This letter is to my future self. The one who has forgotten what life was like when she was 33 years old and living in The Blur.
Dear Future Harmony,
By now I hope you’ve gotten your shit together and started doing things you’ve been meaning to do like making the family attend church every week, and getting regular pedicures and starting a weight training regimen to prevent bone loss.
When you were 33 years old and the boys were a week away from turning 5 and 2 and Pepper was going through a growth spurt and you felt yourself slipping away — you may have forgotten that you did this, because you were living in The Blur — you wrote an email to some friends about how children are supposed to add to your life, not suck it away from you, and enough was enough. You felt like you were at a turning point: either you were going to fight for your sanity and take steps toward making your life the way you wanted it, or you were going to give UP and let the chips fall where they may, elastic waistbands and all.
I hope that you didn’t give up.
This letter is to remind you of how far you have come since that time. When you were in The Blur, time stood still. But then you would snap out of a week-long fog and realize each child was bigger than they were the last time you really looked at them. You didn’t know which way was up. You didn’t think you could do it anymore. And then the next day came, and you did.
If you have reached this point and no one has thanked you … I am thanking you. You carried on when you weren’t sure if any of it was WORTH IT. You did good.
Here is a refresher of what you did when it felt like you were getting absolutely nothing done:
1. You gave this girl a bath almost every day like her dermatologist asked you to. You didn’t do any of the other things she said to do, but that’s beside the point, because it is a bitch to bathe an infant every day when you have a kid like Asher in the house. I bet the dermatologist doesn’t have an Asher in the house. Otherwise she wouldn’t have asked you to keep charts.
2. You take care of Asher. He fights you when you change his bandage over his stitches. He throws a complete tantrum when you don’t let him play in the dishwasher. He digs his elbow into your throat when he’s trying to get away from you. By now, I hope he’s outgrown this foolishness and you have forgotten how hard it used to be. THIS KID WOULD BE A LOT ON HIS OWN. And you wrangle him, plus two others, so good job.
Here’s a picture of him tuning a toy guitar before he tried to bash a hole through the sliding glass doors with it.
3. When you didn’t know what else to do, you took pictures with your kids. Some of them were BAD. And some of them were good. Because that’s reality.
4. You tried to embrace each child’s individual qualities, and show them how to be their very best self. Mothers are not supposed to change their children. They are supposed to guide them. Here’s a picture Maverick drew during his first weeks of kindergarten. You cried when you saw it. You’re the one in orange.
Who knows what you’re facing now that the kids are older. I’m scared to even think about it, honestly. I like to believe that things have gotten easier for you, that you and Husband found time to do P90X and develop more of a social life … but even if you haven’t, I know that you’re happy.
I’m going to keep calm and carry on like all the signs tell me to. And I hope that when you talk about the early years with your children, you do it with pride, because this is no easy task.
Hugs and Tequila,