Being a superhero with my little boy. Soren in his Spiderman suit and mask, me with a pillow as my Captain America shield, we run back and forth across our little house, calling forth the bad guys from corners and closets, wrestling with each other to see who is the toughest superhero, feeling that we can conquer anything with our superhero powers.
My homework for the day is a distant thought from our good-fighting-evil world.
Being a superhero for my family. After pretending to be Captain America all morning with my Spiderman, we do our usual Monday grocery shopping, I unpack the bags of yummy items intended for lasagna, salmon strawberry salad, and melon & mint orzo, Soren eats his favorite quesadilla (that must be made on the stove, not the microwave!), I relish my 45 minutes of quiet lunchtime with a fruit smoothie and Downton Abbey episode, and then it’s back to homework for a few hours (thank you, Soren, for your long naps these days!), until Brandon gets home and I can head off to the pool for a monotonous but always refreshing 1800-yard swim, and then it’s back home again (although this drive I’ll turn off the radio to give my mind 10 minutes of silence for the day), to put the lasagna on the table, chat with my boys, give Soren his bath (with superheroes of course), read his favorite Batman book, sing “Jesus Loves Me”, listen to Brandon say a sweet prayer, and then, whew! it’s time to face homework again for a few more hours, this time Bran and I are trudging along side by side and he turns and says softly to me over our regular Classical music study playlist, “Monique, you’re the superwoman of this house.”
All that work is worth it right then.
Fighting it out with the one I can’t live without. It’s a simple, stupid comment, and yet it pierces something deep within me, I’m still not sure why it stung so bad, but anger, enormous amounts of anger, boil up to the surface in an instant, and before I know what is happening, a strawberry is flung at his back, I am out the door, driving towards those purple mountain majesties at dusk, screaming (really screaming!), pounding my steering wheel, and then crying, so that the tears almost make me stop driving, and then in an instant it is gone. I am back to being angry, this time stone-cold angry, and tired, so tired from doing so much and now feeling like I am doing it all alone. Angry at my partner, my lover, my best friend, who seems to have abandoned me in that stupid, simple comment.
But I can’t leave my boys for long, and Soren needs his mommy to kiss him goodnight, and my stomach is growling so angrily that I’ve just gotta put something in it, so I return home, say hello to Soren in the bath, and he says to me, “Mama, can you say hi to Dada?”
How can I keep up my anger when my precious little blond boy just wants to see his superheroes be on the same team again?
Yet I pout and he pursues and we do our little fighting dance that we always do, until my heart gives way, because I don’t want to be alone anymore, and there is so much to share, and who else can hold my daily struggles and joys but him? So he beckons me to his lap, I lay my head down, he gently runs his fingers through my hair, and I talk and he listens, and I find my heart settling in once again.
This is what grounds me.