I cried tonight.
It caught me utterly and completely by surprise, and yet there was no surprise at all. Actually, I wanted to cry so badly last week that I scheduled a time for it. I promised myself that if I could just get through the morning, and get the twins to therapy, and then get them to preschool, I could cry for a solid 90 minutes, and still have time to pull myself together before I picked them up. But then I remembered I had to go to the bank and the pharmacy, which still left me about an hour for my waterworks. And then the school called, and Fighter had a fever, so I picked both of the twins up and brought them home and made snacks and got Superhero off the bus, and it passed.
I wanted to cry for so many reasons. The utter exhaustion from being everyone’s everything. The fear and confusion of not knowing what my boys need, but being completely certain I’m not giving it to them. The unfairness of my non-smoking, non-drinking mother battling cancer, the frustration of not being able to find the house that could be our home, the worry, concern, and anger as I watch my husband struggle, more than a year later, with an injury caused by the negligence of a system that doesn’t even care enough to apologize. And so much more.
But I didn’t cry. I pulled myself together and I picked up my boys and we went on with our lives.
Tonight, though, there was no going forward. Because today, we got the preliminary results from the evaluations we’ve been waiting on for months. My creative, intelligent Superhero has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as (most likely) Asperger’s Syndrome. My little Fighter is Autistic. And my beautiful, loving Artist needs to have an MRI and CT scan to confirm a brain abnormality.
These are the same three little boys I had yesterday, last week, last month, last year. And yet the task of raising them suddenly seems so daunting, so impossible, that I don’t even know how to breathe.
How can I do this? They need so much, and they need it from me, and I just don’t know if I have it to give. And that’s not even touching on the overwhelming guilt—what on earth did I do to my children? Three children with such amazing challenges: how could that NOT, at least in some ways, be MY fault?
And so I put my children to bed, made sure they were asleep, and then I cried. I cried not in mourning for the children I don’t have, but in agony for the amazing children I DO have, and the mother they need that I’m not sure I can be. I cried in fear for a marriage already shaken by the stress of the last few years—can it possibly stand more? I cried for my mother, who I am sure is frightened and angry and frustrated in her own right, and whose only daughter is so caught up in her own world that she has little to offer. I cried because I don’t know what the future holds, but I suspect I simply am not up to confronting it.
And I cried because sometimes, there is just nothing else you can do.
Tonight, I cried.
Tomorrow, I will pull myself together and gather my boys into my arms, and we will go on with our lives.
Because sometimes, there is just nothing else you can do.