This may come as a shock to some of you. Others of you will just shake your heads and think, “I already knew this.” If you’re in the later group, it may be likely that we have lived together at some point.
Here I go. Confession time: I have a tendency to move ever so slightly off balance. Just a bit. You know, like that little bit of iceberg that the Titanic hit. Or that tiny bit of poop in the chocolate pie in The Help. Just slightly. No big deal.
Okay. Truth is, I tend to spin completely out of control. I get wound up and I just don’t know how to right myself. Sometimes I scream and say mean things. Other times I mumble under my breath and say mean things. It’s ugly. I can sometimes feel it coming but other times it completely takes me by surprise.
You know who gets the brunt of it? My kids. Because they are who I’m with most of the time.
Just writing that makes me feel embarrassed.
I mean, I love my kids. So much. I’d do just about anything for them but at the same time, they drive me crazy so much easier and faster than anyone else.
And so I spin out of control. It’s been worse lately. No emotional margin, I guess. My emotions are still so raw and so overwhelming. I just feel off-kilter.
Vance was always able to pull me back when I got too close to the edge. Sometimes with a gentle nudge and when necessary, with a hard push. He knew what to say to stop the spinning. To calm me down. To make me see what I was doing and to stop the destructive behavior.
Oh, how I miss that part of him fiercely. Right now I am constantly off balance. Precariously leaning one direction, then the next. I’m stumbling and spinning and I just can’t seem to right myself. The scales are tipping and without Vance here, I am struggling so hard to keep them balanced.
We were partners. When I was overwhelmed, he stepped in and took over. When he was speechless, I found words. When the kids needed a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold, it was usually mine. But he was in the yard playing catch or the garage teaching them to use tools. I don’t do those things like he did. I don’t understand wrestling or teenage boys or the appeal of a Clint Eastwood western like he did.
Truth is, there was a lot of this parenting stuff that I totally planned on him doing. Teaching the kids to drive. Talking birds and bees with the boys. Doling out the punishments. Playing the bad cop to my good cop and vice versa. Scarring for life Abby’s first prom date by being the over-protective dad. Walking her down the aisle.
But all of those things and more are still to be done. Preferably, without tears or yelling or spinning out of control. With balance I have yet to find.