George and I had a bad fight. The kind of fight that sends you off limping and licking your wounds. The kind that makes you wonder whether the wounds are fatal to your relationship. They never are, but you wonder.
I just wrote a post about my tendency to push myself beyond my limits, which turns me into a little dictator and my family into my little minions. The opposite is also true. I get mired down in the tar pits of inertia. Life's challenges set up camp in my head and I react by retreating. The sink full of dishes goes undone, emails remain unanswered, writing gets neglected.
My heavy heart feels like a character defect, unworthy of my compassion.
I write this blog partially to give voice to the things about myself that I find vulnerable or that some may find unsavory. I wish to give them air to try and release them, so that I can, then, focus on being a better person for my daughter. Sometimes, I feel at a loss as to how to do that. Sometimes, I am reminded that I am flawed. Sometimes, I wish that I could be relieved of the responsibility of caring for Claire, just for awhile.
I feel more frightened by my reaction to life's rough spots, now that I have Claire. When I am in this place, I struggle with finding the balance between so many things: taking care of me and taking care of my daughter; showing my daughter that I am a flawed woman, while being a safe, constant presence in the world for her; teaching her that we are all complex and weak, while striving to be a good example of what's right about humanity as well.
I try to tell myself that my daughter won't be deeply scarred by a sink full of dishes. I remind myself that I have chosen to let some things go, so that I can focus what little extra energy I have on her. I remember that I don't withhold any love and attention from her, when I feel this way. I tell myself that she's too young to know that I'm in a messed-up space or that there is a sink full of dishes anyway. God has given me time to get my act in order.
But what if I don't get my act together in time? All I can do is believe.
I don't aspire to be like Donna Reed. Or, for those too young for the reference, we will never be the Cosby's. I know that George and I are not going to stop fighting every now and then. I know that life is going to suck sometimes. What I don't know is how to react better when I feel pummeled by the world. I want Claire to learn to be more resilient than me. Hell, I want me to be more resilient than me!