Sometimes Mommy Makes Bad Choices
Depression hit me hard last week, like a sudden bout of flu.
The baby has been sick, too. All he wants to do is sleep on my chest and all I want to do is let him.
He cries in the night and my dreams flit away like dragonflies.
In the morning I take the toddler to the bookstore so he can play at the train table. I carry my journal and a pen under one arm, thinking maybe I’ll get a moment to write. I don’t. I carry it back to the car, unopened. A symbol of the sacrifice I’m making: a forestalling of creative dreams.
If I wrote, would I feel better?
I take photos of myself writing and post them to social media with quotes about writing and that is a form of writing, is it not? I type in another author’s words: hashtag #amwriting, hashtag #writerslife, hashtag #avoidance, hashtag #desperation, hashtag screaming “SHUT UP” at the top of my lungs to the toddler in the back seat of the car, because I’m trying to have a conversation with my husband about trying to find a therapist and the kid won’t let me talk; he assaults me with his noise.
I think maybe if I bare fangs, if I let the worst part of myself show, then maybe it will scare him into submission.
It doesn’t. He screams back: “NO!”
Later I apologize to him, in the closet, as we're putting on jammies and getting ready for bed. Remember in the car, when Mommy yelled at you? She's sorry.
He reminds me: “We don’t yell at people.”
I say, “I know. Sometimes Mommy makes bad choices.”
And he says, “Sometimes I do, too.”
He has so much to teach me, this beautiful, resilient boy.