Just Write {118} with more information on the Just Write online writing course

January 13, 2014

Free-writing is more about feeling than thinking. This post is freely written as a part of Just Write (see the square at the bottom of this post for more information on an online free-writing course with me, starting Jan 21.)


I don’t know if this makes sense to very many of you, but I typed it out yesterday in a flash and moved on,

“Watching videos of the boys when they were babies and I am sitting here feeling the weight of myself on this very chair and how I can’t stay here. I want to be heavy enough to stay here. I’m back there and trying not to go ahead and living in the now is hard, but please can I? Not really, because of time, and because I’m so slow to catch up. I’m far too busy reveling and all this time I thought I wasn’t.”

Yes, a facebook status. I have been so rarely online and when I am, I say something and then shuffle off again, putting pieces in a puzzle or reading a book with pages that flip.

It inspires me to write, spending time offline and living with no extra noise.

We went to a nearby historic town on Saturday and it was so quaint and quiet, the sun was shining. In the shade, I would catch a chill and then I found some moccasin boots with fringe and I bought them, with hardly a thought, which is new for me. I love them.

Right now Elsie is running around the house in a pink tutu and Nanny is hiding and jumping out to scare her and then she laughs like it’s the first time it has ever happened. But on Saturday, on our adventure, she was the one that hid, most likely quite accidentally, but still.

We were all gathering back at our vehicles and discussing something and we were standing there just a moment and then it was time to climb in, but Elsie Jane was suddenly and explicably nowhere. We all turned and looked, up the sidewalk and down the other way and we were parked on the street. My legs went numb and I couldn’t breathe and I turned to look at the cars whizzing by, OH GOD please no…

Everyone started walking faster and yelling Elsie louder and I stood right here in front of our minivan, about to step right out in the traffic to make it stop. Not a green light. STOP. Where was she? How? Where? Oh God…

Not around the corner, not in the van or behind it and not anywhere and I just waited with my shoulders up for a screech of tires and it was my worst nightmare, or one of the many.

Then my Dad was pointing up and that didn’t make any sense. But there she was, where we had allowed her to go earlier for photos. Up the side of a building, the metal stairway, too narrow, the gaps of the railing bigger than her and she was alone and in danger but not in the street. So I ran up the stairs behind her with my jell-o legs and scooped her up and sat down with her.

These are the times when there is no denying how little we have and it is so much. That nothing is missing and everything is right here, enough, more than anything we could be missing ever again. It was that scary. I still cannot stop the image of her stepping out into the street from flashing through. It will haunt me and there’s nothing I can do about that.

Later that day I was folding laundry and it struck me that I really am always somewhere in the past. The future so often only has worry, so maybe that’s why I stay back? But I think mostly I am back there because it has gone so fast and I have never been good at catching up with change. I feel the rooms of three houses ago like I just woke up in one. I can’t remember it all clearly, but my heart does.

I used to think I wasn’t living in the now enough. I think most moms feel that way. But maybe we’re doing just that. Maybe our heads and hearts are so wrapped up in these little ones that we are as here as we can possibly be and we’re dragging our feet a little, to stay off the street. To keep the dimpled fingers. To love them exactly as they are before they move on and we fall for them again, the gaps of time too far apart to stay anywhere but here.


This is the 118th 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, and please don’t link to posts that are not freely written in the spirit of capturing moments–you know, don’t link to how-to posts, lists or sponsored posts. Also, please link back to this post in yours so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.

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? Thank you!


Arnebya January 14, 2014 at 8:27 am

I feel consumed with, overwhelmed by, worry. Those images like the one you had of Elsie and a car flit through my kind constantly, with alarming detail. Possibilities. Random possibilities over which I have zero control. It makes my stomach contract with the effort to push past it, to live in the now, in reality, not dwelling on possibilities, scary possibilities. That I only have one set of dimpled fingers left amazes me. Soon they too will be long, maybe slender, and not so quick to slip into my own. Soon. Too soon. I think that’s why my mind stays more back then than here.
Arnebya recently posted..Just Write: Tired, Get Out of My Vocabulary

Elaine A. January 14, 2014 at 10:06 am

You remind me of the time I “misplaced” G at the soccer fields a couple of years ago. THANK GOD for other parents who found him. They can slip away SO fast! (I was by myself with the 3, rushing to get the oldest to his game on time!) But yes, the thoughts that go through our mother head at that moment are sometimes too much to bare…

Anyway, you know I FEEL all of this. You always write it so well…
Elaine A. recently posted..In Line at Target…

Jennifer January 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Yes, yes, yes. I understand this so completely. It is so hard for me to move forward sometimes with the growing up. I just want it to stop, or to at least slow down.
Jennifer recently posted..Potential

Nell January 18, 2014 at 11:52 am

You have such a way with words. I am happy that you’re offering the writing course. I have signed up. WOO HOO!

Nell recently posted..a daughters dear john letter

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