My eyes are burning. My cheeks stained with tears of exhaustion. I can’t remember the last time I got a good night’s sleep. I have to wait for our new insurance to kick in before I can talk to my doctor about my insomnia. Again.
My legs are cramped from standing on a hard floor for the past five hours, my hands are dry and cracked. My heart, heavy. I worry about my kids, my husband, our health, our finances, my parents.
Looking around the house makes me anxious. There are dishes, laundry, dog hair. Piles of papers, kids’ projects, things needing my signature or my response, volunteer work, writing assignments, insurance nightmares. I feel buried.
I need to work on math with my son. I need to take my daughter to practice. I need to find babysitters for upcoming events. I need to buy birthday presents, a sweater for my daughter’s choir performance and I need to send in her camp forms. I have to find a new therapist for my son. I need to change the sheets.
I want to set up piano lessons and swim lessons. I want to take the kids out to play catch. I have to call the pediatrician’s office. Maybe I can get to that after I start making dinner.
I need a minute. I collapse on the couch and let out a sigh. My head flops back against the olive-green chenille. I close my eyes and rub my forehead. I have had a headache for three days.
I rest my hand on my thigh and feel my young son’s fingers grab mine. He reaches up and brushes my hair from my cheeks. He tells me I am “so, so, so, so pretty”.
I muster half a smile and say, “I love you, buddy.”
He says, “I love you too.”
Then he hugs me.
And just like that, the dread is gone.