Tuesday, August 26, 2014


A rediscovered draft from three years ago. Funny how much has changed...and how much hasn't even budged.

June 20, 2011
For the time being, I have pretty much given up on myself as a free agent. We are a team. Wendy and I, plus my barnacle (baby). We move as a unit.

Downstairs for breakfast and tea (together). Upstairs to get dressed (together). Outside with no shoes on to plant things in the dirt (cilantro, tomatoes, basil, zesty! salad! mix! and parsley, together!) and get dirt everywhere, including baby mouths. Putting Liam's feet on the ground so he can pound the grass under his heels until he goes all wobbly, then meandering around the yard, following his sister's babble of stories and stream of honey-brown hair until he finally sleeps on my shoulder. Inside again for laundry.

And more laundry.

And more.
Together here too, though this looks like Wendy watching TV from the basket while Liam and I play peekaboo with Daddy's underwear, because my barnacle doesn't nap. My Fault. I'm bad with schedules. I wish he would overlook this flaw of mine and do it anyway.
I could never fake the gorgeous moments as Stay at Home Mo that fall on me like a ton of bricks every day, when I am not ready or expecting. The kids in the garden. Liam laughing at Wendy running.  Wendy's face in a mask of concentration as she applies Manic Mango Hanna Montana glitter gloss to my lips, her eyes wide and focused, her own mouth tense and curling ever so slightly at one corner. This, I suddenly know with great clarity, will be the expression on her face when she is someday working on complicated math or painting her art class masterpiece or putting together an Ikea desk or performing brain surgery.
Thank you, SAHMo, for saying "yes" to the makeover. That face that I saw? That is a gift. (Plus glitter lips!) Try to say "yes" more. 
Outside to check the sunflower sprouts, then to story hour at the library and listen to the other moms sing preschool songs that I've never heard in my life (HOW DO THEY ALL KNOW??), while Wendy gives me the side-eye. I know she is scanning my reaction and deciding if these people who sing nine rounds of Duckie songs are cracked, or if this is totally awesome and I have just been holding out on her. Yes, Wendy. A whole world of music-and-motion with Miss Sara, and I've been keeping you in the quiet-and-still in a grey house of decaying dreams.   Dancing at the end credits of EVERY MOVIE WE WATCH just isn't quite as relevant as a few weak Ducky-related verses. If only I'd let you watch Barney, your life would be complete.
Library trips do not count, I don't think, as "out." I try to talk to the other moms, but there is always the sizing up that interferes from all sides: does your kid share? so you are just going to let her throw that block, huh? Who is your Husband and What does he Do? are you at home on purpose, or just unemployed? How about breastfeeding? church? preschool? dance class? Hey. Nice shoes.

We move as a unit-a three person society-but Wendy plays with the other kids whole-heartedly and un-selfconsciously. I am still vacuum-sealed away from the outside environment. Like the ground bison meat at the grocery store. It's like the hamburger and meat loaf mix...but obviously not from around here.  Not something you are quite sure you want to try.

What do you think? Will I scare the Library Moms away if I just skip all of that and start every conversation with "hey, what's up with whole parts of your personality dying and falling off like gangrene-infected toes when you become a mom? is it bad that I don't even miss those toes? do you always walk all tilty, do you think? are you looking for new friends?"

Probably freak them out, right?

The time stretches out in front of me, and I have to truly talk myself through every second and breath of some of the longer hours and some days I actually don't want to...and I am glad for my team, then. I know they are with me, and they know I'm with them.  That makes it worth it. It doesn't fix everything, but it balances.

Try to say "yes" more, and these gifts will fall at your feet. It's so worth it. 


  1. This. Totally. Needed. Attempting story hour tomorrow.

  2. I meant to tell you sooner, but this is lovely. And as I'm about to add a barnacle it will look more like my days. My Mo has preschool a couple mornings and big girl activities--"I want to go someplace in your little car," she tells me--and we will come dragging along behind her. :)

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