Just Write {44}

July 17, 2012

{snapshots from last week’s solo trip}

driving alone is a simple pleasure for a mother. There’s no mommy mommy mommy! or fighting from the backseat. No angry babies with screams. just you and the road and the radio. I was nervous, leaving Elsie and the knots in my stomach tried to take over what I could see around me but I took those deep breaths and then I saw it, the way the trees and their shades of green made matte and glossy and it felt like I could touch them through the glass.

Deer were out during the day, a mama and her fawn standing in the farmer’s field looking on. No deer in headlights, just that look they get like they must be curious but you can’t tell because it’s as if they’ve had botox for animals or something. They were far enough away to not scare me and so it felt like I could wave and they might wave back but I didn’t take it that far. If I had, so what?

I’m standing in the security line at the airport after that, biting nails, knots trying to tighten down deep and I take more breaths and try to focus on just that very moment and in it I hear the young couple behind me reacting to crying twins somewhere ahead in the line. They are pulling on their mother, begging to be held and she is nearly collapsing under the pressure of all their bags. She can’t pick them up and my heart hurts for her and I’m not thinking about me. I wish I could help but all of our hands are full and there are like 20 people between the 2 of us. The couple behind me scoffs and rolls their eyes and mumbles about getting control of the kids and I smirk and want to turn around and say, you know what’s funny? anything I judged before I had kids? The very exact things I thought would not happen to me, those are all the things that have happened to me, exactly. There are a lot more things I didn’t judge and it’s a wonder, none of those things have happened to me as a mother. It’s like parenting karma or something… (then I’d smile really big and turn around but I didn’t do that, I just smirked.)

At the gate I have time for coffee but I can’t find a coffee place or a place to get a People mag and I always fly with a People mag like it’s a special guilty pleasure flying treat. There’s only a bar and God knows I don’t need that with knots in my stomach so I take a deep breath and I see the people on their stools with early afternoon cocktails and I wonder why there are so many rows of vodka? This reminds me of a bad vodka night about fifteen years ago and how I couldn’t see straight on the way home, a friend driving me and asking me over and over if I’m alright. No, I wasn’t.

I sat back in my seat and called Ryan. I wanted my kids just then.

I’m in the window seat and the college girl with her sorority jacket on is weeping quietly next to me. I saw her kiss her boyfriend goodbye and I can remember those days and wouldn’t it be strange to reach over and hold her hand? I am 37 and a stranger to her and almost to those memories, but I kind of wanted to hold her hand. I reach for tissues instead and let her have her time. Her friend is on the other side of her trying to change the subject but the subject in your heart just can’t up and change.

I’m aching for my nursing baby and it’s so different from her heartache but it’s the same, too.

This makes me want to tell her to get up and off the plane
just go back to him
get married
swell with baby life
carry them screaming through security lines
while eyes roll
I want to tell her that everything will always hurt
when you love hard
but it hurts good
just do it
it’s so hard
and so messy and so beautiful just run to him and make a combined life.

There’s an almost two year old behind us
her parents are telling their seat mate about her
she kicks my seat all the way to California and I don’t care.

Her name is Journey. I’m not even kidding you. Journey is kicking my seat on a spontaneous trip across the country.

We start to descend into our separate adventures and the girl in the middle seat is done crying, just puffy and red for now. She’s pulling out her phone, ready to reach back for him at the very first second that she can. I start to remember a boy from way back then in my life and he used to be so clear and now he’s just a fading memory, the shape of him just a blur that doesn’t fit with all the things I have now. A person’s heart remembers all of its people even while they don’t stay clear. I’m thinking this while reaching for gum in the front pocket of my bag and I find a small pink baby spoon of Elsie’s in there.

I pull it out and can’t remember anything else. I don’t know how it got there. There’s a girl named Journey still kicking my seat and I clutch a tiny spoon and look out over LA, smiling and hurting for my own small journey girl, her two big brothers and her Daddy.

This is what is so good about saying yes every now and again, to stepping away into stories outside your daily stories. It reminds you that the screaming beg to be picked up and the kicking of the seat, they hurt good too, evidence of someone to love.


This is the 44th 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 pageThen please 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?


