You'd never think it would have caused a three hour long sobbing meltdown at our house this weekend. And before you start wondering which child was responsible, it wasn't them. It was me. Me.
It all started because we were having burgers, but also spaghetti later in the week. I thought husband was using too much meat for burgers leaving our spaghetti painfully short. It turned into a "kids stay outside" argument. It turned into me sitting on the bed rocking back and forth sobbing and saying "help me help me help me" and "please please please" in a tiny voice. It turned into a lot of snot and tissues.
I tried to come back down for dinner. I remember trying to eat dinner this upset as a child- the food is an unswallowable lump. It all tastes like nothing. I could not stop crying, just quiet tears rolling down my cheeks. Husband mad, children totally confused. I had to leave the table. I grabbed my wine glass of ruby red grapefruit and seltzer and went up to start the bubble bath for the kids. I keep right on crying.
The kiddos came up to hop in the tub. I managed to pull it sort of together. My oldest and I read our book on the floor of the bathroom for a bit. Youngest started blowing bubbles and wanting us to pop them. It was almost fun. Husband cleaned the kitchen, came to check on us, went to watch football. Oldest and I had a hard four minute conversation that went something like this:
"Mom, are you OK?"
"Yes, dad and I are just in a fight right now, but we'll talk about it and we'll be fine."
"I worry that you and dad aren't going to be together."
"Oh." (We've talked about this a couple times before. I ain't gonna lie, sometimes I wonder this too. Sometimes things have been tough and not so happy around here. I hope with all my might that it was mostly my fault and that since I'm not drinking anymore, ever, that things will slowly get better. And they are.) "Dad and I will sort it out. We're going to be just fine. Just like you and your brother fight, dad and I fight too. But we'll be OK."
I looked at that wine glass I brought up with me. I was so relieved it had grapefruit and seltzer in it, so relieved that I was sober and not half drunk. So grateful that I was in the middle of something so hard because I was in the middle of something so hard. Glad to be sitting on the bathroom floor able to look my son in the eye showing him who I am without feeling ashamed. To show him that life isn't always perfect. To show him I can deal with it.
The hard part about being sober isn't the not drinking, it's the dealing with all the things that come up without the booze cocoon.
Eventually the kids went to bed. Husband came in and sat on the bed, not mad anymore. We talked, really talked. Tossed some old hurts out there, made apologies, offered forgiveness. I cried more.
And then things were better. We curled up and laughed lightly, just a little, still tender from the great ground beef fiasco. We went to sleep.
I woke up the next day, eyes swollen swollen swollen. But my heart was swollen too. Big and proud that I let it out. That I was brave and vulnerable and sober.