We spend our days, all of them, fighting currents and sharks and jellyfish and exhaustion. Stressors, distractions, those things in life trying to pull us down and bury us: Addiction. Disease. Our own, sometimes bad choices.
Somewhere, to one side or another, at least for a time, we each have our team. Those there to help us, keep us fed, keep us safe, keep the dangers off our back.
No one can just throw a few bananas in their pack and make the long and terrifying swim alone. Everyone needs help.
It’s silly and unavoidable to refuse it.
Everyone’s swim, everyone’s journey, everyone’s obstacles are different.
Me? It is, amazingly enough, mostly the uphill battle of that oft earned (sometimes too easily) title of “mommy.”
I’m pretty sure that every mother, especially every single mother, has fought to battle and, at one point or another, been caught by the shark (or jellyfish or cramp) of considering themselves a “bad mother.” We, at times, resent our children. Or we, at times, find ourselves fighting an urge to smack them for something they’ve said or done. Or we, at times, do things and make choices that take us away from our children, sometimes for short periods, sometimes long. Or, at times, we pressure them too much (or perhaps we are too lax?) We let them watch too much TV or eat too many sweets. We are all, at times, “bad mothers.”
We can continue fighting, continue swimming through that ocean of life or, if necessary, we can allow one of those helpers to pull us out, bring us to safety and allow us to start again.
I’ve had to start back at the beginning of that “mommy” swim with my kids a couple of times. I’ve needed those friends to keep me fed and needed those lifeboats to pull me out before I drowned.
But I always find a way to get back in, swim back out, and keep moving onward.
I want to make it, but there are times I can’t see that other end of dry land and I want nothing more than to stop kicking. Going down, sometimes, is easier than going on?
But then there’s my kids, blonde curls and all, cheering me on from the boats, or the beach, and telling me I can keep swimming if I just keep trying.
Some day I’ll get it right. And make it to shore. And they’ll be there waiting with their version of a ticker tape parade.