Tricia July 17, 2012 at 7:24 am

Oh my, I love this so much. This is exactly the sort of thing I do when I travel alone. Though it stresses me and the knots are so awful, the perspective it brings is a thing that almost cannot be gained any other way. I love how you wrote it, I almost feel like I was there, traveling on my own too.
Tricia recently posted..Kept rocking

Kathleen Basi July 17, 2012 at 7:33 am

Beautiful. Someday I want to actually say the things I think to those who judge. I wonder if I’ll ever have the courage?
Kathleen Basi recently posted..Just Write: Angel, Imp, Trouble

Barb July 17, 2012 at 8:15 am

Unbelievably beautiful. And so true. Great writing. Made me take a breath and remember to be grateful for my life.
Barb recently posted..Razors and Fireworks and Spy Missions

Gina July 17, 2012 at 8:16 am

I loved this all the way from a deer’s look as if it’s had botox, to the poem, to “the evidence of someone to love”. I love to travel and do, a lot, but it reminds me to appreciate those I’ve left behind. I got to do this now with your post.
Gina recently posted..A Lesson In Kissing

Jessi J. July 17, 2012 at 8:21 am

Loved this post. Loved it!
Jessi J. recently posted..Staycation Day 2

Ellie July 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

Oh, I have goose bumps. Gorgeous, gorgeous writing, Heather. As I prepare for two trips away I feel that push/pull in my heart and in my gut, while my head is abuzz with excitement.

I loved this post, so much.


Ellie recently posted..Heather and Ellie and A Beautiful Mess

rebecca @ altared spaces July 17, 2012 at 9:25 am

I read People Magazine when I fly as well. It’s the only time, but I devour it. Luscious. My sister-in-law checked into rehab this week. I held my breath as she transferred planes because of those rows and rows of vodka. Your writing here makes me see how treacherous the airport is for an alcoholic.

I struggle with anger even though I know it’s a disease. I don’t get angry at my friend who has cancer and I wish I could borrow this compassion. It’s complicated. I know you know.
rebecca @ altared spaces recently posted..gratitude chases out fear

Kelly @ Love Well July 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

Dang girl.

I want to tell her that everything will always hurt
when you love hard
but it hurts good
just do it
it’s so hard
and so messy and so beautiful just run to him and make a combined life.

This is some good stuff.
Kelly @ Love Well recently posted..Summer Drunk

the grumbles July 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

“your heart just can’t up and change.” Click.
the grumbles recently posted..how come nothing tastes good

laura @ hollywood housewife July 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Every time you write, I just catch my breath. Every. Time.
laura @ hollywood housewife recently posted..aunt awesome

Jen @ Momalom July 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

“Everything will always hurt when you love hard.” This is my life these past several days. Well, this is my life always, but particularly in the past several days. I take comfort in the truth that I am not alone in the hurt. Or in the loving.
Jen @ Momalom recently posted..Just (Risk) Write

Heather July 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Beautifully written, as usual.
Heather recently posted..Des Moines? Yes, Des Moines.

Issa July 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

This made me cry. It is as much the medication I’m taking as it was this post. Or maybe it was more the post. Either way, this was beautiful Heather. Simple. Beautiful.

Planes man. I’ve seen people, complete strangers, at their most vulnerable on a plane. It’s hard to watch and not try and help.

Jessica July 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Perfection and I needed this. I’m leaving my little ones for the first time ever to go to Blogher and I talk myself in and out of it every day but I need to do it for me and for them.
Jessica recently posted..Land of the living

Amanda July 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

What a beautiful ride. Thank you.
Amanda recently posted..Just Write

Amanda July 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm

So wonderful. I relate to this so much. Traveling without kids is so great and rejuvenating and also heartbreaking and almost impossible to survive. I’m always glad when I do it. When I’m on a plane alone, I always think about how good it’s going to feel to hug my babies.
Amanda recently posted..Backyard

Michelle July 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Hope you had a good trip! I would miss my little ones too!

Julia July 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I love this so much and so many phrases have struck a chord with me tonight. So many different stories; so many different types of love; and none of them are any easier or less intense than the others.
Isn’t it funny when moments of our present collide with moments of our past and then remind us all over of our future?
Julia recently posted..The Lullaby

Sarah @ Toddler Summer July 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

LOVE THIS! So beautiful, so true, so well said.
Sarah @ Toddler Summer recently posted..Just Dance

IASoupMama July 18, 2012 at 6:32 am

This is just gorgeous. I am always giddy going somewhere sans kids, but I miss them sooner than I expect and end up miserable without them around making me crazy. Funny how that works…
IASoupMama recently posted..My Selfish Fear

Gianna July 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I have never left my kids for a trip across the country. I have left them for a couple of hours away and a couple of states away, but not across the country. i would like to think it would be glorious.

And I still think it would be. But I also know that I would miss them except it would feel like missing them. It would be an emptiness that I don’t know how to fill but I’m glad is only temporary.

And then, I would have a marvelous time!
Gianna recently posted..The 2012 Color Run Haiku

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