March 2012

little soldiers

March 30, 2012

This morning I sat on the floor with a nice woman I had never met before today. She was here to evaluate Elsie because at a recent doctor’s appointment, our pediatrician raised some concerns about EJ’s gross motor skills. So there we were, criss-cross applesauce, nice to meet you. I knew right away that I was answering her questions with too many no’s. No, she doesn’t do that. No, she hasn’t done that. No. No. No. I hadn’t even noticed it before, that when she does her army crawl, she only uses one side of her body.The right. It’s like she’s a little wounded soldier and how didn’t I notice that before? She’s fine. I kept thinking. She’s fine. And you know what? She is most likely totally fine. But all these months. For months and months now and even years, things have not been fine when I start to think they’re going […]

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Just Write {28}

March 26, 2012

I reached up and pulled on my ear lobe and then pulled again and again. I don’t know why, really. Just something to do, something repetitive besides answering Asher’s question, the same one, coming again from the back seat. I don’t know, honey. I just don’t know. I don’t know what else to say about it. He asks the world’s cutest questions and so many of them don’t have answers. It struck me that my ear lobe is the kind of soft that aging brings, like the space between my neck and chin. It’s as if the skin has been stretched by gravity for long enough to have given up. The boys (and I’m sure very soon, their sister) tell me that I’m getting old. I laugh when they say that, but I’m sure this opinion won’t change. They can only see my outsides with fine lines and dark circles below the eyes. […]

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Just Write {27}

March 19, 2012

“I’m going to live my life inspired. Look for the holy in the commonplace. Open the windows and feel all that’s honest and real until I’m truly amazed.” ~Sara Groves Elsie and I went with my Dad to visit my Grandma. She had knee surgery a few weeks ago and you should see her. She’s such a spitfire, she’s already walking with no limp behind her wheeled walker chair thingy. We talked about how it’s so warm for a Minnesota March and she said, It’s kind of scary and I said, Yeah! It is! It just feels so strange. It feels like July or August and so it’s like Minnesota has been tricked or like something daunting is happening. I don’t know why exactly, it just feels that way. Even though we’re REALLY enjoying the unnatural weather. The windows have been open for days and all the winter things are flying out and […]

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let’s talk about them

March 15, 2012

People are like moths to a flame; humans to drama. It’s like we’re so otherwise bored by our existence that we just can’t stand to refrain from flocking to the gossip, the gasping stories. Like most teen girls, I was especially fond of drama, in high school. Now, it makes my stomach hurt and then I turn from it toward my life. If you’re not in the Internet/social media/blogging world, you aren’t aware that there’s drama here just like everywhere else and people get to truly know each other or sort of know each other and they talk about all the goings on. Like how ladies in long dresses used to talk on porches over lemonade, except now it’s a broadcast on Twitter and Facebook and blogs. No matter what the gasping topic or its validity, it’s like a gawker slow down in which the focus is suddenly taken from good things, and […]

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Just Write {26}

March 12, 2012

I handed the teething and fussy and clinging baby to her Daddy right at the moment he came through the door. I said, I need to hide for a little while and here I am. It’s been not even five minutes and Miles has come to the door three times and Asher once. Elsie has been doing that thing with her walker, where she bangs it against the door while making grunt sounds mixed with whining for me. Ryan is trying to make dinner and Miles keeps asking to play a game. It feels a bit like the house is spinning, there’s so much activity. The witching hour(s). Everyone is done, over-tired, needing, hungry and did I mention over-tired? I think of all the houses breathing this same life right now and I know it’s so good that we all get to breathe this way together at all. In a few hours all […]

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I avoided discomfort for most of my life. Now I’m learning to sit in it–to walk through it, not around it–but I still had the idea that discomfort would only come in waves. Ebb and flow. Easy then hard, then easy then hard. Like life was like a carousel moving slowly with the scenery changing from good to bad. It seemed like people take their turns, you know? That their seasons are marked with Joy or Pain, one or the other. It looks like that, when you’re a child because you hear about the Big Things but adults don’t really talk to you about all the constants. And it looks like that as an adult because we compare a lot and comparing makes everything seem big and black and white and one way or the other. I’m finally learning, since I can’t escape it anymore, that discomfort is there all the time. Of […]

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in which I admit…

March 8, 2012

I really hate to admit it, but I’m ridiculous and I thought that perhaps, if I should write it out like a somewhat humorous but also true confession, it may improve. I mean, maybe I’ll stop making no sense about this particular thing. Ahem. Here it goes: I have to stop myself from getting really mad at my husband for nothing. A lot. It’s always about the kids. This insanity takes me over and I don’t know, I guess it’s because  I’m with the kids most of the time. I seem to have this belief that when Ryan’s home from work, he should be completely taking over everything and anything and all things related to child care at every single moment forever and ever amen.  I mean, until he leaves. So…if he starts to make himself some food, I’m all, Why are you doing that? Now? The boys need a bath…or Elsie needs […]

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Just Write {25}

March 6, 2012

I keep trying to take a picture of Elsie in just the right light to catch the way her hair is growing in. It is wispy light, so fine and thin as baby hair is, but so sparse it’s comical. She has baby orangutan hair. It’s hard to capture it in a photo, to do it justice. I want to remember it and maybe I will because I look at it so much. I carry her around a lot, wearing her on my hip and she clings like the monkey that her hair makes her seem to be. She wants me all the time and I want her all the time. I need breaks but not that many and not for very long because I am so smitten. The other day Asher hurt her, doing something a four year old boy would do in a moment of impulsivity. It wasn’t mean-spirited or done […]

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March 5, 2012

{this post was inspired by my own story and also Maggie May’s post Anxiety: A Plague, Years of Wonder. Her words help me more fully understand myself and for that I am always grateful.} It feels ridiculous sometimes. I am a grown woman and my husband is holding my hand and taking me to the doctor, carefully. I sit there, child’s pose and Dr. M. says my face looks brighter, better than the first time. Yes, I’m feeling a little more like I can see myself. She increases the dosage of medication that will hopefully round off the corners of some of this anxiety and depression. She says the medicine will at first make the symptoms worse and then better. I hate that I need a medication that is so confused about itself. She was right. I can’t sleep because of the all the drunk monkeys in my head, pounding around, my eyes flying […]

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like a run-on sentence

March 3, 2012

I received an email from a mother struggling with her drinking and it inspired my last post. I wanted to share her story with you and she gave me permission to do so. Please offer her some support by reading her words. I remember so clearly exactly how it felt to feel what she feels in the fight to get to 5 o’clock and the fight to stop. We all need a better understanding of this very personal  and painful struggle. Thank you.   I’m keeping this mother’s identity anonymous: (sorry for the really small text at the beginning. I just can’t seem to get it to get bigger.) You are almost 2 and 1/2. You are a good – sweet – amazing girl, but today – this week – you have been extremely emotional and aggressive. I myself have been feeling the same. The weather is turning, you are growing and I am […]

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guinea pain

March 1, 2012

It hit me right then, Oh. I said to me. One of the reasons I was drinking so much was to be nice to me. Of course now, in recovery, I see I wasn’t being nice to me at all, but then? I wanted to claim my time, give myself the treat of glass after glass that felt like kindness. It hit me when I got an email from a reader who also struggles with her drinking. In it, she told the story of her day, one in which her child had repeatedly physically hurt her. You know, in the ways that a toddler can–a sippy cup to the head, a tantrum slap to the cheek–things we chalk up to irrational little emotions because a kid is a kid and they’re learning and it’s not personal. But as this lovely mother described this difficult day, I could feel exactly what she was saying. […]

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