Thursday, October 27, 2011

Room to Breathe

Tuesday night I went to bed at 10, woke up at 1, read until 3:30 and then had this crazy nightmare:

I was stuck in traffic when three guys jumped into my car and ordered me into the back seat.  One guy was rummaging through my purse while another was checking out my cell phone.

"Take my purse, my car, whatever you'd like,"  I told them.

"Do you have kids?"


"What do you do?"

"I stay home."

"How can you stay home and afford this nice car?"

Next thing I know I'm in a house in the middle of some subdivision.  The whole house is full of women.  Some of the ladies were sitting out on the back patio very relaxed.

"How can you just be relaxing like this?  We out number our captors.  We can get organized and break out of here!"  I said.

One worn out woman took a drag on her cigarette and let her smoke out as she said, "they actually take pretty good care of us here.  It's kind of nice really."

I went into the house where the rooms teemed with more women.  I suddenly realized that the boys would be getting home from school soon and that Aaron was out of town.  I had to call and make sure my bases were covered at home.  I found the House Hostess.

"Look, I know this isn't jail but I need to make at least one phone call.  My kids are going to be home unattended."

"Oh, sure.  You can make as many phone calls as you'd like.  That's how we make our money."

I found the old rotary in the corner of the breakfast table.  I wanted to call Aaron or Caren but did not know their numbers because they were on my cell phone.  I dialed my mother's "real life" phone number and it rang at my "real life" house.  (Make sense?) 

"This is Drew."

"Drew!  Hey baby!  It's Mommy!  I'm so sorry I'm not there!  There is an emergency though and so I need you to go tell Mrs. Caren to call Daddy and tell him to return home."

"Mrs. Caren is here,"  Drew said.

Thank goodness!  I'm sure Caren is wondering where I am and why I did not make plans for someone to tend to the kids.

"Let me talk to her Drew!" 

Drew gave Caren the phone.

In a groggy and thick voice Caren answered with: "I'm really sick..."

"Oh no!  I'm sorry you don't feel well and I'm sorry you are having to watch my kids but listen, I've been kidnapped!  I need you to call Aaron and have him come home."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes!  Please call Aaron and I'm so sorry again that you are stuck with the kids."

After getting off the phone I watched some ladies break the front window to make a hole.  One lady crawled through to see if one could fit through it and then she came back in.

She was out and free.  Why did she come back in?

Then I saw my friend Christina.

"Huh.  Fancy seeing you here," I say to her.

"I know, right?"  she seemed just as confused.

I became belligerent and loud about getting out and going home.  One of the "bad guys" somehow made me bite the end of a pen and I immediately felt the effects of some drug.  I fought the effects of the drug and then wailed punches on the man who then hit me so hard he knocked me back into my conscious and was awake.

It's was 5:30.

I laid there reviewing the dream and trying to shake off the fear that gripped me.  I found it amusing that while I was in peril I apologized to Caren for having to keep the kids. 

So typical of a woman.

The dream was obviously about domesticity.  I love and am blessed to be a Stay Home Mom and I'm very happy in it.  I do wish I was able to be more involved in musical theater which is why I guess Christina was "trapped" in the house with me.  (She is currently on a national tour of The Heights, lucky broad.)  I could peel and dissect that whole dream (so much symbolism) but I won't.

I called a girlfriend of mine today:

"How you doin'?"  I asked.

*Sigh* "It's been a really rough morning," she confessed.  "My daughter had a 'Five Alarm' in the middle of the store today in front of some of our friends.  I tried to calm her down but everything I did only made it worse until we were both screaming at each other.  It was awful!"

"Girl I've been there!  In fact this morning I dropped the F-Bomb on the boys."


"Oh yeah.  I said 'I'm so fucking tired of always being late.'  Only I didn't say it like that.  I screamed it.  I screamed the F-word at my sons."

"Really?  That's great!  Now I don't feel so bad."

"Yeah, it's not us.  It's them," I joked.  "I felt so bad and had to apologize of course.  Let me just say they were perfect the whole ride to school and Drew thanked me again for making his Halloween costume.  Every morning I give them a 10 minute warning for Go Time.  I walk through the house reminding them of everything they need to have. Shoes? Back pack? Coat?  They say they got it all and then as I'm grabbing the keys someone yells, 'wait mom!  I can't find my shoes!'  It takes those boys 200 years to get out the door.  The thing that gets me is that I have good kids.  Really good kids.  Can you imagine the terror I would be if they were jerks?  I would be spending time at bars more then coffee shops that's for sure!"

"After 'The Incident' the cashier greeted me and I just started crying.  She and another woman said they totally understood."

"Of course they do!  Everyone's kids act like a turd at some point and every one of us handle it poorly at LEAST once.  Good Lord, I can't tell you how often I've had to apologize to my kids.  Boo...  But we can't beat ourselves up about it.  We gotta dust ourselves off and try again."

"Thank you so much for telling me your story!  It has made me feel so much better!"

Ladies, Mommies, get real.  We can't do it all and we can't always do it right.  We've got to be kinder to ourselves.  Strive to do your best and have grace for youself when you miss the mark.  We will go crazy trying to be a "Disney Mom" all the time.  We are real women and real people screw up.

It meant so much to my friend to hear how badly I behaved this morning that I thought I'd share it with all of you.  It was not a proud moment, to be sure, but I hope it gives you room to breathe.

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