It is a boring answer to 'how are you?', an insulting comment on how you look; a sometimes welcome explanation for why you feel angry/impatient/insecure; a given when the flu hits; a part of life when you love and travel across the country; a gift when you can sink into bed (and have uninterrupted sleep).
Tiredness is one of my least favorite feelings.
It, obviously, comes with the territory these days -- and years. Today, this week, this summer, I am tired. I feel it under my eyes. I feel it at my edges, a rawness starting to creep toward center. I feel like a drain is open, and I can't quite fill up.
Each night when I hit my wall, I almost go to bed. But the evening is bright, sun still throws light across the grass -- it's summer. So instead I open a book, I look at pictures, I talk with Ben, I sit at my computer, I watch a show (Newsroom is back!), I do something until the second wind hits. These days that second wind is gusty, and I don't come down easily, and so I'm cycling: late night, Maeve at 5AM, late night, Maeve at 5AM. Burning the candle at both ends, they say, or what it feels like is just melting in the middle.
I have alternated between alarm and sadness that we're flipping through summer days so quickly, that already, August, the month of school, is here. I keep holding the kids' faces in my hands and staring at them; they seem to be changing in front of me. Silas reminds me of my brother Eli; he looks different. As I wrestle a brush through Eden's hair -- an inexplicable nest every morning and afternoon -- I notice her head against my ribs and her little bare feet on the floor as she waits for my help. She will be going to kindergarten in a month, and my ache is deep.
This last month of summer, I've left the days wide open: no camps, no classes, just us. We will swim and walk to the library and drive each other a little crazy. I need to feel a little crazy-driven to be able to hold hands and walk those little bodies back out to the school bus, to let them climb up the steps and disappear for the day.
These days I want to feel energetic and unhurried with a plan up my sleeve. Instead, I feel deficient and in need -- of help, iced tea, walks, quiet, sleep...
Need, I suppose, is a force that can change us. Maybe God will use this to ready me for school, or to make me grateful. Today, I am trying to find what to be thankful for in this sluggishness: right now, as I'm trying to type on my bed, Silas is lying full-weight across my back, Eden is tapping each of my toes singing "eeny meeny miney moe," and Maeve is yelling for me from her crib -- this, I know, is one thing.