The walls are closing in around me. My five year old has been whining with neverending stamina from the moment he woke up. “I don’t want… Why can’t I? I don’t like… Can you… Can you… Can you?!”
The baby is overtired, resisting a nap and covered in shit for the third time in as many hours. I’ve only been awake four hours, and already I’ve reached my limit.
Tiredness, hunger, incessant noise and a feeling of intense monotony combine to make me feel weak, impatient and shackled, a prisoner inside unchanging walls.
I need freedom.
And so I tell my son we are going out. “No,” he says. “It’s too windy, I’m too tired.”
“Yes,” I told him. “We need this.”
I bundle the baby in the sling, putting her hat on. She calms immediately, sensing the promise of freedom close enough to touch. She needs this too.
We walk, the wind blowing against our cheeks, sweeping our stress away piece by piece. There is a world outside my four walls, something all too easy to forget from behind our closed door.
I sit, staring at the sea. The crashing waves remind me how tiny I am, how insignificant my problems in the grand scheme of things. There are people out there, across that dark swirling ocean who would literally saw off their arm to trade places with me. To have my problems. To have access to the medical care which enables my daughter to thrive.
I am lucky.
I remember what it means to be a mother. I am powerful. I am strong, I am capable of moving mountains for these little people, to them I am no ordinary human. I am a goddess.
The wind whips my face and I smile into it, the sound of my son’s laughter ringing in my ears. I won’t be beaten. I can do this.
We head home and the craziness resumes. But this time, I don’t break.
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