‘Yeah I know who she is and I can’t stand her.’ I felt embarrassed. The tears started running down my face. I felt my chest close up. Everything in my body was pulling me out of there.’

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“Today I had what started off as a bad day. I went out somewhere to an event out of my comfort zone. I felt awkward. I arrived and was met with some funny looks, then there were some hurtful things said at the park directed towards me, ‘Yeah I know who she is and I can’t stand her’, and Luca was the kid who was wanting to play with toys (what I thought was for everyone) with other kids where he was clearly not wanted.

I felt embarrassed, and I couldn’t help it, but the tears started running down my face and I couldn’t stop them. I felt my chest close up and my throat… and everything in my body was pulling me out of there. I tried to say to Luca that we calmly needed to go, ‘But you said we would go on the swings,’ was his response to me. I couldn’t even make it to the swings where I couldn’t stop crying. We were there for 10 minutes.

In that moment I was defeated. I felt embarrassed, hurt, and like I failed my child, that because I couldn’t keep my emotions together, we had to leave somewhere. He missed out on a fun day. He hugged me and said, ‘You’re not crying!’ And laughed. He was making funny noises as if to try to cheer me up.

We got closer to the car where it was a mile away because we had to park so far and as the car got into view, he started to get upset. He wriggled free from my arms and said, ‘I don’t want to go home!’ And ran so far, I could barely catch up to him. When I finally did, I was sobbing, and I was angry. All the embarrassment of before came out and all the worry of him running all exploded out of my mouth and I yelled at him and grabbed him into my arms. He looked at me like he was afraid of me… and he said, ‘Don’t do that Mummy.’

I didn’t say a word. I strapped him into the car, and he started to cry even more and then I sat in my chair and covered my face and cried. We both cried. I apologized to him over and over for ruining his day and that I was sorry I yelled at him. I felt like crap.

I was driving home and then we passed a McDonald’s. In my head a little voice said, ‘The day can’t end this way’.

We stopped, and I only had $4.00 in my account, so I bought him an ice cream in a cup with two little chocolates. I said after your ice cream we can play in the playground… and he said, ‘you’re not angry anymore Mommy?’ (In his toddler ninja/alien talk) I said ‘no, I’m okay now. The day isn’t going to end badly today’.

And then by my surprise my cousin came in to order for him and his family. They’re my favorite cousins and like my best friends. He only came in because the line for drive through was so busy. I believe it was fate… I told him all about it and he said, ‘Aww come over, we will make the day better’.

Before we left, I made sure I kept my promise. My son ate his ice cream and he danced to the music in the middle of McDonald’s (that kid can move) and played in the playground.

He played all around the playground until he got to the top, and he then got stuck… I couldn’t fit in there with my overly loved ass, so I was trying to help him down with my words. (GET DOWN! … yeah like that, no just kidding…) I started to think the worst, that he’d get stuck and whatever else…. but then another little boy came into the playground and saw Luca and said, ‘I’ll help him.’ The little boy held his hand and brought him down the slide and they played for a little bit. After being semi rejected from people seeing my son being included made my heart soar.

And this is life. This is Perinatal depression, this is anxiety, this is all of it… because some days are crap, but then they turn into rainbows. Sometimes things happen and then you beat yourself up, but then you do something amazing and you know it was just a bad moment. Sometimes you can’t see past the bad or the dark hole but every time you do it’s closer to feeling recovered, even though you may never feel fully cured… Or sometimes strangers are assholes and they’ll make you think the whole world is bad, but then you’ll meet some or you’ll have some in your life that will just turn your life around again and make it better.

You can get stuck at the top of the slide, but your day won’t end that way, I promise you. There will be a hand there that will come to help you down so you can enjoy the ride and learn to get back up again.”

Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run, where it originally appeared. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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