This is Why

I sat here working through this upcoming week’s budget, with Chase sitting on the floor next to me. He was drawing out a Venn diagram about maps of Pennsylvania. Suddenly he started talking gibberish, and I looked down beside me – he had headphones on, was writing away and singing to whatever was playing through his tablet and into his ears. I grinned. I stopped worrying over finances, I stopped worrying about all the things that need to be done tonight before I can go to bed, and just listened to my little and his gibberish singing.

This is why.

Just little moments like this when I can see them happy and healthy and being themselves without fear of what others may think . . .

I have spent the last three days not well – Progressively worse from Monday on. On Tuesday I went to the doctor and was told that I have an inner ear infection in my left ear, likely a remnant from my illness in late August. I pushed myself through the day, through making dinner, finally finding relief in my bed after ten o’clock in the evening.  I gave into the illness briefly on Wednesday and spent the day in bed with crackers and Coca-Cola watching YouTube videos on Rosalyn, instead of going to work or writing or keeping tabs on my EJ posts. Neither of my articles placed this week. That’s okay. There’s always next week, and I have a good one in the editing process.  I needed yesterday in bed, because I was bound and determined to not get knocked on my ass for another week and half. 

I woke this morning, and I didn’t feel great. . . but I knew I felt well enough to fake myself out and fake my way through the day.  So, I turned up my music, took my meds and jumped into the shower. 

{But if I sing along/A little fucking louder/ to a happy song
I’ll be alright}

Bring me the Horizon started my day off just right, and I did what I set out to do. . . I had to drink Coca-Cola throughout the day to keep my stomach from cramping up, and Motrin was my friend, but I made it.

Sophia had been the one to notice it, as she worked in my office today.  “How are you feeling?” she asked as we closed out of our respective computers for the evening.

“Fucking tired,” I told her truthfully, and sighed heavily.

“I figured.”

And that’s all she said.  She didn’t give me shit for coming to work when maybe I should have rested at home another day; she didn’t give me sympathy though, either. Because I think she knows.  She knows who she’s dealing with, and it’s a stubborn individual that didn’t need to be lectured or given sympathy. I knew what I was doing when I went to work today.  I appreciate that about her.  She’ll put her foot in my ass if and when I need it.  But she also tends to know when I don’t need it. . . or when it will fall on deaf ears.

This is why.

As I drove home, I knew I had breakfast on the menu for dinner but knew I didn’t have it in me to whip up pancakes, either.  I felt the tired in my bones.  So, I opted for leftover taco salad for me;  Matt made a turkey wrap, and Chase had nachos.  We sat there eating, and the normal hilarity and shenanigans kept me laughing despite the tiredness that threatened to weigh me down.

This is why.

I forced myself to clean up the kitchen, to put laundry away, and sat down to start going over Chase’s work with him, and my weekly budget. 

And that’s when I looked down and saw my little next to me, singing and working on his own work while I worked on mine.

I got a message from a friend going through a hard time, and from another who thanked me for encouraging her to publish through EJ, and another from Oliver about some of his recent endeavors. . .

This is why.

I sat and read to Chase this evening after homework was done, and when Matt came downstairs to get a snack, I joked with him a little.  I went to tuck Chase into bed, and was met with, “Watch this, Momma!”

We all know that’s a child’s famous last words, but before I could tell him not to do whatever he was planning to do, he proceeded to try and do a backwards roll on his bed like he does on the trampoline. I heard a solid thud as his knee met with his mouth.  He laid there on his back in shock for a moment, and then burst into tears.  I sat down beside him on the bed, looking for blood in his mouth or any obvious signs of injury.  He shook with sobs – I knew that shit hurt – and I urged him to stop crying so I could check him over.  I first checked his mouth, making sure he hadn’t knocked any teeth loose.  I then pulled up his pajama pant leg and checked his knee . . and couldn’t help but laugh. 

“What?” he asked me, stopping mid sob.

“You’re going to have a perfect tooth shaped bruise,” I informed him.  And suddenly he wasn’t crying anymore but laughing with me.  I was able to tuck my little one into bed laughing and not crying.

This is why.

This is why I do all that I do.  This is why I push myself to my limits. This is why I don’t sleep enough and work so hard to keep moving forward.  This is why when I can fake myself into being okay – be it physically, mentally, or emotionally – I do it.  Because I don’t have time to be knocked down, for any reason.  I may be tired to my core, I may hurt in ways that no one will ever understand, I may be in my own personal hell at times. . . but I show up to life.  Every. Single. Fucking. Day. Because of my kids and because of my friends and because of my family. My kids deserve to be able to have a carefree childhood. My friends and family deserve to know that they can contact me no matter what, and I’ll be there.   Because I was taught to never give up.  Because I don’t view giving up as an option – and at the same time, I don’t view any part of this life as an obligation, either.  I enjoy being stubborn and proving people wrong.  I enjoy doing things that a lot of people shy away from.   I enjoy being the solid one, the one that doesn’t waiver when shit is uncomfortable or hard.

This is why.

Photo by Luke McKeown on Unsplash

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