The Longest Night

Isn't it funny how a little ball of fur is so comforting?
Isn’t it funny how a little ball of fur is so comforting?

I couldn’t open the laundry room door and the dogs were trapped inside. They were whining, tears were streaming down my face. Convinced that an intruder stood on my back porch, I clung to the screwdriver in my hand, sobbing for my dogs to come out and bark and scare the person away. Logically, deep down, I know the handle is broken, but I was convinced my dead grandfather held the door shut, cackling as he aided my attacker in his plot to take my life.

That was one night this week.

Another, I pulled out a broken tooth in three pieces–two not so loose and bloody as can be–after treating mysterious bug bites on the kid, failing at plunging the clogged toilet with our dilapidated plunger, losing work and answering emails, Facebook messages and texts for three hours (many of which I really couldn’t help with; I’m not a tech wizard). Most weeks I have a few to dozens of emails about everything from how to homeschool to how to be a freelance writer–so many I’ve written long posts to point people in that direction–but I’ve been answering for at least 2 hours a day–sometimes 4 hours–all week. This usually happens in September and January, sure, but it never seems to get easier.

Lack of sleep has a role to play here, but my nightly paranoia and panic attacks coupled with daily temper tantrums may have some roots in the season (weather, political, whatever). I ran across a post from Terri Windling’s Myth & Moor today that resonated with the chaos of my body and mind, and in it she shared this video.

The Longest Night from Angie Pickman on Vimeo.

If that brings you comfort, it makes me glad. It gave me comfort, too.

After announcing to the world (aka Facebook) that I won’t be around for question-answering for a couple of days, I closed my laptop, had a snack with my daughter (yes, not eating probably plays into this madness on occasion) and snuggled. Then she asked if I could help her install a Minecraft texture pack. If you know me, you know that you might as well be speaking a dead language, but I gave it a shot and pulled it off. Her joy at having a Doctor Who theme made is so worth it. It felt so good to get something right, to incite joy in someone, to watch her dance around happily because she can put posters of Christopher Eccleston on top of the crude, chunky game graphics. I’m so fortunate–every day I love to be around this happy, funny, clever, kind girl and I wonder what I did that was good enough to give me the chance to be her mom.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer wrote, “It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.” I’m off to do just that. I knew this week would be hard. Indy’s working 60 hours training for his new job and we are both experiencing, to put it mildly, “rough days.” Like this wolf, we just have to keep on walking.

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