No Mom Left Behind
There’s also this kind of Parenthood-in-a-Hotel:
Friday afternoon we drove four hours north so Kris could run a half-marathon Saturday morning. Inconceivably, Farrah Star woke up at 4:30am Saturday so as everyone (our friend Steph ran too so Nida and Nola and Seth were there) was busily and excitedly preparing and then leaving for Peninsula State Park in picturesque Door County, I was trapped in the hotel with my baby, trying, trying, trying to get her to sleep. I was exhausted, my nipples hurt and I was starving, but most of all I was lonely.
Seth took Arlo with the girls and I am so grateful because I had nothing to offer Arlo but endless tv and stale air. I also felt guilt for Seth having to take care of him all morning and I couldn’t shake that feeling because misery loves company so pile it on, psyche. Kris went off to race and while I feel bad both because he did it on less than a full night’s sleep and I wasn’t there to see him run any of it, most of all I just feel resentment because at least he got to be alone – which in turn made me feel guilty as Bad Mother and Bad Wife.
“Playing” in the dull and dreary hotel hallways, I was sick at the thought of strapping her in and pacing her to sleep while everyone else was out enjoying this:
I could see the slivers of sun through the closed blinds and I thought about the whole great big world outside that window and how much I didn’t matter.
I felt like shit from eating dried cereal and drinking flat soda for ten hours.
I heard people laughing in the hallway, I could feel their positive energy and I want to drag my nails across my flesh and scream.
Farrah finally fell asleep at 12:20pm, eight hours after she started her day. I knew that in a couple hours everyone would return, happy and buoyed by their experiences. Arlo would burst through the door and I would rub my eyes, retract my nails and start my real day, but most of all what I want to do was cry.
Kris and Arlo came back and as I left to get something to eat/some air to breathe/some layers shed, Farrah screamed at the abandonment. I looked at Arlo and thought how much I missed him. Kris’s leg hurt from the run but I was suffocating and that trumped his pain. It was 2:30pm.
Awash in self-pity and resentment, any perspective on such events like I had in San Francisco vanished. San Francisco was nine months and the longest winter of my life ago. I need a break but I don’t know how to take one when I purposely raised my baby to attach herself to me. Then I think about Arlo, my gorgeous, gregarious four-year-old/formerly-attached-baby who spent the whole day having a blast with his friends Nida and Nola. I look at him, marvel at his security and independence and remind myself that I did it once and I’ll do it again. It will not kill me. It was just one very long and very bad day.