Let it out…

A note from the editor:

While most of our Life in Lockdown contributions have been uplifting, I’ve taken it upon myself to play against type.

Warning: this post is not as positive as you’ve come to expect…

What did you cry about today?

It’s OK, you can tell me…

I’ll go first!

Like most, I have been riding this Coronacoaster of a year.

I’m up. I’m down. I’m indifferent.

Today started out alright.

I went for a walk.

I had an almond latte.

Made a super healthy smoothie for breakfast.

Positive steps to take.

I set up shop in my home office.

Situation: Covid Normal.

My girl missed an online meeting.

Not ideal, but not a day-breaker.

I set about making a wholesome lunch – beef casserole – a rare treat in a house with a vegetarian in residence.

Suddenly, I hear a “Mama!” Not such a big deal – I hear about a million of those a day, but this one held sorrow.

I went to Willow’s room and was greeted by her tear-stained face.

She was in there, battling away. Math-problems became life-problems, and her 10-year-old mind was grappling with whether to bother me. Heart-breaking to see.

Pressed pause on home-schooling. Preimage could wait.

We ate our lunch in the sun. We did some post-lunch stretches, because we needed it.

Willow returned to her room for round 2.

I checked in on her a little later.

She was sprawled across her very messy bed, laptop atop her lap – the room, a wasteland of freshly folded laundry, and general disarray.

My reaction?

Not great.

“How do you expect to work in this space?! And what work could you really be achieving, laid down in bed?! Why did I even buy you a desk?!!!!!”

INSERT RANTING HERE…

Are your tears as easily accessible as mine these days?

I’ll be honest – I’ve always been a crier, but my usual trigger? Apple ads and MasterChef episodes. I’m a positive weeper…

Usually.

Willow revealed the depth of her struggle – spurred on by my complete inability to filter myself.

She misses school. She misses her friends. She is not getting this week’s math and she has completely misunderstood this week’s English.

In summary, she is over it.

Who could hold that against her?

We had an emergency video chat with her teacher.

We felt better.

I sent her off to her dad’s for the weekend – she definitely needs a break from Home #1.

I decided to have a bath – a little self-care, to soak away the ICK of it all.

I set myself up…

Collected a magazine I intended to read, the water I intendedto drink. I went to the toilet – curse my bladder.

As I entered the bathroom, my mind shattered.

There, in all his casual, naked glory, was my son –splashing around in my salvation!

Face stuffed full of crackers!!

Drinking MY WATER!!!

I had explicitly told him that the bath was for me! 

He could join me in a bit, but I needed alone time!!

ALONE TIME!!!!

As I stormed through the house – muttering expletives not fit for 4-year-old ears, my partner laughed at the audacity of our boy.

I burst into tears.

I grabbed my mask and rage-walked out of the house. 

I was embarrassed at the absurdity of my reaction.

I was ashamed of my inability to fight these feelings.

I was overwhelmed. Completely.

I walked to the wetlands near my house, sat at the edge of the water and sobbed. 

I could not keep it in.

Momentarily distracted, by the prickly weeds I felt working their way through my life-stained tracksuit pants, I looked down at the tuft of grass I had chosen to give up on…

A patch of clovers took me back to my childhood…

I would spend entire lunch breaks searching my primary school oval for 4 leaf clovers. Even as a kid, I felt that life could be better with a little luck and magic.

I still feel that way.

So, I foolishly searched my tuft for that elusive fourth leaf.

I’ve talked on it before, but hope is my oxygen. 

I need it.

2020 has been a little hope-deficient.

I’m not in a bad way. Life is pretty good for me in the scheme of things. I have my job, and my health. I have an excellent support network. 

And yet here I was – watering weeds with my tears.

Let me add to the chorus:

I’M OVER THIS LOCKDOWN!!

My surge capacity is out for the count apparently – read about it – it’s a thing!

This writing caper has helped – misery makes such an excellent muse.

Remember when Fridays used to matter?

I miss the promise of a weekend well-spent.

So, let’s pretend…

TGIF.

Cheers to a weekend without tears.

Melissa Longo

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