The air smelled heavily of rain, but the clouds have yet to release their torment. Lightning crackled across the sky as the trees bent with the wind. She sat on the plastic chair on the covered porch and watched the clouds roll on top of each other. The house was finally quiet after the tornados that were her kids were fast asleep.
She sat there with the one glass of wine she allowed herself. The trees moaning as the wind lashed at them, ripping off leaves and thrashing them in its macabre dance was the only sound. A sigh started in her toes, crept up her legs, gathering broken dreams and despair as it rose until it escaped her lips.
She was a snack giver, meal preparer, first responder, laundry service, taxi, and referee to the endless UFC battles her kids partook in.
Yes, she was many things, except the one she always longed for most.
Her dream first took seed when she was twelve. She had spent most of her free time creating worlds in her notebook, falling in love with the characters she imagined. But somewhere along the way, she had put her notebooks away as life has a way of demanding to be put first. Real-life drama overtook her imaginary ones. Life became busy and hectic. But the seed was sown, withered over the years of neglect, but had never died. It festered in the dark recess of her mind, waiting impatiently for her to pull the weeds around it and help it flourish once again.
When the dark clouds could no longer hold back its tears, they were big fat drops that chilled your skin even though the temperature was still warm. Lightning flashed across the dark sky. Thunder rumbled low and long, vibrating deep within her.
What did she contribute to this world? She no longer held a job, focusing instead on trying to steer her little whirlwinds of energy and destruction to be kind and helpful people. At times, this seemed an impossible task. How does one tame a storm? Every day the flurry of madness threatened to engulf her and drag her down into a dark abyss.
Her husband tells her it won't always be this way. One day, sooner than she thinks they'll be grown and gone. She'll miss the calms before the storms. The random hugs, the sweetness of their faces as they beg for just one more story before bed. She knew this to be true. Yet, there are many days when she feels she'll drown in the rain.
The wind shifted slightly, enough so that the tears from the sky splattered across her as if the storm knew she wouldn't let her own tears fall. It was a risk she couldn't take. For once they start, there'd be no end until she was submerged in the puddle, gasping for air that was no longer there.
What would her legacy be? She once thought it would be to have her name on the covers of books, helping others escape whatever torment they might face. But now, there was nothing. Not long ago, she had found her notebooks from her carefree days. She had felt a drop of hope. She picked up a pen, but no words would flow onto the paper. But did she expect them to when her house sounded as if she were at a heavy metal concert? She tried a few more times, but no one talked to her like they once did. Her characters were silent, refusing to tell her their stories. So once again, the notebooks were put away. She had nothing left to give, nothing left to offer the world to let them know that yes, she did once exist.
It was mainly her who ran the house ever since her husband received a promotion causing him to travel. She spent her days taking care of everyone else, making sure they had what they needed. Days blended on top of each other. Every one pretty much the same, occasionally broken up with baseball games, doctor appointments, and playdates. And of course the endless battles.
The rain chilled her, yet she stayed seated sipping her wine. What did any of it matter? She could catch her death out here but would anyone notice or even care? She was inconsequential. No, they would notice when they were hungry or had to be driven to a baseball game, or one of the other million reasons they called for her.
But when was the last time anyone did something for her? When her husband was home, he was exhausted from being on the road, never being able to sleep well in hotels. He slept then joined the wrestling matches, creating even more noise she wished she could turn off like a tv. She longed for silence, not forever, simply for an hour.
She couldn't remember the last time she met a friend out for lunch. She surely wasn't going to with three hurricanes in tow. Her friends no longer asked for she had made excuses for too long. They go about their days, with their meaningful careers, without a thought of her here, alone, yet not alone.
When, if ever, would it be her turn? Will anyone support her dream as she had supported theirs? She always stood on the sidelines, cheering everyone else on, and pushing them to succeed. But here she sat, cold and wet, her dream unlived.
She contributed nothing, left no legacy. She wore many hats as a mother, but not the one she yearned for most. That hat was held out of reach, teasing, tormenting, occasionally flying by and as she stretches to grab it, the storm whips it away, tossing it even further away.
From inside she heard her youngest cry out. The thump, thump as he thrashed about, caught in another night terror.
"Break time's over." She stood, a single tear sliding down her face, as she walked to her son's room.
Yes, she had a dream, but for now, she was simply a mom trying to survive the rage of the storm that threatened to consume her.