Falling off My Merry Go Round

I really didn’t mean to.

I had the best intentions.

I really did.

I mean, after all, I’m human.

Or maybe I’m not …

Maybe I’m simply a bundle of emotions and crushed energy, spinning in circles on my very own merry-go-round that isn’t so merry at times.

I usually look up.

I rarely look down.

Unless, of course, I’ve spun right off my merry-go-round, and I taste the dust from the earth

on which I fall with a thud.

It was only a new pizza dough recipe I was trying to make.

Was I being too dreamy, too unrealistic, to think I could get lost in the creativity of my cozy kitchen?

It’s the place where the flavors of my heart come to life.

The center of wholesome nourishment and love, where meaningful conversations and licks of delectable batters and doughs take place.

You were pulling on me with full strength, that of an almost 10-year-old, making your tugs too strong to ignore.

I reminded you to be wary of my healing broken ankle.

I don’t think you know what “wary” means.

You pulled open the drawer packed with measuring utensils.

I said I only needed the three-quarter cup.

But somehow, you translated that into “unpack the drawer, piling everything onto the counter, right into mommy’s space.”

Space.

Not sure what that really means.

I think it’s somewhere close to the moon and stars because I don’t think it exists in my merry-go-round of life.

And neither did “space” find it’s way onto my counter, now splattered with flour and specks of yeast camouflaged into the marbled granite.

I had tried to include you.

I really did.

Because that’s what moms do.

You were bored. No school. Just endless “carefree” summer days.

Just you and me and a bunch of little siblings with sticky hands and chubby faces.

I took a deep breath.

But I don’t think you noticed.

I was holding it all together, my feelings, that is.

Or so I thought.

I looked down at the mound of pizza dough . . .

No.

The dough was way better at being held together than my nerves at the moment.

It had just been a hard couple of days.

You were frustrated and have no words.

And I have words and much frustration.

Not a great combination.

You kept pulling on my arm as i tried to mix and knead the dough.

I asked you to please step back a bit so I could finish making supper.

I even gave you a piece of dough to keep your hands busy.

But to no avail.

You pulled on me while you whined and screeched your loudest.

And I just couldn’t anymore,

I couldn’t hold it together.

I was tired. Deeply tired.

It’s been rough.

And while you’re getting older.

It’s getting harder.

That much, we both know.

And so I fell off my merry-go-round.

Right in the middle of my kitchen.

Choked with tears, I turned around.

To hide from your sweet face.

To keep the sobs away from the purest of all souls.

But you followed me anyway.

Because you’re just like that.

Kind and sensitive.

And you looked at me with your head tilted to the side.

Sizing up the moment.

With love.

Always with love.

You put your arms around my neck.

For a long soothing embrace.

And it felt so good.

To cry.

To love.

And to be loved.

And while tomorrow may resemble today,

We’ll get back on our merry-go-round.

Because that’s what we do.

We dust ourselves off.

We leave the dirt on the ground.

We wipe away the tears and bandage our bruises.

Because after all, there’s so much to be grateful for.

On our merry-go-round.

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2 comments

  1. Dear Chana,
    As always, your writing about Chaim Boruch touched my heart deeply. It invariably makes my problems melt into insignificance and innspires me tremendously. Please keep writing! Arn

  2. Chana Rachel Moss · · Reply

    Beautiful essay! So powerful to feel the immensity of your love despite the immense challenges….
    May Hashem continue to give you the strength to get back on the merry-go-round, and may He see to it that each day is as merry as you hope it to be!

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