In the face of a difficult week, this day had been the worst. She was still reeling from the realization that those she thought were her backbone in the face of life's storm were really the ones who would hurt her the most. And then this day. This day started, and it was hard, and she had not handled it well. The country was shaken by national disasters and a national tragedy. The kids were late to school. The baby was sick. Again. She was sick. Again. She was late picking the kids up from school. It went downhill from there. The play date she'd set up for her daughter who had no friends in the neighborhood fell through. Again. There were many tears and cries of loneliness. She felt helpless, and her answer to helpless was yelling and snapping and hiding away.
Her son had been attacked by a group of boys at school. Her son, who only a few months ago had been a social butterfly with so many kids over every day that it drove her crazy-and now he had no friends and was being bullied at a school she thought was supposed to be safe. More loneliness, more helplessness. More shutting down and putting up walls and forcing a smile and failing at everything.
But she didn't cry.
No, she made it through the day, writing emails, planning more play dates, searching for more options, more hope, more light. Building bigger, stronger walls around her heart.
She made it until 11:55, when the day was almost over and she thought she had survived, and then one solitary tear found it's way down her cheek. She brushed it away, but it was joined by others, until she was sobbing alone in the dark, sobbing so hard her throat ached and her eyes ached and she wondered if she would ever stop and she prayed that the rest of the house would stay asleep.
So no one could see her cry.