Saturday, December 22, 2012

Strength in Numbers

It takes shape slowly.  It has for years.  It hit me one day in the depths of my grief over a marriage that I wanted to survive more than anything.  I wanted the marriage to survive, that is.  I wasn't until I realized that I, the essence of me, wouldn't survive the marriage that  I let it go.  My children needed me and I was losing her, the weird, fun, wild, free person I was.  I was sad, alone and overwhelmed with the immensity of the responsibility that I had allowed to happen and yet I was in awe of the magic that each one of them brought into my life.  The sense of responsibility was almost painful.  I had to make it about me without it being about me.

In one moment I knew that my most important task was being a mother. I knew that in order to be a good mother I had to be whole and I knew that in order to heal I had to help heal another.  As I watched the 2008  political scene I was inspired.  I wondered how many of us, single mothers, would be willing, able to create a community, a safety net for us?  I wondered if we could have help with dignity?  Maybe you don't have bootstraps or you can't reach them because you have a baby in one arm and a toddler in the other.  Maybe I can reach your boot straps because my children are asleep.  We are so much.  Why can't we combine our talents and resources and be great.

I have carried this vision within me even as I cried not knowing what would happen next.  Even as I expressed gratitude for the blessings and charity that came our way.  As each old dream was unearthed and each new dream emerged I have carried this vision because it is this vision that gives me hope that makes me feel like something more than just a very tired woman who fails every day to do the job of the two people who should be raising our children.  I vow repeatedly not to let them pay for my mistakes but sometimes I wonder if they're just fated to...

At low moments everything seems to be dependent upon my credit score.  Working on cleaning it up, I take two steps forward and three steps back.  I need to move to get the children into a better school district with school hours that better fit my schedule and each other's but I need a miracle to make that happen.  How do I put distance between them and a culture of violence?

An exhausted, upset, worried and even frightened mother is not the best example.  All of those emotions live in each moment.  We try not to show those emotions.  We mask them and move on but when we shut off some emotions others are hidden until we don't feel... at least not like we did.  We try to steel ourselves against fate, against those things which are wrong but which we cannot change.  "It is what it is," we tell ourselves until we seem to posses some faith in life to take care of what we cannot.  ...sometimes when it hits the fan and a child is in trouble we just hurt but the story is too long and too complex to explain.  We are bitter because we always wanted the best for them but "we" alone were not enough.

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