I am tired.
And I am angry.
I have hit the trifecta for having a bad day and I still have a PTO meeting to attend tonight.
I’m also still sick.
But the worst of all that I am?
I am lonely.
Yep, not a great day.
Frustration is when traffic sucks and you’re driving halfway into the city for a therapy appointment. You’ve made this trek every other week for the last six and half years. You know the traffic backs up. You know the construction zones. And when it rains like it’s doing today, you know that people forget how to drive.
Frustration is when you have an 11 year-old sister complaining about having to go to therapy every week. She actually proclaimed that Sean has ruined her life. Yes, I know. Yes, you have to go. And yes, there are times when I wish that autism didn’t exist.
Frustration is when you have a 5 year-old crying in her car seat because she wants to go home and play after a long, hard day at kindergarten. Guess what Sweetie… I want to go home and play, too.
The song American Pie is playing on the radio. The older kids want it turned up. The 5 year-old wants it turned down.
Sean wants to talk about the tradition of tossing your graduation caps into the air.
Oh can’t this traffic move any faster?
I don’t know what his obsession is with it. I don’t know what his fascination is. Does he want to do it? Does he think it’s silly? Does he think it’s the ultimate in-your-face send off?
But, really… again?
And it’s not like I can tell him that he’ll poke someone’s eye out a la A Christmas Story and be done with it.
No… Sean has researched it. He has Googled and Wikipedia’d it.
I have to come up with something and it has to be good. But why bother… he’s not going to accept anything I say.
Can this truck go any slower?
I grab my cell phone. I need to talk to an adult. I need a laugh, a smile… hell, I’ll even take an argument at this point. But I need someone.
I dial. It rings.
No, Ashley, I can’t have the radio play Adele’s Rolling In The Deep right at this very moment. Radios don’t work that way.
Sean yells at Ashley for not understanding that.
I yell at Sean for yelling at Ashley.
Come on traffic...move!
I pick up the phone again.
I dial. It rings.
Is anybody out there? Anybody?
Geez, I just want to talk to someone born in the last century. Anyone.
We finally get to therapy where I sink into the chairs that are so comfortable that I use my coat as a blanket and give myself a few minutes to close my eyes.
I hear Sean in the other room beginning his monologue about the new videogame Call of Duty.
“Sean, shush!” I scold from my makeshift bed.
Therapy goes surprisingly well for Sean. Carissa endures and Ashley whines.
I guess that’s success in my book.
I think my night is getting better when I declare that Wendy’s is for dinner due to it being a dine-n-share night for the junior high.
Crying erupts from the back seat. Ashley claims that Wendy’s burns her tongue.
I once again pick up the phone…reaching out in the darkness.
Once again I dial.
Once again I get voicemail.
Seriously, do I not exist?
I’m beginning to wonder.
I come home without the Wendy’s and flip open my laptop hoping that there’s an email or two from one of the voicemails I had left.
I should have known.
I don’t exist.
I pull up a video from youtube. It’s Under Pressure from David Bowie and Queen’s Freddie Mercury. It’s the last song I heard before I got out of the car tonight. I gravitate towards the line… “Watching my good friends screaming let me out.”
Does anyone know that I’m screaming?
I’m OK with being alone. I’m alone once the kids go to school. I’m alone in my head with my thoughts and in my heart with my feelings. I even go to movies and concerts alone.
This whole blog concept was born on the premise of being alone.
I sometimes even prefer being alone.
But I don’t like being lonely.
Today out of the frustration, the anger, the tiredness, and the being sick… it is the loneliness that feels the worst.
The traffic will always clear. The sore throat and sneezing will eventually subside. A good night’s sleep will be had soon. The kids will get along for one magical moment. And most of everything else will slip away like the stars overhead at night.
But in the morning will those voicemails be returned? Will my inbox be full?
Autism, traffic, and bickering siblings will all exist in the morning.
And so will I.
But will anyone know it?
We’re all busy. We all ignore our cell phones and scan our emails. We all think that we need nothing more than money in the bank, a tank full of gas, and a roof over our heads.
But in the end, we all need someone at some time in our lives.
Today was just my day.
Maybe I have more of those than the typical person with typical kids and a typical life.
If that’s the case, then spend a day in my house and see how many times you need a shoulder or an email or a phone call to get you through the rough spots.
Then and only then, will you understand and know how much others are appreciated…
And how lonely, lonely can be.