On the precipice of sleep, she lay in my arms. Her eyelashes fluttered. So, so close.
I was not in the moment. I was waiting to extricate myself from the moment. Because always, there is something else that needs doing.
I could hear it escalating in the lounge room. A disagreement, a fight. Someone took something, someone didn't let someone do something else. Petty. Bullshit. Nothing.
But everything when you are 3 and 6 years old.
Instinctively, I covered her little ears, tried to nestle her closer into my body to muffle the sound of her brothers.
Just outside the door now, he stood crying.
"Don't you dare open that door, Ziggy."
Don't you fucking dare.
But it was too late and her eyes flew open, as I knew they would.
Fury. My veins were on fire with it. Already it took so long to get this baby down for a nap each day. And it's not fair, not fair that we live in a small house with a baby who wakes easily. They should be able to play. Or fight. They shouldn't have to tiptoe around at nap time but what is the alternative?
I settled her back on the boob. Another crutch that I fear I may never break free of. And in my head, I punched three perfect holes in the wall.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Three. An arbitrary number with no significance other than it seemed like two would not be enough to diffuse my anger.
In my mind's eye, I watched the plaster give way to the force of my fist each time, offering the perfect amount of resistance before falling away, crumbling into dust. Satisfying my need to destroy something. To leave an impression.
What other impressions am I leaving? What are the ramifications of marks that can not be seen? These days, these long days wear me down. Metal to metal. I am worn out brakes; shrill, dangerous.
I love them, all three. But some days, I am worn so thin.
Yesterday the sun rose with an intensity that pushed its way through the blinds and somehow, through me, lighting up dark corners I have been harbouring. I felt something bloom within. The promise of change. Of seasons. Of days.
On the way to school pick up, I noticed the blossoms on the trees. Sometimes that's enough.