It occurred to me the other night as I bumbled wearily around my kitchen at 11:30pm doing dishes that my kids really don’t care how hard I work. I mean, they just don’t think very much of my ambition to be a successful, published writer. It’s just something I kind of try to do. A delectable after school snack that I prepare and serve matters more than the fact that I’m pumping out content on my site and interviewing filmmakers, politicians and other really cool people. So the fact that I’ve been working like a damn mule–writing, transcribing, editing and promoting my work– doesn’t get me much sympathy. Izzy just wants to know when I’m going grocery shopping again and she’ll get her real mother back.
Part of me wants to scream that she’s ungrateful and after all these years of nurturing, catering, driving, listening, hugging, talking and serving this is just one week where I took on too much and she should be rubbing my feet instead of asking, “Where’s dinner?” She’s almost 16. Make some pasta, girl, and no, I don’t want cheese on mine.
I made jokes instead to buy myself some time and figure out if I should feel guilty. I decided against. Maybe I’m just too *^$%&@* tired to feel guilty. But here’s the second realization–her complaints that I’m not available means that she still expects me to show up, needs me to show up–even at almost 16. God, I am such a sap.
But it’s Friday. My articles are done. I can sleep in tomorrow. So I’m willing to let my emotions swing a little today because I’m sleep deprived to the point where I can feel my nerve endings spasm every time there’s a loud noise (loud like the snoring of the dog laying at my feet). I haven’t really experienced this since I had little babies. The emotional clatter that goes with the bags under the eyes is just fabulous.
I know my daughters are proud of what I’ve accomplished. Probably it’ll mean more to them when they’re older. Ambition isn’t very high up on the list of what kids want in their moms. From their perspective, I think it’s probably okay just as long as it doesn’t take away from what they need. So while I should be grabbing a nap before school pick up, I decided instead to indulge in this post. Swimming through the love my daughter has expressed with her persistent requests for her favorite sandwich–toasted cheese with tomatoes and pickles.