When we’re born, it’s with a clean slate. Perfectly clean, no old, chalk residue. As mothers, the minute we hear their first cry or first set sight on the loves of our lives, we learn about innocence and purity. Most of us can’t remember what we felt like before we had our first heartbreak or when we had faith without worry.
We’re too old to remember or it was so long ago that there are only flashes of unbridled glee, when we close our eyes. Running free in a field of dandelions, licking ice cream on the hottest day in summer or doing a cannonball into a cool pool without our thoughts running rampant.
As progressive women, we never want to believe that anyone or anything can protect us. We believe we can protect ourselves at all costs. Resilience is the only wave with the ability to push us out of our funk. It’s the only needle that can mend our broken hearts without piercing them.
But there are times, when a huge boulder covers us, during an avalanche. It was always there, but we never looked up long enough to notice it. It covers us just enough to still let the sunlight in and let us out after the debris has settled.
We realize how lucky and fortunate we are that it fell so perfectly upon us.
I haven’t written in a week. My stress levels have hit high volume, maybe even reached their peak. My teeth are wearing thin at the base from the grinding that has an everlasting, human battery.
My jaw has been doing the equivalent of 1000 push-ups a day. I can’t stop the mental chatter. My mind has been on overdrive. I’ve been holding my breath and my skin is turning green, like the hulk has inhabited my soul.
There has been fear, worry and anger. All from a public school system that keeps me waiting on pins and needles. Babyface is just entering kindergarten, but the acceptance letters are more scarce than an Ivy League school.
Sometimes I think I might as well carry a rolling suitcase around when I go out with my daughter. For about a year after my daughter was potty trained, I used to carry her diaper bag around, just because it was the perfect size to fit all of her “necessities”. Regardless of where we go, you never know when she’ll need a Band-Aid, Neosporin, snacks, small toys, a sippy cup full of water, sunscreen, wipes or even tweezers.
Then, there are the times, when I venture out alone. Maybe I’m making a quick shopping run. Maybe I’m going to the gym (BIG maybe).
Karen over at Baking in a Tornado has kindly put together a group of 15 fabulous bloggers to participate in a Secret Subject Swap.
Christine from Moore Organized Mayhem has asked me to write about my favorite memory of the holiday season. The following is my response:
It’s near impossible for me to pick just one favorite memory from the holidays. My favorite memory is a general feeling of not being stressed out. Not feeling like I’m forgetting to exhale for a few days. Not feeling like my life is passing me by and taking time to notice the small moments that I’ll forever cherish of my family.
My mother-in-law gave us a gift card for Applebee’s for Christmas, among many other things. I love restaurant gift cards because they are free money and a decision-maker all wrapped into one. The usual, weekend conversation:
Me: Where do you want to go out to dinner?
Hubs: I don’t know. Where do you want to go? (Once again, putting the decision back on me.)
Me: Oh, wait, [insert name here] gave us that gift card for [insert restaurant here]. Let’s just go there.
And, just like that, we don’t spend an hour discussing what cuisine sounds good or whether they have a kid’s menu.
My daughter goes through phases. Usually, they’re built around individual, imaginary play. Perfect for a Mom while she hustles around the house finishing chores and managing the finances. Legos, princess figurines, dress-up and even train sets can keep her busy for short periods of time, while I work.
Her latest phase and craze is board games, which isn’t really conducive to my typical response: “Mommy has to work. Can you play with your toys for a few more minutes?” I have to sit and play with her. Most times, it’s a game that involves a princess crown or building cupcakes.
When you take a break from blogging, because your kid won’t stop tugging on your sleeve and repeating, “Mommy, can I tell you something?”, you notice some very odd things. Many of us had our creative growth temporarily stunted by the holiday break. It’s a bittersweet ritual. Some days, it seems like a warm and cozy break from the cold. Other days, it just gets weird and funky from a lack of fresh air. I never thought toilet droppings would be included in my story of going stir crazy.
Everyone was sick for the first half of the break. Sure, we ventured out to see Santa with Rudolph’s red nose, rosy cheeks and whiskey breath, just to let Babyface say she wanted a Rocket Ship and “eight other stuff”.
She was somebody’s daughter. She was just on her way home from a movie with her male friend in Delhi, India. It was only 9:30 pm. Instead of walking or hailing a taxi, they saw a charter bus with tinted windows. A nice, safe looking charter bus with a young man, a minor, offering to drive them home for 10 rupees a piece. Little did they know, it would not only be the end of their night, it would be the end of her life.
There is a nightmare that is haunting women around the world. A horrifying nightmare that remains most vivid while awake, when the mind wanders through the details of that night.
I bought the tickets two months ago. We would splurge, I thought. We would forego buying each other Christmas presents and go to a 49ers game, during the holidays.
I found some decent, reserved seats in the lower section. The section where my vertigo doesn’t kick in, due to the near-90 degree angle of the steps. The section where I don’t need a box of Kleenex to wipe the blood off my nose. The section where I don’t envision myself tumbling down, cartoon-style, like Jerry’s nemesis, Tom, and landing on some innocent bystander. Landing on another football junkie who’s just trying to eat his $10 hot dog, drink his $12 Bud Light and catch a glimpse of Gore (for you non-49ers fans, I’m not referring to the An Inconvenient Truth politician, but the Running Back that looks like a teddy bear).