Thursday, September 13, 2018

In-betweens

Between the moments are the "in-betweens"... 

The in-betweens are those things we don’t share on Facebook, post on Instagram, capture in 280 characters on Twitter, or brag about at the water cooler.

In-betweens, we barely even share with our friends, we dance around the topics in our online mom groups, but we joke about them because they seem to be too embarrassing to share.

The shared moments range from food pictures to selfies, kid’s achievements (who knew 3rd grade graduation was a thing), a happy couple smiling for the photo op, and the triumphs of daily life. The shared moments can also include the death of a loved one, some tragedies are considered shareable, and asking advice for the mundane.

The in-betweens, however, are not sexy. They are not congratulatory, not advice seeking. They are the things that keep us from social media, that keep us from breathing, that drown our daily lives.

The in-betweens are the mornings that you cannot get your kids to get ready for school because “nothing is right to wear,” the days when you hit every red light that makes you late for dropping the kiddo off, the things you forgot at home that you have to go home for...

The in-betweens are the fights you have with your spouse, where you wonder if you are insane or if your spouse is insane, but either way, you feel that you are the only one who has ever lived through this insane lame fight.

The in-betweens are the mountains of laundry (how many times a day do they change clothes?!), the never-ending dishes (I swear we don’t eat this much), and picking up the same shit day in and day out.

The in-betweens are the long work days full of a thousand decisions, long meetings, silly people, and an inbox that never ends. As you cross off one thing on the to-do list, five more creep in. 

The in-betweens means that no matter how rough of a day you had at work, you still have everyone to take care of when you get home. 

The in-betweens are when you wonder how you can have a wife to help take care of everything,  even if you already have a husband.

The in-betweens are when you wanna throw all the toys in the trash. When you wanna take a torch to the whole house because you don’t want to pick up after anyone anymore. 

When you lock yourself in the bathroom, just for a few moments alone. And then someone starts knocking on the door, “Mom, Mom, Mom...” That is an in-between.

The in-betweens are when the people who need your help outnumber those who don’t. And your sense of worth is tied up in how many text messages you can answer in an hour, but no one asks you how you are.

The in-betweens are lonely, which is why no one talks about them. They aren’t glamorous, they don’t sell books, they don’t write scripts, and they don’t feed our souls.

The in-betweens are the sicknesses that last for weeks and months, but no one knows, as you wait for the fateful diagnosis, which may come... but more likely you are left with mysterious symptoms and no answers that you cannot even share for sympathy.

But the in-between outnumber the moments often - the mundane overtakes the interesting, and the drudgery overshadows the celebrations. So when my social media feed comes stale, it is because the in-betweens are so many I cannot find the moments. And no one wants to know about the in-betweens. We ignore the daily pains of each other, we struggle alone, we hide in our embarrassment. 

Some people are better at negotiating the in-betweens--they take the humor of the in-betweens and make them cute stories that we all find relatable. But most of us, forget those cute moments in an instant because so many more in-betweens happen before we can get to social media. 

I’ve been living in the in-betweens, a lot more than the moments lately. They overtook my world, quietly, and I couldn’t stop them from coming. It was just a few at first, but then a hundred a day, like tribbles that keep breeding. The moments are still there, they are just strangled by the in-betweens, so much so that the moments never fully develop. The moments are beautiful blossoms that never fully emerge, struggling for water and air, as the in-betweens take my minds resources and create more in-betweens.

Even the writing of this is an in-between, fighting its way into a moment.

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