I know your mama had a bad day yesterday. You watched me eat stale Easter candy like it was my job. You saw me ugly cry with my head on my knees while sitting on the floor petting the dog. You heard me yell too many times about things I really don’t need to yell about. You watched me march upstairs while it was still light outside and put myself to bed because I wanted the day to be over. You came up and petted my hair while I laid in the fetal position trying to read. I know it is scary to see the person who is supposed to be your safe place wallow in her own despondency.
The truth is, I don’t have a reason. It would be easier if there was something specific happening that caused my bad day. You don’t know how much I want to give you a reason — how much I need a reason. I want to tell you something concrete, something you can process.
It’s not like when Great-Grandpa died or when I watch something horrific happening on the news. I can’t say, “Mommy is sad because my aunt is sick.” On these days, being sad doesn’t even make sense to me. I don’t even know what is wrong. I can’t explain why I feel like I am going to break in two. I just know it’s coming, and try as I might, I can’t stop it.
You need to know I don’t always have the answers. You need to know I am human. You need to know it is not your fault. You need to know you are my everything. You need to know life is hard and sometimes mommy looks like she is falling apart, and I am.
But you also need to know it will be okay. It is normal to fall apart every once in a while. It is fine if there isn’t a reason for our sadness. It is alright if we aren’t smiling all the time. Sometimes we don’t always feel like making it better. Sometimes we just need to be sad, mommies included.
You don’t know what it does for me when you try to make it better by picking me flowers or handing me my favorite pillow. You don’t know how beneath my sadness there is always you, the most precious gifts I have ever been given. You are tremendous and my love for you is deep, even on the days I simply can not do my best — even on the days I yell at you, and even on the days you don’t like me very much. Please don’t ever question that. Can you promise me? Don’t ever question that.
The thing about family is we don’t always have to put our best foot forward. We can be real around each other. If we feel like we are withering away, we can give into those feelings. Should we bring our best every day and try harder? Maybe. But the thing about having a bad day is we have tried. We have tried and feel like we have failed, which makes everything worse.
When I am having a rotten day, I try to remind myself that the good days wouldn’t feel so glorious if they were all good. Bad days have a purpose, bad days can teach us, but bad days can also take us down. Bad days can sneak up on us and feel like they are taking a hold of everything.
But you get me through the bad days — you with your giggles, you with your little homemade snack that you bring me, you with your sweet, soft singing voice — you.
So, yes, Mommy had a bad day yesterday, and surely there will be more. But don’t ever doubt my love for you — not on the bad days, not on the good days, not on any day. Okay?
Kisses and love,