Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Neighborly Love

I got a little bit of love from my neighbor today. Jean lives several houses down from me, on the other side of the cul-de-sac, and was sitting outside on her front steps as the kids and I were walking home from school. She had been babysitting her five month-old granddaughter since 11am, and as we chatted, she mentioned how she'd been thinking of me, wondering how it was that I ever got anything done- since she only had the one baby and accomplished nothing all day. I began grinning from ear to ear and thanked her- for validating the fact that I don't usually get much done and that it is totally normal. This from a woman with three grown boys, I knew was heartfelt and a real verbal hug from her to me. I needed to hear those words today because as hard as I try, I mostly feel like I'm a hamster on a wheel-running fast but going nowhere. I vacuum the first level of my house twice a day and it still looks filthy most of the time. The laundry piles up like Mt. Everest and we can never find essentials like shoes, jackets, keys, etc. After my daughter, Lily, was born 10 years ago, my husband said to me, in a moment of love, that the only thing he ever expected me to get done was the feeding of my baby-everything else could wait. And to this day, he still urges me to let all of my expectations of perfection go, and just be with my kids-and forget about the house. Sometimes it works, but mostly I just feel like a failure- and that is tough to live with everyday.

Right now, I'm grateful for Jean, for her knowing how tough it is to take care of a child (or four), all day. I'm grateful for my husband who wants nothing more than my happiness and the well-being of his children. And I'm grateful that at almost 6pm, I'm still in one piece and coping with the shoes sprawled in my foyer, the blanket in the middle of the livingroom, the flour from Lily's baking extravaganza all over the kitchen tile, and the ring around my bathtub.

Sometimes it is just day by day, people, day by day.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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