I spend a lot of time complaining about the demands of motherhood. At least in private, I do. The time, the impatience, the bickering, the driving, the driving and the driving.
But it's all nothing compared to the hard of standing on the sidelines as my kid takes a hit, a rough tackle, right to the heart.
Where I fight off an irresistible urge to rush onto the field, whistle in mouth, yellow flag flying, yelling at the top of my lungs, FOUL! Illegal emotion by an offensive player!
Or in mother speak, Stop hurting my kid!
But stand there I do with
my thumb up my ass a case of sideline paralysis, here and there maybe sending in a play. When I can think up one.
Unless, of course, I get the glare.
You know, the one that says, Stay the fuck out of it, MOM.
In which case I take the role of the sounding board, uncertainty pounding in my head, offering the occasional and pathetic, Sorry she's acting like that.
I thought I'd have reached the end of those feelings by now. Stable marriage. Nice house. Beautiful kids. Good job. The adolescent angst safely tucked away in the past.
But nope. Not as a mom. This mom gets to live it all over again, in triplicate.
I didn't know it would feel like this. Standing helplessly by, feeling it all as if it were my own, powerless to do anything about it. Which is how it felt back then, too, really. Only this time with the perspective of how trivial it all is. How nothing.
But I can't convince them of that.
So for now I'll just stay put on the sidelines, hang onto the yellow flag. Or maybe offer it as a handkerchief. And have faith they'll get through it just like I did.