This essay originally appeared on Jennifer’s blog, mamawolfe.
It’s too early in the school year to be doing this. To be tying a knot, night after night, hoping to strengthen my line. Willing myself to lengthen my line, to make myself a better person. A better teacher. Friend. Wife. Mother.
To push myself to grow, to learn, to excel, to serve.
To not let go. To not listen to them. Knot by knot.
Twenty-four days into the vastness of it all. One hundred fifty-six more to go. Knot after knot after knot. Tears. Smiles. Laughter. Success. Setbacks. I will myself upward.
The rope strengthens as I work through it, as I twist and turn and weave new fibers in. The knots unravel, slowly, and I pull harder and harder, determined they will hold. Determined that I will not be broken. I will not fall. I will not get to the end alone. I will not. let. go.
I will not let you down. I will use all my strength, pull myself up, twist it, squeeze my eyes shut and will myself higher. I will slide, slowly, my skin burning as I go down and then – SNAP!
I hover, suspended mid-air, forced to decide the next direction. I move up, sometimes slowly, sometimes strengthened by the boost of another. Knot after knot, I grip, grasp, groan my way upwards.
I’m almost there.
I can see the end of the rope.
I will hang on.