problem that I can never be the woman I was Before Children. You can't be who you were before life slapped you a good one. You can only be who you are now, based on all the experiences that have shaped you. It's not that I was so wonderful before, but I was, at my core, me.
Those who I've told about my running camp think I'm a tad nuts for voluntarily waking up at 5 a.m. at least three days a week to literally run my ass off. I actually even pay to do it. But I think it's a step (pun?) toward rediscovering myself, finding out who I've become. I run with adults (woohoo!) who speak in adult sentences about adult things. The workouts are tough and often painful. When I get back into my car, I feel exhausted, but also very much alive. My body is coming back. Fitting into my clothes, the ones from even before Baby #1, does give me a much-needed boost to say nothing of helping me feel a bit more, well, normal.
The best part is when I carefully open the front door of our house, muffling the sound of the bells that hang from it. I'm quiet, determining if the sound of Curious George's latest adventure is blaring from our bedroom's TV, signalling that Sawyer is awake.
Some days, like today, it's silent. I'm home.
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