Just Write

April 28, 2015

I watch the kids through the kitchen window, out front. Yesterday, the boys were playing with our neighbor friend, who is ten and a girl and she can kick booty with all the boy rough make believe games. They stood in a circle, their backs to each other, and would each count to ten, one at a time, and take off running. Asher went first, because he said he couldn’t run as fast as the older two. Then the other two went, one after the other,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10,

I’m going!

They ran away, around one house or the other, to try to get back before the others. I have no idea why, but they were Avengers.

These are the random things I witness that cause some sort of explosion of love for them down deep. I smiled and wanted to cry for some reason, but kept making tacos instead. I have to be quick because I feel like watching out the window isn’t enough, I want to be out there with them, in weather like this, and not to miss anything.

Elsie is always so tired by this time, in this period of still needing a nap but not napping. She is almost four. I have no idea how that happened. It has gone slow-fast, as every childhood does. But anyway, she’s tired. And maybe some of it has to do with the hole in her heart that’s about to be fixed, I don’t know. The doctor says they usually see quite a difference, from fatigue to energy, after closing the hole. They see relief for the child. I hope that’s the case for my Elsie Jane.

May 4th.

At bedtime, she was all amped up in that over-tired way, and I had to take a big purple ball from her because we were supposed to be settling in with books. She cried hard, like I had taken her favorite object that ever was. It’s okay, Elsie…you just need rest for your body.

We read a book and she did that thing where she knew what some of the pages say before I read them. She would look at me with her big blue eyes like, CHECK ME OUT, I ROCK. So I told her that she does.

Earlier, while standing up on the step stool at the bathroom sinking for the brushing of the teeth, she had stared long at herself in the mirror, made some faces. Then she shocked me with a question I’m still pondering, because three year olds should not be concerned, should they?

Am I beautiful, Mommy?

Of course you are, Elsie. Every part of you is beautiful, inside and out.

She smiled at herself in the mirror, made more faces.

What’s your favorite part that you see? I asked.

She looked and looked, unsure and studying…

My hair!

Oh I love your hair, too! And all the rest, everything is beautiful just like it is. Because even though her hair is always cut a bit wonky, her bangs snipped by me or my mom, crooked and straight across, her hair really is awesome.

I ponder this conversation because I want to worry. We shouldn’t focus on outward appearance…I shouldn’t teach her this….

But she is seeing…she is questioning…

She is right here in the mirror, and it’s so natural to wonder, to start the questions that bring insecurity. It came to her to do this not because of magazines or ads, we don’t even have TV. Sure, our culture is swamped with messages, and they have their effect whether I know they are or not. But maybe telling her now will plant the seeds. None of that matters, because her insides and her outsides are so good just as they are. I don’t tell her this by getting her clothes and hair just right, or focusing on those things with myself so much that she sees it. I’m quite a frump and I don’t mind. I let her dress herself in whatever mismatched tomboy uniform she chooses for the day. Sometimes she picks pink dresses. Mostly she could care less.

That is most certainly beautiful. My heart swelled despite the pondering, because this too is a chance to watch a messy unfolding, as we all do, learning life and its games. My heart should swell through it all because I have the chance to be here for them, in every part.

EJraincoat

This is the 185th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {New here? Please see the details.} 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. (Then link back to this post in your Just Write 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 {184}

April 21, 2015

My friend is in the hospital in a city about an hour away. I drove there yesterday, with the wind trying to push my creaky old minivan from side to side. I love seeing her, no matter where she is, and I’m grateful for the ways she is being cared for there. She is a sober friend, who has been through more of life’s Hard than anyone I know. She says things that feel like the best kind of slap to the heart and mind. Wake up. Stop ruminating.

You are going through hell. Keep going.

While I was there, a physical therapist came in and I sat off to the side to wait. He was from our same town, and so kind. My friend knew all the tricks he would ask her to do before he asked. She’s been fighting her body for seven years, it’s old hat.

My phone rang and it was another sober friend. She said, When I feel like this, I’m supposed to call someone…so I’m calling. And we talked about the way we have a tendency to get on some kind of insecurity spiral and figuring out how it is triggered is probably fruitless but we want to try anyway. What we’re trying to uncover is probably already glaringly obvious. Oh yeah, we’re human.

I left my friend’s hospital room and walked the long corridors and even found my way back to the right level in the parking ramp. This is rare for me. I like to forget where I parked because I’m probably too busy trying to figure myself out. When I do that, I just end up getting lost. I am learning to just let myself be, not perfect, but just here.

This was one of those ramps, like most parking ramps that are like a vortex in which you cannot possibly be finding your way out. I followed the one way, up up up and couldn’t figure out how I was going to end up at street level with all of this going up business.

My friend, she has an infection in her leg and her foot looks really bad and she said something about how maybe they’ll just have to amputate it. This is what we do. Okay, fine. Just cut it off…that’s probably what’s going to happen next. And you know what? Maybe that could happen, but staying in the day means remembering that perhaps the doctors will just fix the foot she already has….that maybe things will turn out in a way that we could not have imagined while making the trip.

So then I was on the roof of the parking garage, and I was thinking about trust. I was thinking in analogy, of course I was. I was thinking about how once I got there, I could see, the path was starting down toward street level again. It just took longer than I would have liked, and it didn’t make any sense to me. But I just kept going and like always, I went home.

:::::

This is the 184th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {New here? Please see the details.} 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. (Then link back to this post in your Just Write 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 {183}

April 14, 2015

Lately there is a moment by moment practice of letting go. It is exhausting, but less exhausting than not letting go. It’s like the difference between doing some yoga and moving on, or running a marathon without ever stopping. I feel off around here, not sure of what to write, when to write, always that feeling of coming up short. Like it’s impossible to take the time, and when I do, I just sit and stare, let go again and move on. Namaste. I can say that the depths of pain that are the crux of divorce will do this. These depths will require a constant practice of letting go, and a desperate need to remember that no matter what it feels like, or what wrongs have been wronged, the path can be clean again, one day. I wrote something about it all, and haven’t shared it anywhere, but what came out of me was this: What [...]

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Just Write {182}

April 7, 2015

Elsie’s voice has taken on a munchkin sound since her tonsils and adenoids are gone and her throat is healing. It’s the cutest thing you’ve heard. My voice has taken on a croaking toad sound since I was slammed with a bug and can’t seem to get better. It’s not the cutest thing you’ve heard. We are all back to struggling through sickness, acquired during spring break and Elsie’s recovery week. Even poor Elsie, with so much already on her healing plate, is coughing considerably. I just keep thinking, This too shall pass. Like the dreary rainy weather will leave, these germs will exit, hopefully quickly. I have no energy to say more, except for to say that in the midst of all of this, there was a Story Show, an event of live readings put on by yours truly and a dear friend that I grew up with. It went off without [...]

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