Right now I feel as though if I were touched or spoken to, I might shatter like glass under pressure. Every nerve is jangling from the noise and bickering and touching and needing. It has been one of those afternoons when everyone is hurting and taking it out on each other and I wonder what on earth I am doing - why am I here?
It started the way it always starts, these terrible days, with me already feeling tired and wanting to be alone. For me, my period means a drop in milk supply, and Talia responded as babies tend to, by wanting to nurse more. For me, it also means operating at slightly-dehydrated-headache level. I don't tend to drink enough as it is, but at this time of the month I need to be drinking more. And I don't remember the whole "put on your own oxygen mask first" thing until it's too late.
So by the time they have all hurt each other and emptied the bookcase (again) and torn up a journal and hurt each other some more... When Martin walked in, I was in tears. At least at that point if I'd run screaming from the house there would be another adult who could not possibly do a worse job than I had!
What is it that keeps me here, that ties me to them, to this life, so that I could never escape it no matter how far I ran? What is it that keeps me loving them on the worst of days? If you offered me a trade, even right now, I wouldn't take it - couldn't. But oh! I understand now how it is that, from time to time when everything is breaking, a parent could.
In the crook of my arm, the heavy head of my baby rests so gently. Her skinny shoulders are still downy. Her eyelids like bruised rose petals, her mouth dimpled and her cheeks cool to the touch. The need that terrifies and overwhelmed me before steadies me now. She needs me. It is enough.