It was nice to see you the other day. Nice to be able to feed you some good food, which you get so little of these days; nice to see you smile and laugh.
And I don’t like saying this, because it’s not your fault, but it was hard, too. It always is.
The thing is, as happy as I am to meet you for lunch each week, I’m not gonna lie, I wish you’d just come back. I want you to be yourself again; I want the voices to stop so you can have a home and doctors and medication; I want you to be able to put money in a real bank instead of money and dirt and rocks and bits of paper in a night drop box on a random bank out on Bainbridge Island. And I want you to know that putting rocks in a bank box won’t do anything but make a mess for the early morning employees to clean up.
But I suppose, most of all, I want you to be a mom like my friends have. I know they’re imperfect, but they’re there. My friends chat with their mothers and their mothers listen and give them good advice. Each week you give me all that you can, and I don’t want to wish for more, but I do.
Because of your absence I’ve had to figure a lot out alone. Especially when it comes to my kids. I’ve read my own weight in parenting books and magazines. I’ve attended workshops and connected with other moms. I’ve built up my village to the point where I don’t need to worry about an unexpected illness or emergency room visit. I know there will be someone to call.
But I wish I could call you.
I wish I could ask you for parenting advice. I wish you would hold up baby Spencer and smile and laugh with him. I wish you could take Quinn for the afternoon so I could get a nap while the baby sleeps. I wish you could tell her stories about the first time you saw her, or the birds you saw in the magnolia tree instead of the CIA takeover of your bus this morning.
But I’m used to it now. Used to not being able to ask you for advice, or help, or even for a story about what I was like at Quinn’s age. You do your best to help: you write down the name of the medicine I should get the doctor to prescribe for what you insist is Spencer’s colic, and the address I should email to have someone pay my phone bill. Is it wrong that I just want you to tell me it’s hard to be a mom, it’s hard to be sleep-deprived, and you will love me and support me however you can? Is it wrong to want more than you can give? To want you to hear just my voice for one short hour every Monday?
I know it’s not your fault that you can’t do that for me. Yes, I do wish you were different, but you’re you, and even though I am reminded of all that you cannot be every time I see you, I love you just as you are.
See you next week,