I heard a brilliant lyric the other night that has stuck with me: In the end, at least they’ll say “she tried.”
That’s the thing with parenting a child like Sweet Pea. So much of it is sheer sticktoitiveness. Waking up, every day, and just TRYING. Not necessarily succeeding. Often times failing. But always, always trying.
Quitting is so easy these days. You don’t like something? Quit. Hate your job? Get a new one. Tired of your marriage? Get a divorce. Sick of your facebook friends? Hide them. But parenting is one of those things that you just can’t quit. No matter how hard it is, no matter how badly it hurts, no matter how much you think you stink at the task. No matter how loud she yells or how painful her words. A mother can’t be a quitter.
I’m not gonna lie. I’ve thought about it. Who hasn’t?? When Pea is in a rage and our world is upside down I can think of a million places I’d rather be. And there are times when I even say those words: I quit. Yep. I’ve said it. And I’ve run out the door and down the street. I’ve jumped in my car and driven out of the driveway. Because sometimes you just need to know you CAN.
And I raise my fist to heaven and ask God WHY and I squeeze my eyes tight hoping I’ll face a new reality when I open them. I shriek from the depths of my gut, a horrible, wailing sound; the cry of a woman in pain, in mourning for all that is and all that was supposed to be.
And then, eventually, I lift my head. I open my eyes. I inhale, and exhale, and inhale again. And that little voice in my head, the one that speaks wisdom, says you can do this. You HAVE to do this. She is yours. You cannot quit her.
And I go back inside.
At least they’ll say “she tried.”