Honest question. I wonder sometimes at my seemingly easy ability to get overwhelmed when all three of my daughters talk at me (over and under each other like waves on the beach) and the bass-line covered by my husband as he comes home from work and tells me things about work and politics and “did you know?”
Would it be easier if I didn’t hear each line of talk as its own unique melody and try and make out Tchaikovsky or Bach or Beethoven? Or Neruda or Yeats? Or just figure out who said “worms” and who said “dinner.” My head is so jangly with the strain of this communication, I get grouchy and spacey but still, I cannot block them out. They are the music inside my brain. In my ears, and in my voice and snarky humor. They are the main players in my daily dramatic presentation. They sing-song around and I often laugh and enjoy the exchange. But then? The other times when the demands of the circus around me feel too much, too whole, too engrossing.
And I hear my neighbor and her daughter (her only child) talking in civilized voices (mine are screaming, fighting, singing at the top of their lungs), and I think again about family size and what it means to need time to recharge, when there is so little, nothing really ever left over to set aside.
Days like today when everyone seems starved for my attention, and I’m starved to be alone, it seems like someone has to give something up. And isn’t it right that it should be me? The Mother?