Just Write {191}

August 18, 2015

Of all things, a dead spider was in her hair. Had she known, there may have been quite a scene while we dropped off her registration paperwork for preschool.

Elsie Jane is four and she is going to preschool. The third of the offspring is starting full-time preschool. Or, mostly full, since she has Fridays off.

Should we not all have Fridays off?

I stopped her in the entryway of the church and asked her to stand still. She has very fine, very thick hair. It took a while to get the dead spider out, and all the while I was thinking, HOW did it get in here like this? When? In bed? Ugh…gross…DON’T THINK ABOUT IT.

I threw the spider down (sorry, church entry!) and we walked through the double doors and to the office without a mention of what it was. I changed the subject, reminding her how often she’s been to that church. She smiled but I could see it was hard for her because she had just been crying, saying she doesn’t want to start preschool without her brothers.

Isn’t it something how siblings fight and drive each other absolutely crazy but need each other?

It is a temptation to constantly talk to them about how they are doing with the divorce. To ask them questions and carefully provide them with information that’s at a level they understand. It’s a balance, learning when to be quiet and when to work on keeping an open dialogue about hard things, and good things. There is so much that is not theirs to carry, and I work very hard at pulling those things out, carefully and slowly, from the intertwining fine threads that make up our new kind of family.

Later, at bedtime, Asher was very sad because Miles knew something he did not about friends of theirs. One friend had told Miles a secret and asked him not to tell anyone. He was sticking to that and the curiosity and feeling of being left out was devastating to his brother. They are like one, in so many ways, and this tearing apart as they grow is heart-wrenching.

Asher was tired, easily sad, and could not take no for answer. Not sharing this secret triggered all sorts of thoughts and fears with insecurity and a fear of loneliness underneath. I could not fix it.

Bedtime talking also had Elsie describing her earlier naptime while the babysitter was here. She said she got sad, because she missed me, so she chose to sleep in my bed. She said that she was on her side of the bed and then, “I missed you so much so I moved over and moved over until I put my head on your pillow to smell you, and then I went to sleep.”

I leave the dishes, let the grass grow long, remove the spider, don’t mention it. I am listening and carefully choosing what to say, or not say. I am drinking from a fire hose here. I am not thirsty, and there’s water everywhere, don’t mention it.


This is the return of Just Write, a free-writing exercise in which you sit down with no writing agenda, no pushing for a theme. Watch the details of your stories ignite their own meaning from within:

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