You don’t notice what is going on. Things just unfold. Unravel. Pull a tail of yarn and watch the whole thing unknit, loop after loop, hours of work reduced to a tangled pile of kinked yarn. An opportunity. A story untold.
Harry fell apart tonight. He’d been a grump all day, except during his ballroom dancing class, but tonight he had a flare up with Ben which devolved into a screaming match with Mark, which devolved into tears and rage and pain. I’ve been saying how Harry’s been handling it the best of any of us. Strong and even-keel. What was I thinking? Of course he was burying it until his storage cell was full to bursting. This is his way. No one has asked how he’s doing, he said. No one seems to care if he’s alright or not.
Ben fell apart yesterday. Long rainy hours spent curled under a blanket on the window seat watching the clouds, the beginning of a new storm. And finally one question from me and the tears, the real sobbing, the unfairness of it all rushing forward, like the floodwaters. Those gray and heavy clouds don’t help his mood. It’s so hard to wait. The anticipation is a deep agony he’s feeling. I’m feeling.
Toby calls me to him every morning as I tromp to the front door in my mucky boots, on my way to feed the animals and clean the pasture. “Mama, come sit with me.” I put him off until I return. And then I sit on the edge of his “bed,” our sofa, where he’s recently taken up residence. At night, after Mark read him a chapter of his book and sings him a playlist of favorite nighttime songs, he still calls to me. “Mama, come down here. I need to talk to you.”
Sometimes I have to push Mark away. He asks for me to be there with him in those blank moments at the break of day when I’m finally, fully in the depths of sleep. He cuddles and nudges me to the surface for his attention time. I am most cruel to him then, but sometimes I can catch myself. He needs me, too. We need me.
Lately, I drag myself away from whatever I’m trying to accomplish, my to do list for tomorrow, sleep, a snack, an email, my knitting, a distraction. “Ok, in a sec,” I say. I could just say no, I’m busy, and sometimes I do actually tell them all, “I need time for me.” But right now me-time seems to be far down the list, as much as I attempt to push it to the top, like a mother dolphin pushes her baby up to the air, I push myself and my needs up to breathe.