Dear Children of Mine,
You drive me crazy. I mean literally crazy. I was a completely sane person before you came into my life. Well, maybe not completely sane, but I could at least get out of the house with two matching shoes and remember other people’s names. I could even carry on the occasional intelligent conversation with the intellectual sort. These days I’m lucky if I can remember my own name. And putting a complete sentence together is a rare occurrence.
Each of you pushes me closer to the asylum in your own unique way. Omelette, you are the reason I now wish I had watched my tone with my own mother. Yes, I missed the memo about your violin recital because I was busy with one of your younger sisters. No, that did not earn you the right to speak to me as if I were stupid for not knowing what was going on. I am not stupid. One day, you will understand this. Early Bird, your refusal to stay in your bed at both nap time and bed time drains me of patience and energy, and your insistence that “Daddy do it” (whatever “it” is) means we get very little accomplished (especially when Daddy is not with us). Banging my head against a brick wall would be more productive (and less painful). Hatchling, you are too young to do much damage, but I know that as you grow, you will invent new ways to cause distress. You’ll have to in order to keep up with your sisters.
As much as the three of you push me ever closer to my breaking point, I know that I would be broken without you. Today, a man with a gun walked into an elementary school and began shooting. His bullets killed 26 people, 20 of whom were children. Tonight, there are 20 parents whose children did not come home. Of course, you don’t know this, and I wish you never had to find out that horrific and senseless things like this happen. But they do. And such things make the daily annoyances of parenting three children seem very insignificant. But, you don’t know. You didn’t see. Omelette, you did not see the tear I choked back when you hugged me at your Christmas party this afternoon. Early Bird, you don’t know what it meant to kiss your cheek tonight even as you were crying that you didn’t want to go to bed. And Hatchling, you don’t realize that this evening I held you a little closer at my breast.
When such tragedies happen, people will say that there are no words. While it is true that the emotions are much larger than verbal utterances, I have three words to share with you tonight. Hear them, my little ones, for they are the most important words you will ever hear.
(me, your mother)
(as in I would take a bullet for you)
(my smart, beautiful, wonderful girls)