Up the Hill by Anne Katherine Cronk
My four-year old daughter and I have finished taking care of the horse and now have to go up the hill and take care of the chickens. She suddenly throws herself onto the ground back first and says, “Carry me! I’m exhausted!”
Exhausted, I’m thinking. I’m the one who practically gave the horse a full body massage while she tottered around with different brushes trying to contribute. And to tell the truth, she was really ultimately at the behest of any butterfly who flew by. I do suppose all her sprints to catch butterflies might be semi-exhausting. But I also know that her current exhaustion would quickly end if another butterfly flew by at this exact moment.
But, of course, carry her up I do, counting my blessings that it could be worse – she is small for her age and could weigh much more!
Her back-first exclamations make me jealous, though, because there are so many times a day when I would love to do the same thing – throw myself down and demand that someone carry me. Just when things get really hard.
My days of that are really over, though. My mother died over a year ago. And it strikes me that there is no one else, really, for me – who would pick up the pieces when I crash and burn unconditionally.
That is not to say that if I hit hard times I would not have help. That is not quite what I’m getting at. My husband of course would do everything he could. And I have some really great friends. But you can only ask so much at a time of people – a mom of course is not really a people. No-matter-what is what moms are for.
This is highly normal as life progresses, I know. Nothing new for those who have experienced this loss much sooner than I. Life just has a tendency to fan connections out quite naturally, and when you win that survival ticket – by definition you have to watch your connections feather and fade.
And you need to bulk up. Because now it’s you who has to be there no-matter-what, and those kids tend to pile on some heavy stuff as the years go on.