And so another summer vacation comes to a screeching halt, right before mommy can do permanent damage to two green-eyed boys. The time spent with them has varied between a hellfire and brimstone hatred for how far they push me daily, to a choking on tears awe for their tanned, joyous, innocent faces. Even if I weren’t mentally ill, parenting would be a roller coaster ride.
But I am, and if I charted my moods over the summer they would surely be on the zig-zaggy side, which is not what I aspire to. I have worked hard for mellow waves of mood, variations perceptible only on a sensitive Geiger counter, not even to complete strangers (who saw me swearing at my kids at the juice bar earlier.)
The difference is that I am no longer blaming myself for who I am. I have seen and experienced what happens when I talk myself into a corner inside my head, and it ain’t pretty. I pray for the strength to treat my children with loving kindness as they continue to try to punch each other in the privates in the line for school supplies. I pray also, for the good will to forgive myself when I’m less than the parent/human/woman I want to be. After all, life will punch you in the privates enough, without you doing it to yourself.