I have officially gone grey. The nice people tell me it means I have wisdom to share, and I’ll agree, the hair on my head tells a story.
Certainly, I’m grey from breastfeeding day and night for over six years.
I’m grey from the tantrums in the grocery store over Goldfish crackers and sparklers, and about the whining over dinner resulting in the consumption of said orange crackers.
I’m grey from the tears about bedtime. Every damn night. There’s always one who still needs to pee, one who refuses to brush their teeth, always one who needs a motivational speech to do the whole rest thing.
I’ve gone grey from all the lunch packing at the last minute each morning, from the sweeping of the floor four times a day and from wiping boogers off their face. And from the walls. And from the cupboards.
I’m grey from the sleep deprivation, remembering my last good stretch was between months 5 and 6 during my last pregnancy- that little window when Millie moved out of the bed and before I needed a bulldozer to turn me over.
I’ve gone grey from the late night emergency visits, and really, from those moments that feel thankless, when all they need is more.
Because there is always more.
I’m grey from the main side effect of parenthood, which is surrendering to my heart being ripped wide open, for eight years running and tired from the constant state of vulnerability.
The month of March is bleak and April is confused. I find myself getting cagey, and truthfully, by my own volition. But alas, it is now May, but still, the yard is peppered in winter’s chicken shit, wood, upturned bikes, loose mittens and styrofoam.
Last week the girls wanted to go on a walk, and with my husband obliging I was tempted to refuse. Those boogers were still waiting for me to clean them, and my body yearned to stare at a tub wall. But still, I went. And it was in squatting in six inches of muck that I realized if Mayflowers can unfurl amongst beer cans in a boggy highway ditch, then surely I can get my ass past this grey winter.
If coltsfoot can bloom between cracks in the road, I can keep going too. If crocuses can emerge with snowy tops, if peepers are reborn in frost laden fields and sing anyways, then I can find motivation.
Nature doesn’t complain and Spring always comes. And it’s just the kick in the ass I needed after a season of ass kicking to get out and get going.
The baby turned one a couple of weeks ago, and I was in total denial about it all, refusing a party or celebration. For me it was a reminder that a whole year has passed since I truly felt on top. Since I last felt like I could take on anything. Since I last felt totally vulnerable in the best of ways. Luckily though, that feeling needn’t be replicated to be remembered. I get to carry that with me for a lifetime.
I need to choose gratitude. For my body that can still squat in a ditch, and for the boots atop my crayon pedicured toes for walking mucky bogs.
I may still be wearing pyjama pants at 3pm again, my grey hairs standing more prominent than even a week ago, but we are out, and for it, my kids are smiling all at the same time today, all three.
All five of us.
Gratitude is a practice, they say, and sometimes I can forget to breathe it in.
Still working on the wisdom thing.