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.)

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