Just Write {168}

December 30, 2014

It seems a rational thing to start at 4pm on a winter’s break Monday.


Elsie Jane thought it was a great idea, and decided on purple for the replacement color after all the wallpaper border is slowly and meticulously removed, shred by shred. She is a helper, to an extent, so proud of her ability to peel big strips off with her tiny strong hands. But then, as these things go, I was left to fight the sticky paper while she played.

She would “talk on the phone” to the “plumber,” telling him that she dropped an earring down the drain. She would scold him for not understanding, and then huff and hang up on him. Poor plumber. The wrath of EJ.

Then she’d tell me she was going to work, and “Hey Annie, can you babysitter my babies?”

Sure, I’d say.

Then she’d sit in the hallway outside the door, instructing me. Go check on the babies. They are sleeping. Wake them up now. You need to feed them.

Seconds later she would come back in and say she was done working. You can stop babysittering now.

Today I’m going to pick out purple paint for her room, not too dark, not too pastel. She will have to babysitter her own babies when I get around to painting, but that may be awhile, with all of this slow wallpaper removal. The vision I have for her room, at the start of this new year is just like anything else I imagine improving with the blank slate of a new calendar: The idea in my heart and mind trembles close to perfection and I could drool, or get goosebumps. The control freak perfectionist that still lurks underneath my growing realism rears her head.  And I want it all right this very second. Done.

Today I try to quiet that defeating perfection junkie, and I look toward the next section of wallpaper instead of the end dream idea. We’ll get there. For now, we’re just babysittering, and moving our hands and feet, and being together.


This is the 168th 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?


Stephanie Precourt December 31, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Every little movement- be it forward or backward is at least a movement to something else. Love it. Hope it’s going great! Happy New Year!

Stephanie Precourt recently posted..Year’s End

Marcy Axness January 7, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Precious, just so precious. Not just Elsie Jane’s intrepid determination & imagination, but your raw honesty about the perfection monkey on your back. (Right there with ya on that!)

I only just discovered EO and you have conquered me, enchanted me. I’m humbled by your commitment to consistently, loyally, not-always-so-perfectly Just Write. If I may, I may take you up on that in a sort of “off-the-record” way. Thing is, now that I’ve planted my flag in the “parenting expert” (ugh–don’t even like to write that aloud) territory, it can have a chilling effect on what I feel able to blurt out there in my rawest moments of not expert-ness but simply human-ness. Two adult-children’s parent-ness. Post-divorce partner-ness. Evolving woman-ness. People understandably enough want their advisers to pretty much have it together, but does anyone *truly* ever “have it together”??

Wishing you a richly unfolding New Year!

Marcy Axness
author, “Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers”

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