Strike Here

April 14, 2012

Over the years, I’ve come to learn that being a wife and mother is like being the captain of the  ship called Family…and my son would generally attest to the fact that I am unequivocally at the helm and yet for some time now I’ve felt as though I’m just hanging onto the edge of the sail as it  flaps in the breeze of inevitable change. Living with two young women – one teen/one pre-teen/and then of course, throwing  into the mix, emotions can sometimes run unpredictably high. While I can relate and understand it all intellectually, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I feel as though I am sometimes living with a box matches, and as the mother, I am the flint. So no matter how far back I stand, once struck – poof! It all goes up in flames. Now, of course, it all quickly dies down as I try to make every effort to toss a bucket of soothing water on things, having been there as a young woman not so long ago (or so it feels!)… and yet, although a sense of calm and gentle voices and smiles quickly return…somehow,  I still feel slightly burned.

My women friends who have survived this time in their mothering  careers are always quick to remind me that “this too shall pass” and that’s it’s just a phase…and I get that, I really do. But I think that for me it goes deeper than just teen angst – I think it gets all wrapped up into the ball that my own mother and certain close friends who older warned of. They spoke about losing their sense of self; their personal identity – a notion that I pish-poshed years ago….but now, standing in my kitchen and catching a glimpse of my reflection in the microwave oven door as the smoke dissipates, I look at the woman with the fabulous new hair cut (just had it done) and wonder how it is that I can look so fabulously fresh and young and feel so worn at this moment.

My husband, who is always the voice of reason both inside and out of my head, most definitely supports me yet at the same time somehow manages to have the clarity to see the alternative way that I could have handled things…and he’s right….he’s always quite truly and absolutely right. I can be too emotional….but then again, I am the one holding the matchbox.

I guess I have to learn to hold the “strike here” side away from myself.

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