She gets sick and she can’t eat then she spends the week poking at her food, moving it around the plate i’m not hungry i’m just not hungry she tells me.
I don’t buy that.
I hold my tongue through the week, through a week where I feel like I’m a failure where ever I land-work is rotten and hard, home is a mess and chaos, newly confused with my father staying the winter with us. My kids seem unmoored and saddened all week long, tethered to nothing but my guilt and anger.
I lose what tentative hold I have on a good mood by Friday, and spend the evening near tears, driving to tears when a kid calls me crying when are you coming home? when we go to grab some groceries and spend a minute or three by ourselves.
I get home and ask, no, demand my daughters to me. We collapse into the spare bed, each of us snivelling our different reasons.
I’m sorry I’m a bad Mom sometimes I say this shit is hard and I don’t know what I’m doing. No one parented me at your age and I get lost, confused and tired.
They tell me I’m not a bad Mom. They tell me why their week was crappy too. Devon got mad because I made a bad pass in basketball. Chrissie called me fat. I felt like you yelled at me when something went wrong.
I knew something had happened, something I couldn’t interpret until she told me. I knew she worried at her 11 year old belly, the one that pops before you sprout up. The one that’s only made worse by shirts that don’t fit while she grows faster than I can keep up with.
I slapped my friend when she said that she says.
Good. I know it’s likely not the right response, but I don’t care. Bitches, I tell her. Some people are bitches, and we don’t want them in our lives. Bitches fill our heads with voices we don’t own.
She sighs. She’s nice most of the time.
Wouldn’t you rather someone who’s nice ALL the time?
We settle into each other, and spoon for a few minutes, quiet.
I hate weeks like these but at the same time, I love them for those moments. The minutes where it’s just us against the world, the three of us, entwined, bodies who remember. I am they and they are we.