Typical morning. This one. I turned on the lights and uttered "Good morning!" to my youngest, who stayed stock still in bed as I picked an outfit from her closet. After I wrestled clothes on to this lovely four year old, picked her boneless frame off the floor (where it slid like spaghetti when I told her I had to make her bed) and carried her into the bathroom where she refused to brush her own teeth (again), I ran upstairs to wake my 14 year old son who shuts off his alarm every day and goes back to bed. He was, as predicted, wrapped in covers and groaned when I turned on the light. I ran back downstairs to see the toddler with dragon breath still standing, holding a brush with toothpaste on the bristles nowhere near her teeth yet, and, over my shoulder, quickly reminded her that “it’s nearly time to eat.” In the kitchen, I was snapped at by my teenage girl who took a harmless question about Halloween as an accusation, watched her shoulders slump as her tone clipped a dark “I’m going to school,” as she closed the door. The teenage boy slumped downstairs with greasy hair long enough for me to turn him around with the question, “When is the last time you showered?” When he appeared, wet-haired on a frozen October day, the four year old was at the table eating breakfast. He heads out the door for the train, and now I only have to drive said 4-year old to preschool… where she didn't have slippers. So, I drove home (again) myself to get slippers and drove back with slippers only to be told in an injured voice that I brought the wrong ones. But I was out of time. I got in my car and let the tears spill.
Parenting is the hardest job in the world. As a single parent, I feel like the piece that I miss most -- that I believe might make it easier -- is that there isn’t anyone to share the tough stuff with. There isn’t anyone who says, “I saw you handle it all and you were amazing.” There isn’t anyone who takes part of the load, not even part of the time.
That’s when the tears become the companion. And I let it all go.