Thursday, March 28, 2013

Saw my brother-in-law the other day. "How are you?" he asked. And I just said that I was "good" but then added that I had taken some time off for Spring Break, and was trying to get a few things done around the house, but my answer was haltered, stuck in the springy head-collar of life, and I couldn't seem to finish the sentence, and just ended up staring at him. My brother-in-law performs excellent eye-contact in every conversation, and I was thrown off by it, like I always am with everyone with good eye contact.

"Frustrated," he said. And yes that was the word. Hadn't even occurred to me. I was frustrated. And I immediately felt relieved, however slight, just at the mere realization. Frustrated! Thank you! It was the perfect word. It's exactly what I was feeling. And I couldn't even come up with the word.

Mrs. Ditchman was on an appointment the other day and had told me how she had shared a few friendly words with the customer. Seems they both had three children, roughly the same age. One of them was in the room, the older one, I presume, and the customer leaned in, lowered her voice, and said, "Doesn't the third one just drive you over the edge?"

And for a minute you don't feel so alone in the world. This Third One, who is, in most ways, the easiest  one to love (since you know better, now, after the other two) and who DRIVES YOU OVER THE EDGE. This niggling Other, in this family with more small members than you have hands, he wanders up to your tipping point and gives it a thoughtless shove. And then you tip.

So whatever I was going to get done last week, didn't get done. And whatever was started was left unfinished. And perhaps that's my problem. Started too many things, again, when I should be starting so fewer, especially after I started this family. I should know better. I should be humbled. I am, after all, a Third Child myself. I am my own tipping point.