The most important job that I have on the face of this earth is to be a good mom to my kids.
I figure they at least deserve one parent that feels that way.
I think that's why I got so emotional yesterday when I found the quilts on my front porch.
Getting a gift that my friends made for my family feels like a hug, it feels like what a good parent would do.
"I can't fix everything, but I can let you know how much I care."
The hardest thing lately is admitting to my kids that even the little things that we would do are now out of the question. Video store? Why, that's four bucks and four bucks is a gallon of milk...Driving to the dog park? That's on the other end of town and gas might not be three bucks a gallon now, but it might as well be.
I find myself wandering down to our basement frequently. Not to ferret for food in the chest freezer, but to curl up next to it and cry as quietly as possible. I have amazing kids and they have been through so much and I try to bouy them up and be their safety net but then I turn to face the grim realities of our finances and I try to calmly explain to them that everything will be ok when I feel like I'm failing as a parent and a provider.
My job has a mandatory retirement plan which conveniently kicks in on my next paycheck. It decreases my pay by 5%. The skin of my teeth no longer exists.
I'm becoming fatalistic. I no longer fear bad credit. I make my kids dinner and then sit back to see what's left over so I can eat it. I don't let them see me flinch when they barrell through the food in the cupboard as only the parent of a teenager can imagine. I tell them that there are new realities in our life and then I go downstairs again.
Never let them see you cry.