by Mel

Today was one of those days that I wanted to run screaming out my front door.  Hair flying wild, eyes flashing, I would run down the street and just keep going. No clue where I would go…just…….away. Somewhere quiet. Really quiet. With wifi. Always wifi. This was not one of those typical mommy, “Calgon take me away” type moments either. I didn’t want some stupid bubble bath, I wanted the damn witness relocation program. I wanted someone to hand me a new life in a box. Here you go, ma’am, you are now a freelance photographer in Bangor, Maine. You paint watercolors in the park, have an extensive library of books, and time to read them, and your housekeeper comes in on Mondays. Now, that is what I am talking about. Can you even imagine? I don’t even think my brain remembers what it is like to complete a whole thought. In fact, if I did get some peace and quiet, it would probably still only string a few scattered fragments together and then sputter to a stop, waiting for me to tell someone where to find a pencil, or to screech, “stop teasing the cats!!!!!”  There are just some days where I can feel my brain cowering in the corner, twitching. Days that I find myself sitting on a pile of dirty laundry in my closet just to have five minutes. It’s not quite as sad as it sounds, it is a walk-in..but still. Shit. I am hiding sitting in a closet, dude. What is wrong with this picture?And while my children are….completely nutsinsane…. challenging….. I know it is not really their fault that I am driven to laundry sitting. Not entirely anyway. I was not cut out for this mothering thing. I always knew that. I was an only child, never babysat, never even played with kids my own age. I was positive I was never going to be having any kids. Isn’t it funny how things work out? Ahem.

It’s not so much that I hate kids. I don’t. It’s  just…..Kids are like the ultimate assault on the senses. They are loud. They are sticky. They are needy. They have no respect for personal space or privacy. They transport germs like the rats during the plague. Basically, they are my Kryptonite. It doesn’t help matters any that I have about the maturity level of a 4th grader, and probably even less drive and discipline, and being a parent seems to require large amounts of all of that. Which is totally lame and inconvenient. So, just like going into any job lacking the necessary job skills can make things a bit of a struggle….I tend to struggle through many aspects of this mom gig. And then I sit in the closet. Or fantasize about running away to a different life. One with wine tastings and a house that stays clean for more than five minutes. See, now I could end this by saying something like…and that is when my daughter runs up to hug me and show me a song that she has written, and I realize that it is all worth it. But that would be bull shit. And I refuse to do that. What I will say is this….When something like that does happen…when my daughter makes me breakfast in bed, or my son emails me pictures he thinks are funny……it allows me to keep trying. It allows me the strength to stand up and walk out of the closet. That’s it. No magic transformations. No chorus of angels. Just standing again. And this has nothing to do with my love for my kids. If being a good parent were based on love alone, I would be golden, because I love those two little freaks like crazy. But we all know love doesn’t keep you from having to do the grunt work…so until then….I’m not living anywhere that doesn’t have a decent sized closet.