We’ve been here before (or a moment like it) and survived. We always survive, so I know we’ll be okay. The difficult part is that I didn’t expect to be here again. This was supposed to be our direct path out and up, but I am finding it to be less straight and narrow than I had anticipated. I am still standing heels dug in the ground pushing pushing pushing this big ass boulder up that damned proverbial hill wondering why I ever told myself it was going to get easier.
I am here with no money, no car and a meticulously constructed support system now 3,000 miles away. I am no longer able to say definitively when it will get better, only knowing that it must and so it will because I will do whatever it takes to make sure my son is safe and nourished. I want a life in which he thrives, not just survives, and I believe in our ability to thrive. I believe it is every child’s fundamental right to thrive.
I value planning. I am -as my good friend says- a plannity planner, but I have learned over and over that even my best plans are often derailed, so I have learned how to weather the storm, to survive, to keep pushing forward. And this is how I found myself trembling and terrified in yet another situation for which I was unprepared and inexperienced. But I believe in the power of perseverance, and so literally sitting in the driver’s seat of my future with my past packed in a storage pod being towed behind me, frustrated and flustered that this was not the plan, I took a deep breath and let out an exasperated sigh at the reality of my situation. My son, sitting patiently beside me, asked: “What? What happened, mamá?” since he is now as accustomed as I am to there always being something.
I believe in treating children as the real people that they are, and this includes speaking to them with honesty and humility, so I looked into his sweet 5 yr old face and said: “I’m scared.” He looked alarmed. I paused and took another deep breath. “But you know what?!” I asked. “It’s okay to be scared. Sometimes even when we are scared we have to do things anyway. That’s called being brave, so mommie is going to be brave because-“ I turned and looked into his chocolate brown eyes “-because I know we are going to be okay.” He nodded and sat pensively for a moment as I silently searched for the internal strength to do what I had promised. As I reached to put the keys in the ignition, he said: “Mamá, I’m not scared.” “Oh…?” I said hesitantly, unsure of how to respond. “No” he replied with determination “I’m not scared because I know you can do it.” I looked back at him with teary eyes, and we both smiled.
We haven’t yet arrived at the good life as I had imagined, but maybe arriving isn’t a realistic expectation because we are always in the process of creating it, of molding it, of growing into it. I don’t know, but I do know that whatever happens, wherever we end up, there will always be enough love to get us through, to keep us pushing forward.