When I was a kid I often wondered why my mother would work outside the home. My dad made enough to keep us comfortable. This was obvious to me even at young age. What wasn’t explicable, though, was why my mom didn’t want to just hang out at home and play with my sister and me.
Now here, some thirty odd years later, I totally understand.
I spent my day cleaning while a tiny tornado of a shadow alternated between tearing up what I’d just accomplished, and sitting on my lap so that I couldn’t do anything.
I had to keep from gritting my teeth as I told her that, no, I could put the sheet on the bed by myself. At the time I was leaning over one side, as she dangled persistently on my skirt. I got 7 cups of water, but didn’t drink an entire one myself. I washed dishes, as my “helper” repeatedly threw all the clean silverware back into the soapy water.
I am tired.
No, I’m exhausted – more drained than I ever knew I could be when I was younger. I used to party ‘til dawn, but was never as worn out as I am after a day with a two year old.
Yep, I get it now, Mom.
And you know what. I’m sorry for all those times that I stood at the window crying and waving at the window in hopes that you’d feel guilty enough to turn around and come home. Because now I know just how much the time away meant to you.