Just Write {150}

August 26, 2014

It was a stifling kind of humid this weekend and then just like that, it lifted. That’s Minnesota. It’s a “just like that” kind of place. This morning it’s so chilly I’m glad I closed the windows last night. I sit here now with slippers on. The air around me smacks of autumn, and so do all the back to school Facebook posts of yesterday.

We still have this one week before the call of the fall schedule. This one week, to shift gears, let go, and start again.

Sometimes people say, We’re ready! and I think they mean they have all their school supplies and the clothes that fit the season and the growing children. If they mean they are mentally and emotionally prepared, they need to be teaching the rest of us. I haven’t met a mother (or any guardian of a child’s life and heart) that feels ready for such changes.

New school years are like birthdays. As exciting and good as they can be, they are a slap to our nostalgia, our holding on, our parenting hearts.

Almost every single Facebook post with smiling (or eye-rolling) first day-ers yesterday said something like, “Where did the time go?”

We mark time with these First Days and time is a slippery thief, only slow in grief or illness. Most often, even when seemingly stalled, like at the DMV, time is a future-jumper, laughing and running away and leaving us standing there like our bag was just snatched while we walked along oblivious.

Summer stalls. Time marches on despite it.

Yesterday Elsie used a black marker to make something of a tattoo sleeve on her arm. She did this in a few moments while I stirred and measured, clanging around in the kitchen, right there with her. Then she took that arm and moved it back and forth across her face, her mouth, her cheeks, mostly. She was bearded. Black Beard. Smiling and proud.

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I laughed. I mean, pick your battles. Life is too short with time doing all that stealing.

Then I put the markers away.

We made and ate granola bites. We snuggled on the couch. We drew pictures on paper instead of arms. We played outside. We saw the dentist.

Every moment shifts, wraps itself around me while I try not to think too much about how we do half-time now, Daddy in the other house that is also their Home. How I miss too much when they are there. How my heart may never adjust and what of theirs? Are they as good as they seem? Will they adjust to school okay in the midst of this new life? How is it that they can be so resilient? Thank God they have a Daddy that is crazy about them and loves to be with them too. Thank God we are trying, so hard, to do right by them, each moment.

The mess we made with oatmeal, milled flax seed, peanut butter and honey…well, it was big. The stirring is tricky and the makings of the granola bites seem to escape the bowl so easily. To the counter and the floor, messes everywhere. My black-bearded helper beamed on and on and up at me. The boys bounced by with the guinea pig, laughing.

The granola bites themselves could have used more honey, or some chocolate chips.  I always add chocolate chips, but we were out, so we just kept it simple. We are still eating them. There is still a lot of sticky oatmeal on the kitchen floor.

We made a mess, yes. We also made tuna casserole, because that’s what good Minnesotans do when the weather shifts and the school year calls and says it’s coming whether you like it or not.

We will get around to cleaning up, and we’ll eat, and we’ll play, and somehow we’ll even fit in going back to school. And it will be okay.

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This is the 150th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. There are really no rules, besides Just Write! (Then link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

Also. Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word?



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Just Write {149}

August 19, 2014

They were wiped out, and so was their mother (that’s me!) but we were keepin’ on keepin’ on. That’s how we roll. And it is in the midst of all of the busy-ness and ugh and whining and arguing and trying and failing and keepin’ on, that we find the most moments of joy. No, not in the times when we try to make it arise, like planning a special trip or event. I mean, that’s fun too, but joy seems to prefer the daily grind and sometimes it is hiding behind the ordinary and can only be found if you keep going around the next bend.

For us it was popping up in the middle of this: I came home from work. I had been at the Middle Fork Cafe, with the entire place full and just one me, until serving help came. Phew. The kids had a sitter and had so much fun with her.

Dishes, laundry, garbage out. Then we needed to run something to Nanny and Bapa’s. We stayed there for a bit, and I did some social media work. Then back home. The kids started playing outside with the neighbors, sidewalk chalk and the water table. The boys came in and out and in and out, while I cleaned the guinea pig cage. They held Butterscotch, the piggie, to make the cage easier to clean. Elsie got covered in sidewalk chalk and water, even though she just had a bath at Nanny and Bapa’s house. The boys were puddle jumping, even though they just had a bath at Nanny and Bapa’s house.

For some reason I made my bed all of the sudden, only to discover the boys had been in there with Butterscotch and Butterscotch had assumed my bed to be a litter box.

Ew.

I went downstairs to collect laundry and stepped in dog pee.

Ew.

I cleaned up poop and pee.

The kids came in to get ready for bed. Showers were in order. Elsie went in first, and complained about the temperature and I heard yelling. Asher appeared in the doorway, crying, saying he had fallen off the neighbor’s scooter. I took Elsie out, and put him in, to rinse his fresh knee scrapes. Elsie cried, wanting to stay in longer, but it was past her bedtime.

The dog needed to go out. Because PEE ON THE FLOOR.

I went to put Elsie to bed, and she was a wreck, so over-tired. It took a long time. Meanwhile, the boys took out every single bed night snack in the kitchen and sat on the counter, eating.

Oh well.

Then it was time to ask and re-ask them to brush teeth, use the bathroom, get PJs on… No really, did you brush? Let me smell. (Categorized under things I never thought I would say/do.) They got into bed and didn’t have all the stuffed animals required so we did a house search, coming up only one plush Minecraft Creeper short. This was a huge problem, according to the eldest, but I did not see it that way. This lasted a while and then, and THEN, there was finally sleep.

Their eyes closed, their breathing deep, their curled fingers relaxed and not fisted. Their mouths just slightly open, their blankets already messy with restless sleep.

I pushed each of them, my three, closer to the middle of their beds, to feel better about their chances of falling out. Their growing bodies felt anchored with the heaviness of a child’s deep sleep.

Elsie only stirred a bit while I moved her. Miles’ eyelids flickered and gave in again to closing. Asher did not move or make a sound.

I looked at each one and didn’t even have to think about it. The end of every day feels like the end of me, but is always just the beginning.

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This is the 149th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. There are really no rules, besides Just Write! (Then link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

Also. Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word?



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just take a moment…for Ferguson

August 15, 2014

Honestly, once again, I knew too little. Breaking news is something I don’t have connection to these days, honestly. I am in a little starting-over-mothering-working-three-jobs bubble. I am blocking out the world a lot, which can be really good, but remember, the best way to overcome your stress and pain is to change the freaking topic from self to others. So. Ferguson. I am caught up now. And these here posts (below) by friends of mine say what needs to be said most. Please take time to openly receive these perspectives and learn from them. I feel the heart of a graceful humanity in these words. I do not feel the sometimes defensive and ignorant responses that are rooted in just not getting it. Please read these: Sarah Bessey – In which I have a few things to say about Ferguson Preston Yancey – When this is about Ferguson Ann Imig – My [...]

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Robin Williams, Matt Walsh, Joy and Silence

August 13, 2014

Don’t worry, I won’t pretend to be an expert on depression or any mental illness or addiction for that matter. I could try to do that, telling you I have a degree in Psychology and ten years experience working professionally with people struggling with mental illness. I could tell you that I have struggled myself, with both depression and addiction and I am sober and I’m better. That I know how it feels. I could tell you how many people I’ve known who have taken their own lives. In a way, I guess I’m telling you all of that. But none of it matters, so let’s not focus on it. Nothing makes any person an expert on another person’s pain, mental health, life, or death. And yet there sure are a lot of self-proclaimed experts out there, especially on the Internet. And lately I’ve been so immersed in life that I am very [...]

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