Someone once said if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, water your own lawn. I don’t know who that was.
Saddly I had a conversation with a friend last Saturday who was at the end of her rope. She is a single mom, has two children both on the cusp of teenagerhood, and an exhusband who is constantly telling her how to improve her mothering skills while taking the offhanded approach in parenting. To see her in church you wouldn’t know the tumultous life she leads.
She is a tough girl and puts up with a lot. I love her because she is true. She is generous and kind and works hard at making others feel comfortable. So imagine my surprise when I got a call from her from the highway saying “I don’t know when I will be back.”
My heart ached for her. So much so that sunday it was all I could do to keep from breaking down, but I didn’t. I started to wonder how did it get so bad? How could I not notice? I thought she was just venting when we talked.
Today I had a conversation with a mom in kindergarten who has a son that has kidney problems. She has known the situation since she was 18 weeks pregnant but this friday he is going to the childrens’ hospital to have the surgery. He is 19 months old. She has always been one of the kindest moms asking me how I’m doing, showing great sympathy for my roughness of pregnancy. As I gave her my best wishes for her and her son, I felt guilty that not once in the conversations we have had in the past did I ask her how she was doing.
I’m not trying to be hard on myself for not noticing or being aware. Ever since I have been pregnant (I’m trying not to use that as an excuse) I have been walking around in a fog of self importance. Yes I’ve been puking, yes I have had multiple floods in my appartment, yes we have been helping my parents get their house ready to sell, and yes we had the flu run through our family this last week, but when did I get so self absorbed? I admit like theses other ladies I too haven’t shared my inner most hardships and I can see me sometimes heading down a highway of my own screaming “I can’t take it anymore.” Don’t worry I’m not there yet, at least not today.
We as women often look at others and think they have it all together at the same time thinking we are so not meating the bar. I wouldn’t have known about my friends PPD, if she hadn’t blogged about. We see each other in their tiny little microcosms and think thats how it is. The snapshot at church or school is all we let people see. Its like we are constantly putting on a show for the few hours we see someone, so we don’t have to be real. Why do we do that? Why is it so hard to be real? We know everybody has problems, at least we say we do, but we only let others in to help when our facade is already visually crumbling around us and it will take more that a couple of fingers to hold back the raging flood waters behind the dam. Sometimes even then there is no help and its too late.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m just typing what I feel. Maybe I’m just asking all to be a little more kind and while you are busy watering your own lawn to make it greener let some of the water trickle on to your neighbours (unless its pool water right karen) lawn. Sometimes thats all they need.
Just an after thought: I may not be able to help my friend somewhere out on the highway but I bet the mom with the little one in sugery could use something, maybe even a meal.