Strengthened, I again am able to nurture. I use diet, not drugs, to combat Missy Older’s allergies. I make an effort to teach Older Dude to share our garden with our neighbors, our toys with our visitors, and our living room with Missy Younger. I show Older Dude and Missy Older how to use words to stop bullies. I gift myself with affirmations.
Other times, I don’t rally. I leave Mount Laundry and its hilly offspring on our beds. Dishes tower past engineering probabilities in our sink. I neglect letters. I curse my midwives.
Yet, parenting humbles me. I work on a novel in one hour increments and grade final exams between wash cycles. I hire a trainer instead of driving to a gym. I remind myself that Missy Older and Older Dude are analytical, not whiny. I “forget” to make play dates with the mommies whose company I don’t enjoy.
Eventually, Missy Younger falls asleep at my breast. The oldest cat curls up in the sun with the other cats. Older Dude and Missy Older construct a tissue box train. I microwave a glass of chamomile tea and consider reheating dinner, but, in the end, elect to leave that chore for my husband; I’m too busy raising our children.