Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to School Blues


cru·ci·ble

  [kroo-suh-buhl] 
noun
1.
a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to  
high temperatures.
2.
a severe, searching test or trial.
And that's just where I find myself this glorious, yet, paradoxically afflicted, morning...
Hitting snooze at 5:10 am. Shower at 5:30 am.  Coffee 5:45 am. "Hot" first day of school breakfast prep 6:20 am. You can call me Betty Crocker...at least for today. Make up on that will be cried off by the time I arrive to work 6:45 am. Snap our traditional first day of school pix at 6:50 am. It's gonna be a great first day!

 And that's where the first few hints surface..."Bye Mom." The words sink deep into my veins. After 11 years of driving Eddie to school this is the first year my chauffeur services will not be necessary. My "big" 16 year old gets in his car and drives himself into the great, big unknown. With him goes a piece of my heart and the ghost of an idea of what could have been. 

Today, would have been a "big" day for another reason, too. Jeremy crossing the great divide from Jr. High to High School. What privilege would have been his to cruise on campus with his big Bro. instead of arriving in the drop off line in mom's suburban.  Instead, he was one of the "privileged" ones to cross THE great divide unnaturally early. To finish the race before he had even really caught his stride...That's when the second wave hits me...The loss. The incredible loss that is mine to bear swims around through me like a fish out of water--choking for breath, yet desperate to live. 

But, there are other firsts to attend to...and, anyway, this is a "happy" day. Keep repeating it over and over: "I have four beautiful children. Brilliant. Well adjusted. Filled with Love. I'm grateful. I'm blessed. I can do this." 

Off to Biloxi Jr. High we go with little Miss Thaaang! Of course, Mosie has already made it clear, "Y'all are NOT walking me in." Understood. We are here to chaperone Chloe Kirby, 6th grader extraordinaire, as she makes the grand leap from elementary school to Jr. High. Chloe Girl handled it beautifully...

Finally, to North Bay we go. Our last lil grade schooler, Duke, eases into to his 4th grade classroom as smooth as ice. He was happy to discover Jason was in in his class, and Ms. Weaver has serendipitously placed them in chairs next to each other. I give it 3 days and one of them will be moved for the greater good of the learning environment, but for now, Duke smiles. I smile, too. The 2012-2013 first day drop off is complete. Coffee cup in hand I'm off to find what waits at my desk on this first day post-vacation.

Pulling out of North Bay, the 3rd blow rushes over me like a mighty river...No more swimming, no more smiling. I struggle to breathe, and fight to barely hold my head above water as I turn onto Cedar Lake. "Your Mama'z House," ironically, provides refuge. It is here I let go, and allow myself to drown. I am carried low into the dark, brackish waters where I scream at the top of my lungs, but no one hears me. I shiver like a leaf, but no one sees. I cry out to the God of my mother. The God of my father. The God of my child.  Oh, what a wretched being I've become. Black streaks now taint my freshly painted mask. A pool of vomit next to my just washed SUV. And then, on the radio, he is there: "Don't Stop Believin."  And I won't. I can't. "I have four beautiful children. Brilliant. Well adjusted. Filled with Love. I'm grateful. I'm blessed. I can do this." Wipe away the tears. Crank up the stereo. Take a deep, cleansing breath. And dive back into this paradox we call life...

2 comments:

  1. Sweet Martha- Your faith, strength, and abundant love inspires me. May you be surrounded by peace and much love when these milestones swell.
    Love from your long ago 6th grade and high school friend:)
    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mj,
    For quite some time now you have been on my mind. Reading your blog today helped make sense of the "why" you have been. You do have four beautiful children. That are brilliant and are well adjusted. And though you have suffered a loss that no one ever can truly fathom...have done an amazing job of parenting those said children. So, "Don't Stop Believin" Mj! I may not be there physically but I am in spirit. I miss seeing you and yours. Hopefully soon we can reconnect. So here is some Carolina love directed towards you!
    Andrea Lynn Moore
    btw...Carolina "blue" love too!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete