We don’t attend church.
We should. I’d like to. But first, we’d have to find a religion that Robbie and I both feel comfortable with, and then we’d have to physically go to a building. Dressed presentably. All 5 of us.
However, I do pray with my kids. We pray before meals and before school, when I remember. My favorite thing, though, is praying with them at night before bed. It makes me feel better, like no matter what kind of shit day we’ve had, if I can end it all on a decent note then we’re all going to be alright.
Tonight I was so tired. I just wanted them to put themselves to bed and let me lie down, but that isn’t how life works. Robbie works all the time now, and I have a lot on my plate and … blah, blah, blah.
By 7 p.m. I am just done.
I tuck Pepper in first, followed by Asher half an hour later, and then finally Maverick. By the time I get around to Maverick I’m spent, which is unfortunate because he asks the most difficult questions of the three and he likes to wait until bedtime to ask them.
A few examples:
“Mommy? Is ‘bitch’ a bad word?”
“What does it mean when I raise my middle finger?”
“What countries have you visited outside of the U.S., and why did you choose them?”
“How do you say ‘it’s hot in here’ in Spanish?”
“Can two boys marry each other?”
Tonight, I was spared the difficult questions. I think he could sense that I was exhausted. I tucked him in, feeling sad that I was too tired to talk more, thinking of his little brother and how I wished I’d given in and read him a second book — but he wanted to read that book about cats that takes half a lifetime to read, and I just could not do it.
I thought about my two-year-old and how she kept asking “What’s this?” and pointing to her wrist and then my wrist, and I maybe should have spent more time talking to her about our wrists and how they magically connect our hands to our arms.
Maverick chattered to himself as he settled into bed and I thought the aforementioned thoughts. I smoothed back his hair as I started praying, but I was too tired to make it a good one. I basically said, Thank you God for giving me Maverick. Please help me be the best mother I can be for him. And please, please help him to be a good boy.
My son looked straight at me and laughed.
“That was silly,” he said.
“I know. I’m just so tired.”
“No, you don’t understand what I mean.” His eyes bored into me.
I sat up straighter. “What?”
“Of course I’m going to be a good boy,” he said. “You’re a good mother. Why WOULDN’T I be good?” He patted me. “Silly Mommy.”
I was thankful for the darkness that hid my ugly cry.
Is there ever a time when your child reaches a point where you can finally sit back and think to yourself DAMN, I DID A GOOD JOB? Because I look forward to that.
Maybe my kid is right, you know. Maybe I am already the best mother I can humanly, possibly be, and that is enough.