A difficult woman: Some days it’s challenging to swim against the current. Some days the waves of tantrum after tantrum are too heavy.
“I pray for the man who marries you some day,” I mutter under my breath as I witness yet another episode of my 3-year-old daughter kicking and screaming over having to eat the bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios that she had asked to eat with such glee and excitement just 15 minutes ago. I have been awake for less than an hour and already the waves have formed and I can see them rolling in—one after another– far off in the distance.
I take a deep breath and channel my inner Bob Marley. “Rise up this mornin’, smiled with the risin’ sun,” I gently sing while making my coffee.
“Noooooo!” My daughter screams back at me. I continue singing as I wrap both hands around my warm cup of freshly brewed coffee. “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
“STOP SINGING, MOMMY!” My daughter shouts as she forces her body to slide from her chair to the floor.
My hands grip my cup of coffee tighter. This is just the beginning; the first wave of water brushes sand over my clean, dry feet. Within another 15 minutes, my daughter will calm down and she will let me wipe the tears off of her face. We will hug, she will smile, and she will giggle after her first bite of breakfast saying, “Mmmmmm. I love Honey Nut Cheerios, mommy!”
This is just the beginning, though. The waves are coming; I can see them getting higher. Let’s see how well I can swim against the current today.
These waves are heavy as they crash against my body. I try to plant my feet in the sand and stand strong in the rip current. But some days I lose my footing, and the water carries me farther from shore. The water carries me farther from you.
Oh, child. I love you with all of my heart, but these waves flood my mind from time to time. These waves make simple things so difficult. And I begin to only see the difficulties these waves bring. I begin to focus so intently on keeping my head above water, and I forget that you are trying to swim, too. The waves are crashing against you, too.
“Are you approaching your relationships with love?” Our pastor asks during his sermon this morning. I glance at you, and you are coloring quietly. You look up at me, smile, and point to what you are working on. The waves begin to recede.
Have I forgotten how to approach these waves with love in my heart? Am I letting the waves pull my love under the current? When you change your mind, and refuse to get dressed, and cry because I put your shoes on wrong, do you feel my love receding with these waves? Do you see that I love you? Or do you see the waves, too?
I glance at you again, and you look so calm coloring. Love floods my heart, and I feel the weight of the water pull away from my body.
I lift my feet out of the wet sand, one at a time, and I rinse them off in the calm water. Perhaps you are not the difficult one, my child. Perhaps I’ve been the difficult woman all along.