I know I said last week that the next several columns might be “greatest hits” reruns, but this week, I just missed oversharing with all of you Internet friends I’ve never met.
This could be a long and meandering column because not much is orderly in my life in this season. Right this moment, there are boxes and bins of spring/summer clothes covering the floor upstairs, I haven’t sorted and swapped the seasons and sizes yet. There are several suitcases and overnight bags in various stages of unpack strewn in bedrooms. My laundry is only caught up because my sweet mother-in-law was here last week for spring break.
School papers and craft projects are mixed in the homework inboxes, report cards need to be signed and a proper grocery run hasn’t happened in over three weeks. Empty plastic Easter eggs litter every square inch of the playroom, and discarded candy wrappers keep appearing even though I swear I put all the candy on the top shelf. Softball equipment is scattered around the garage, dropped and forgotten after two girls finish a combined two practices and four games every week. Let’s not even talk about my van, refuge for discarded toys and stale snacks.
Last week was my last week at a job I’ve had for 15 years, and my first week as a full-time work-from-home freelance writer/editor. Don’t forget that we spend almost every weekend back home with my Dad, who is under hospice care as a result of a battle with gastric cancer.
I. Am. Weary.
Every psychology expert in the world will hypothesize that this many major life changes in this short a time will wreak havoc on your mental health. I am here to say, “Hypothesis confirmed.” Last Friday when I was packing my kids’ suitcases to head west, I found myself frozen, standing in the girls’ closet holding a cheerful Easter dress, on the verge of tears.
Hubby walked in and I was no longer on the verge. It was an honest-to-goodness ugly cry. Snot bubbles and everything. I put down Lu’s Easter dress and embraced the breakdown. Hubby was a good sport and pretended not to be grossed out and/or freaked out by this uncharacteristic display of emotion.
I got myself together, packed our bags and we got on the road. When we were almost home, my stepmom texted me. Something we had been expecting finally happened — on Good Friday, my stepmom’s mama sheep, G, had her first baby. A perfectly white, beautiful and healthy boy. A lamb.
Do I even need to tell y’all how beautiful and amazing that was for me? I’m pretty sure I’ve told you I’m a pretty big Jesus fan, but come on. I got to go see that sweet baby lamb and hold him and pet his snowy white hair and watch him discover the outside world. All of that on Easter weekend when I am just defeated but I want to be victorious.
I’m not going to lie and say that all of the above chaotic elements of life are remotely under control, or that I am not a little bit (OK, a lot) of an emotional hot mess right now. But just that small, sweet reminder of grace and mercy and comfort was such a bright spot in a dark time.
I have made it my policy to be as open and honest as I can in this column, because I think that’s why you all read it. Because you know you’re not the only one who calls your kids jerks, or doesn’t conform to that Williamson County lifestyle, or is still a little bit redneck and not ashamed. And who can admit when she’s down.
I won’t pretend that the next several months will be easy, but I will be honest about where I am and whether I am up to finding the lighter side every week. But when I’m not, I’ll gladly repeat some of the fun ones to keep you laughing, and I’ll provide regular reports on the ugly-cry-induced snot bubble status as well.
Overheard at the salon: All she needs is a feather boa and she’s a Vegas showgirl-in-waiting.