Last week, I sent my baby out into the world. Not my actual baby, my book baby as Carole Radziwell would say. I sent query letters to agents asking them to consider representing me and my novel. It was terrifying sending emails to all those agents.
Later Monday the first rejection email came. It was a polite I'm going to pass on this email. Nothing personal at all included and yet, I felt as if my whole being had been rejected. I was sad and dejected and demoralized and questioning all that I had done, all the work, all the friends' positive feedback, everything, because of that one pass.
I was also walking out the door to hockey practice when the email came. I was now sitting in my van, in traffic, trying to get one boy to his hockey team pictures and another to his practice on time. The kids had no idea what I was feeling because I was not ready to tell them or anyone. So when they played the usual, Bus Game on the freeway they had no idea that I was not in a place to hear them all shout "BUS" every time they saw one, or saw the same one again.
They had no idea that my patience was thin because I felt so defeated inside myself.
I asked them to be quiet at first. Then I snapped at them. Then I felt awful for snapping at them.
I needed a moment.
But Motherhood doesn't really allow for you to take a moment, at least not in the moment. Motherhood requires me to buck up and move forward, even when all I want to do is crawl into a ball and let the tears flow. And so I did just that. I pushed away the email, I pushed away the pain. I focused on the kids and what they needed and where they needed to be. I checked hockey jerseys and socks. I helped with knee pads and Gatorade. I chatted with the other hockey moms about school and life. I made it through and got home. I helped with dinner and then once everyone had what they needed, I went in my room.
I went into the bathroom. The one place this girl in a house full of boys has claimed as private and sacred. I sat on the floor and I let the sadness come. I sat in the pain. I wallowed.
I let the feelings come.
And then I did what mothers do. I wiped away the tears. I got up. I gave goodnight kisses. I moved on.
Motherhood doesn't allow you to stay in the dark too long because kids still wake up too early in the morning full of enthusiasm and needs, like lunches and tied shoes and rides to school.
But once they are there, once they are tucked into their classrooms, if I need a moment, I know I can take one. I just might have to wait a moment.
Where do you go when you need a moment?