It's a dark, dank day with wind that seems to be coming from every direction and throws cold rain in my face. The children have been bickering and fighting and I'm digging deep for reserves of patience that I can't find. Our house is particularly wintry today.
Lord - here you are. I'm dumping today in front of you because it's only eleven o'clock and I've had enough of it already. Last night I had one unsettling dream after another - about having experiments performed on me, about everyone laughing at me, about collapsing in front of a crowd of people. Getting up time seemed like the middle of the night, which is never a good thing.
It's funny how the glass seems sometimes half full and sometimes half empty, isn't it? The other day we were marvelling how some of last years apples are still clinging onto the trees in the garden despite the fierce weather we've had recently. We commented on how they glowed in the light of a low winter sun, looking like little orange lanterns in the trees. Today they just look brown and rotten and even the birds don't want them. The trees themselves seem more gnarled and covered in lichen than they usually do. I have been reliably informed that there are two snowdrops out in the garden already and it's a sign that Spring is on it's way - but you can't see them from the kitchen window and I can't be bothered to put on a few more layers to go out and have a look. Spring seems a long way away.
Grump grump grump.
I've said that the children can do whatever it is they do on their gadgets; some mindless game that causes hilarity and squabbling in pretty much equal measure. I know I should be playing games with them or doing a jigsaw or baking or designing a family mural for the stairwell or finding a cure for world poverty or something, but I haven't the energy. I just need five minutes. Or more. Five years, maybe.
I've got a cup of coffee here but it went cold while I was adjudicating in the lengthy argument about the blue felt tip pen. I put it in the microwave a moment ago only to find already in there was a coffee from earlier and for some reason I burst into tears.
Lord, you know what? There are times when I don't want to be with my children.
There. I've said it.
I feel very guilty that I said it and even guiltier that I think it from time to time. It's supposed to be different from that, isn't it? I'm supposed to be delighted with them twenty-four hours a day and constantly thinking up new ways to celebrate our family-ness. I don't think I'm very good at that. Sometimes it all gets to me and I want to run away and hide and not come out again. And then I feel guilty for not revelling in the undoubtedly precious gift of my girls. If I'm honest this happens quite a lot. Is there something wrong with me?
You know that I love them. You know how much I love them. You know my strengths and weaknesses and you'll know that my current state of being is down to a mixture of lack of sleep, a cold, the time of year, hormones and good old self indulgent bad mood.
I can't do anything about the first four and I don't want to do anything about the last one. It would take too much effort to be cheerful right now.
I don't suppose it's any co-incidence that I haven't been talking with you much for a while. I find that when I stick close to you, hanging onto you, following in the footsteps like the page following King Wenceslas, then I feel better. Safer. More secure. But maybe gradually I've dropped back until the snow covered the footprints, and then for a bit I tried to find them so I could catch up, and then I stopped trying because it got too hard and so I sat down in the snow and felt sorry for myself.
So I'm a bit adrift. Help me. I don't think I'm doing so well at anything today. At being a mummy, at being me. At being your child.
I'm going to see if I can find those snowdrops.
Brr. Cold out there. But there are indeed, just as Mum said, two little snowdrops that are just in bud. They'll flower in the next few days. A little bit of hope in this miserable, colourless season. A little bit of purity and beauty creeping up on us out of the mud and dead plants and fallen leaves of the season left behind. A bit of the future; a bit of promise.
That's what I'm needing today. A bit of something positive. A little bit of peace.
I feel like a child today. I feel like howling and stamping and saying, 'But what about me? What about what I want?' but I'm a grown up and I'm not allowed to any more. And I probably should have feelings like that under control by now, but they bubble up to the surface sometimes and it's all I can do to sort of squash them so that people don't know how juvenile I can be. How selfish.
I don't want to be like that.
Thankyou for letting me get this off my chest. I do feel a bit lighter since I had a moan.
I'm going to hang onto those little snowdrops. I'm going to go and see them again tomorrow. I shall watch as they unfurl into that tiny intricate little bit of early Spring. I hope that the snow doesn't come and cover them up. I hope that the crocuses and daffodils aren't far behind. I hope that the sun comes out soon.
Lord, I don't know if you ever just got out of bed the wrong side but thank you that you understand the whole range of human emotions and you don't condemn us for experiencing any of them.
Thankyou that there's always another chance. Thankyou that even when I wallow in self pity for no real good reason you always care enough to help me up and brush me down. Thankyou for forgiving me and loving me all over again.
I'm going to go and see if the girls will make room for me on the sofa.