Thursday, August 05, 2010

30 Months (part 2)

I'm outnumbered.

There are days when two-against-one is too much for me. It's not like they intentionally team up on me (not yet anyway) but just their combined energy has me completely overwhelmed. I go in with the best intentions, a great father outing prepared for them, something along the lines of a light lunch or simply a trip to the park, and everything is perfectly beautiful. You know, you have the sun cascading through the trees and the blue sky blanketing your idyllic moment, a cup of coffee in your hand, maybe a double because 2 plus five equals 7 and 39 divided by 7 will never add up to the amount of energy that you need to keep up with those two rascals, then you calmly sit down and try to enjoy the afternoon. Before you know it, the sun has lowered in the sky and a cool wind has lifted, caressing your delicate bones and you can't remember what it was that you did that made you so freaking exhausted.

Xtina always mentions a basic fact to new mothers who are in our social awareness, "It's amazing how so many of the difficulties with children boils down to them simply being tired." "Ahhhhh, she must need a nap" is often a common phrase we utter here in our home, as well. But it still always surprises me when it feels like it's just my brain that is tired. Can I please just have a moment where I'm not required to answer a question that I'm sure I already answered many times or read a book or settle a dispute or keep an eye out for unsettling behavior or set up the bath or practice violin or get some food in them that they will tolerate or...yeah, I could go one forever.

I remember being very specific about wanting more than one child but it wasn't like we totally planned it that way. Lucas was wonderful and easy in many ways, but no matter how much you like to fool yourself, it's damn hard taking care of that baby the first couple of years. Then you think, "Oh yeah, they're potty trained and becoming more self-sufficient, it's going to get easier." But with self-sufficiency comes a growing confident awareness that enjoys puffing out that magnificent chest. It never gets easier, who am I really fooling with that kind of talk? I knew that we were doubling our workload with Quinn but I didn't care at the time. Lucas needed a sibling. I knew that more than anything else but there are certain ramifications that come with such a narrow-minded focus.

I guess that we simply have to accept the responsibility that we've taken upon ourselves, perfectly willingly, of course. I'm really good at that when it comes to the rest of my life. I don't dwell on the inconvenient situations that arise with indignation in my heart. I just deal with it and move on because I can't control the entire world. I don't have that kind of power just yet. And I know that I don't have the power to corral my kids in a tiny cage either, nor do I want that type of relationship with them. Apparently I need to muster some inner resolve and develop my strength, so that I have the ability to influence them in the most positive way, without losing my mind in the process.

It's a push that began almost six years ago and was doubled three-and-a-half years later and it keeps moving forward. It keeps striving, which is what I always tell Lucas and Quinn when the burden to quit presses down on their heads. I suppose that I need to take my own advice and find new ways to encourage myself when an overwhelming clutch tries to shut down my own brain, because I don't want to look back on these years and have one ounce of regret.

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