*this was written in early February, in the messy middle of a season of fighting for my children. I hope you find encouragement from it…

No one is awake & I am alone.

I’m alone with my thoughts. I’m alone while I sit here, in this living room, feeling the pain that pumps through these vents more palpably than the heat. I’m alone with my own wounds, as I help them face their own. I’m alone with the hum of the refrigerator we should have spent more on, and the drops of rainwater hitting the deck. I can feel the need to cry. I can feel the need to wail. But more than that, I can feel the need to keep breathing, and if, for one moment, I let go, I can feel the need to sink entirely. I can feel a glass of tequila call me, as if it would make any of it go away. I can feel the nudge to go to bed, as if I could. I can feel the morning calling to my past self, “please sleep,” as if it were possible. I can feel their laughter from earlier this evening. I can feel everything. For a moment, I sit with the feeling of it all, in the silence, and inside the hum of the refrigerator. I breathe and remember what it took for me to arrive here. While my wounds still feel fresh, they are not entirely seeping.

My children need me. They need me to be a whole human. Not perfect, not completely broken in half, but what we all should be: the pieces of all of it, at once, for them to see, because we know, without doubt, it is what one day they will feel. They already do. Everything. All at once. For all time. 

Here’s to you who are holding a world of joy and suffering inside one cup that is running over. You are understood. You are heard. You are felt. You are not alone, even when you and the refrigerator disagree.