The truth is rarely pure and never simple. ~ Oscar Wilde
Truth is something which can’t be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning. ~ Anais Nin
My friends, I feel like a fraud.
Ok, maybe that’s a little overly dramatic, but at the very least, ever since yesterday I’ve been carrying this heavy, toxic feeling around with me – as though I’ve been keeping something from you – something I need to share to feel like I’m telling you
the our truth.
You see, I wrote this post yesterday. The one about Katie winning the gold and Brooke making it through the movie party.
The one in which Daddy was a hero and retrieved the errant skating dress and Katie’s teacher allayed all of her fears and assured her that everything would be fine despite the untimely demise of her school project.
It was a fun post to write. It ended with all of its previously tangled threads arranged perfectly in a neatly tied bow atop a shiny, tidy little parcel.
And it was real. Every last bit of it.
But that shiny, tidy little parcel with the neatly tied bow sits on a table littered with the detritus of a very different kind of weekend.
A really, really hard weekend.
A weekend in which my husband and I found ourselves exchanging tense – very tense – words in front of our children.
A weekend in which we, as parents with a vastly different perspective than most, had to confront a minefield of issues following an ugly incident at school between Katie and a classmate on the playground.
A weekend in which we had to help our big girl understand where compassion for others’ challenges and her right to feel safe intersect. And to try to figure out how to guide her toward finding grace while ALWAYS insisting that the latter trump the former.
It was a weekend in which, to put it bluntly, my older daughter unraveled. A weekend in which she said things in the heat of the moment that she instantly regretted. A weekend in which she donned the hair shirt that she so often sees her mama inhabit – and then simply refused to take it off.
It was a weekend in which I told her seven ways to Sunday that there was nothing wrong with her feelings – not ANY of them – nor with expressing them – EVER. That it was, in fact, really, really important to allow herself to do so. That I only took issue with where – and in front of whom – she had chosen to untether her angst.
It was a weekend in which I told her emphatically that we ALL make mistakes. That we ALL say things that we wish that we could take back. That our fallibility and unfortunate capacity to hurt one another makes us human. That our ability to feel remorse for doing so, to learn from those moments and to then change the way that we choose to handle them down the road makes us even more human.
It was a weekend in which she nonetheless cried herself to sleep, still steeped in guilt.
Among so many things that she said – and which I will not repeat here as doing so feels like an egregious betrayal of her privacy – one of the few that I simply can’t shake is this:
I wish I had a sister who I could fight with.
It was a weekend in which that simple, innocent, heavily laden wish cut clean through this mother’s heart like an ice-cold blade.
In short, it was a weekend in which there were simply too many plates to spin and we had no choice but to let some fall, shattering on the hard, unforgiving ground and spewing their shards helter skelter – splintering, slicing, exposing bone and nerve and sinew – laying us out – every one of us – raw and bare in the process.
It was a weekend in which all we could do at times was hold onto each other and pray.
So while yesterday’s post was no less real without the context that surrounded it, it feels more honest now.
Because very rarely does life really tell its stories in tidy little boxes.
And that’s ok.
It’s better than ok.
the our truth.