Meantime.

Time passes by so quickly these days, it seems. I have to remind myself to come up for air amidst all that we have going on. Selling a few houses, moving a few times ourselves, being a full-time student. I ran my first half marathon in December! Did I mention I have a three year old, too? It’s no lie I am busy, just like everyone else in the world. Yet… I’m at a standstill within myself- this meantime I call it.

I’m about to wrap up my second semester in graduate school next week, pursing the masters that will allow me to practice as a mental health therapist. How swift the time has been, yet it feels like I’ve been in the program all my life. In an ironic way, it’s been one drawn out life lesson for me. I can only wish I had some of these skills when I was young and naive. Sometimes I question why I needed to learn all that I have later, whereas some get it from the beginning. But, I know I already have the answer to that one. All that I have learned thus far has paralleled my own tribulations and journey to overcome. I knew I was in a bad place just three years ago, but just how bad? That reality check came as each prescription flashed across my professor’s power point. “The more drugs they need implemented, the poorer the prognosis.” My lucky number was 6.

As my eyes are buried deep within the DSM-5 and binders large enough to encompass my big family history, life all around me is moving right along. Friends are getting married, more babies are being had. So much happiness and milestones to be shared and celebrated. My heart is full. And I stand still, in this meantime, eager yet waiting for my own progression to pick up where it left off. But, I need to do this in the meantime. All the little steps to deliver immense accomplishment: bettering myself for my own good and for my family, practicing a career that I was made to do starting at 29, overcoming all my obstacles… being happy.

With my own marriage to Nick quickly approaching, I am getting married during this meantime. Literally married on Saturday, back to school on Monday. However, it’s just that right, and just that natural, that it can happen during the meantime.

And within that life moving right along is my sweet boy, my Holden. Growing and changing every day. The guilt I have brought upon myself has been my biggest battle… guilt for not being able to be with him more than I can right now, during meantime. How many pickups from school I haven’t been there for, how many dinners I haven’t cooked, the few times I’ve been absent for a tuck-in. I’d imagine this struggle is similar to that of every working mom out there. I think I feel it so heavy because I was a stay-at-home mom beforehand. Before the chaotic meantime.

Nick jokes that I won’t ever get two-and-a-half years maternity leave again! The funny thing about that is that I know that and I’m okay with that. Because after my meantime, I will be set. Time will probably be a little more predictable than when Holden was born… I guess that leads me to something else I’ve learned. I needed Holden, he needed me. My need for him was deep, he was my emotional crutch and the only thing I had control over at the time. I needed to be there for him at every minute of the day, every day of thee week, for me more than him. How grateful am I now that that time has come and passed.

Still, I have had to learn to not take one second of time with Holden for granted in this meantime. I know I shouldn’t. But sometimes the weariness and exhaustion on days where I’m so physically and emotionally drained and can’t wait for my head to hit the pillow as I wrestle Holden like an alligator just to get his pajamas pulled over his head and fight all the way through brushing all 20 of his teeth, knowing there’s a kitchen to clean, emails to respond to and papers to write… you get the point. Holden never fails to remind me himself of where my heart needs to be. Like the first time I heard, “I love you too, mommy.” Or when he asked me, “You happy now?” Or when he holds my hand and says, “You my best fwiend.” All during my meantime.

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