I have something I need to explain. For a long while now, I have mothered you behind the belief that I have totally blown it. I have tiptoed and told myself, "We are starting over today," several hundred times. You have seen me cry, sometimes while I am cradling you in my arms. You have heard me scream and watched me clutch at my throat as I fold up on the floor, trying and failing to take deep breaths. You have heard me say, "You deserve so much better," and "I am not fit for this," and "Look at me, I am insane!" I failed to shield you from the darkest moments of my life, and I thought that meant I failed. Period.
Tonight I drove myself to yoga and left you at home with your father. Earlier on in my motherhood, back when I felt guilt more than anything else when it came to considering myself and how I was doing, I would have never asked to go somewhere alone. What if you needed me, and I was not there? It would be just another failure to add to my running list. But tonight I got a spot right in front of a heater, felt that sacred sensation of toxins both physical and emotional leaving my body as I sweat all over my mat, and I just breathed. I expected nothing from myself, and it felt good. And afterward, I thought maybe I could try that outside of the yoga studio--not having any expectations, especially for myself. Maybe I can just be thankful that I am here with you now as one of you sleeps in the bend of my arm and the other just across the room, that I am breathing and so are you and I know it by the rise and fall of both of your tiny chests.
And as I go to that place, I find myself looking back on where I am coming from and seeing it differently. I feel the growth, which is somehow so uncomfortable and reassuring at the same time, and realize it is good. I am glad you were there to witness where I was and to watch me change, because maybe one day you will fall apart and you will recall seeing me do so. And you will know I was okay. You will know it got better. You will know it was a season, and seasons change even though a bitter Winter can feel never-ending when you are in the dead of it. Poor mental health will not be a stranger to you, and healing will not be, either, because you have seen what you've seen.
And I do not think that is a failure. I do not think that is a failure at all.
I love you both with every fiber of my insane soul,