They all made up their hot dogs (grass-fed, grilled) with bun, no bun, gluten-free bun, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, cheese. We piled outside on the deck to eat which happened in about 46 seconds. Then they went back for more.
After we devoured the best summer dinner ever they all jumped in the lake and swam for an hour while I heard my name called begging me to watch this and that about 46,000 times.
As they watched their show I went to clean up as we were expecting 6 people from my love's family the next day. I went to quickly check on the cleanliness of the kid bathroom first.
Water. Inches of water all over the floor of the bathroom. In the shower. I ran to my bathroom. Water. My shower. Water. Dirt.
We have easily 20-ish beach towels. I grabbed them and started soaking up the water that was now so deep I was getting that nervous feeling.
I didn't want the kids to feel my stress so I told them they could watch one more show. And also, that there would be nowhere to poop.
When you have 5 kids under one roof, nowhere to poop is not ideal. They love to pee outside so that part is always fun. They all announced that none of them had to go and went back to watching Kora.
I spent the next 4 hours plunging toilets and showers in rotation. I asked my 14 year old who speaks in puns to write down a list of poop puns to be waiting for when my love arrived to ease his stress of the situation. She refused. I tried to convince her. She refused again.
My son Eli always says that every conversation Dave and I have in our family always ends up in poop talk. My healer calls the work Dave and I are doing in coming together in partnership and all of our struggles part of the shit circle that we must be inside of to heal in relationship.
He sent me a text after the falling apart we had inside of the chaos. "Thank you for being willing to stand in shit for our family."
We talked about how situations where he feels out of control trigger all his old shit to surface. (Yes, we think we are funny.) But they do. He still does not see that he is our hero.
And during the stress, the fights, the mopping up, the fear of running out of towels and coaching the kids to poop at camp even though they don't like public pooping something happened. Deep inside.
A part of myself that I do not like, that scares me, that fights for her own survival inside of the fear of not being loved was excavated. And she scares me. She is selfish and unable to trust that the spirit of her love, her nurture is enough. When the parts of herself that she does not like are triggered from another, I don't recognize her.
For years I struggled with Eli's melt downs and ADD and highly-sensitive high needs. I was not the same mother with him that I was with my other children. He triggered everything that was inside of me that I hold shame around.
And then the mama that I was showing up as was bringing me to my knees in pain. Here it is happening to me again with this man I love who I joke Eli was prepping me for.
The way I was able to heal my mama self with Eli was to see him as this beautiful creature who was here to have his own experience that I could love him through. I could hold space as a fully loving mama when I let him have his feelings without taking them on as me being a failure. When I could hold space to give him back some of the control he constantly felt he was without. And most importantly, when I could stop adding to his feelings of being a failure.
The same devastating moment I had before everything shifted with Eli and I happened again with my love. I hit the bottom. The shit circle was now literally engulfing me and I had to make a choice.
To let myself be woman-mama-goddess-nurturer-lover enough to let him have his feelings without taking them on as me being a failure. When I could find space to not make it about me. Letting go of this fight for love and just being love. For him.
What if I can show up inside of wanting to give him the greatest experience of my love, just as I do with my children. And allow his experience to be the beautiful journey he needs it to be, while choosing to hold him, love him and let him be free to have all his feelings as his own.
What if being mama is teaching me everything about deep devotion to another's experience and the safety inside of love?
The plumber just left and he will be back tomorrow to fix the pipes and when we all gather back together as a family we will have a place to poop again.
I feel like I have once again met myself in one of the darkest places. That something old was washed away. The shit circle became literal. I stood in it. I chose.
Being mama is becoming empathy for the one who will crack open as she is no longer just herself.
Being mama is finding our woman-self who will rise inside of the mama and love deep, hard, strong.
And this I choose.