I used to believe in faeries. At least, I think I did. I know I wanted to.
I haven’t told my daughters that faeries are real, yet. I don’t want them to think that the monsters they imagine are real, too. Like I used to.
I remember hearing tales of pixies in the tree leaves, and of hell hounds in the forest at night.
I spent a lot of time dreaming, playing, enjoying, but I remember a lot of time spent worrying and wondering, too.
And some things don’t really change. Maybe they concentrate with age. I see a lot of fear in myself, still.
And I haven’t been believing quite so much, and I haven’t been playing quite enough.
I’ve been worrying and wondering about the monsters.
About the ache in the space where I used to be connected to my magical family tree.
About the time with them I missed that left me hardening my shell for the sake of survival.
About the anger that rises up inside of me when I don’t feel like I have everything figured out and running predictably.
About the fear of not measuring up and the difficulty in admitting that by asking for support.
And mostly, so often, I am worrying and wondering about my kids.
Why they are suddenly whiny, why they are annoying each other, why they can’t just share, why my oldest panics when things don’t go her way, why my youngest can’t just leave some things alone, why they both want my attention when I seem least able to give it, why they drag their feet getting ready, why they run away when I try to talk to them….
And I think, well, it must be that I have left the TV on a little too much, and I condemn myself a little.
It must be because this place is so cluttered, they can’t relax, and I feel frustrated with my inability to get on top of the never-ending mess.
I think, it must be because of all that junk food, maybe I should have made lunch a little earlier, they haven’t been eating enough greens… and I wish I had more talent and passion for food, that I could prioritize it.
It must be because they lack consistency, they went to bed too late, and I struggle to force us into a rhythm only to fall back out, again and again and again…
And when I blame the TV, I turn it off suddenly and in anger, in a great big huff.
And when I blame the mess, I rant angrily about how they have contributed to it, how they can’t seem to help enough.
And no matter what external condition I try to point the finger at, my discomfort is coming from deep inside. A pile of crumbs, a junk food lunch, those are not monsters. And what I am really lashing out at when I try to fight those things is my kids. And they are not monsters…
It’s been really hard grieving and doing this healing work while being a mother to young children.
And I catch myself feeling like I need to work so hard, strain, live up to these expectations to insulate us from harm, from fear, from uncertainty.
But the monsters still come.
The only thing making my kids act out is me. My disconnection, my anger, my impatience. My monsters.
And they don’t really need a beautifully orchestrated daily rhythm, the greatest of all foods made from scratch all the time, a tidy minimalist sanctuary, or a world completely free from media to feel content and happy.
They need me. They need me to be present with them. To accept them, to accept their feelings. To accept the ways that they show me what they need, however messy. To care for them. To stand firm in the centre of the bad days and bad feelings, and to play and to laugh with them, without fear.
My children need me to show them all about the faeries.
And I need for my children to help me remember that they exist.