There are days like this, when there is nothing left. Days when I’ve eaten plain spaghetti without salt for lunch, sprayed with questionable ketchup for the last two bites, wore unmatching clothes, left on nail painted on my hands. When pulling my bra through my sleeves as I rest my back on the hard floor, is even too much. When I no longer have answers for countless questions, especially ones such as “mommy, why do all children grow up.” When a morning at the beach day felt like a week’s worth of manual labor; hauling gear, changing wet bathing suits, reapplying sunscreen, digging holes, fetching juice, washing sand off the grapes, feet, hands, feeling my back burning as I spend hour two in the shallow water chasing a beach ball against the current, on my knees.
It’s only the middle of summer and I already know nothing is left, my strength was gone before it started.
I promised myself I’d be better than last year, I’d be more patient, more organized, I’d allow time for boredom, spend time outdoors, blow my fuse at least half an hour later than normal, insist on healthier eating habits without nagging, limit screen time, and all this while not letting the scorching Greek summers dictate our day. No wonder I was tired before it all even started.
Today, all I managed, was the beach. With only one incident of voice raising. For safety reasons.
I know I’m not alone, there are a million moms on the verge of a summer vacay meltdown every second of the day. And for most of that time, we, I, are alone. Even if someone is with us.
By bedtime, our patience has reached superhuman levels, our fuses have burnt out, faded, we can almost smell them sizzling. The lights are off, the stories have been read, the mess almost tidied up, and we lay there, sit there, waiting for the melodic sound of their sleep breathing, they all have a different tune, and suddenly they’re out and we are free.
But free to do what?
“But grown ups don’t play, ” he says before he finally falls asleep. And then decides, “I’m going to play when I’m a grown up.” Hugs my arm, turns his back and goes to sleep. My arm is twisted, hurting, but it’s the sweetest pain. And all that is really left.