The other day I caught myself thinking that it would be very convenient if I had a grandchild-less mother or a responsible six to eighteen year old next-door who loved curious babies. This is not the case, though, and I take these fantasies as a sign that maybe I am actually ready for Avalon to go to school a few hours a week even though every day my anxiety grows over it.
We had a pest control guy come out yesterday. I went around watching him scoop up potential animal feces with a tool that looked like the letter opener my grandmother used to have. He used a flashlight to examine his findings about two inches from his face. I thought: this is the worst job. Then again, I had to scrape poop out of five inch underwear with my bare hands and luke warm water only hours earlier.
During nap time, I impulsively called an inn on the central coast and booked it for two nights in July, then texted my mother-in-law to see if she and my father-in-law could watch Avalon. I almost cried when I hung up with the innkeeper. I have been away from Avalon a total of four nights and just like my friend Stephanie warned me, it never really gets easier. That wasn’t why I was almost crying though, I was almost crying because making the reservation felt so right.
The other night I was thinking about how you can feel like you are totally killing it one minute: You’ve already shopped for the next birthday or holiday, your email inbox isn’t at capacity, you have healthy meals planned for the week, your toddler appears to like animals and broccoli and the ocean, there is a dentist appointment on the books. And yet, somehow, you are crying over the asparagus and homemade dip like-your-mom-used-to-make when you are eating it alone one night.
There’s a Daniel Tiger episode where he talks about how you can feel two things at the same time. I love and hate that little punk.
I tell Avalon, as I’m signing her our lullaby (she only wants it sporadically now) while crying one night that I am both happy and sad at the same time, but that it’s ok.
I kiss her, hug her, give her “Ugga Muggas”, tuck her in with her “Bebe” and “Mer Mer”, then wonder how many times my own mother cried that I don’t remember.
Sometimes I think all the details matter. I had a hard week because Scott had to work late and something with bigger poop than a mouse or a rat moved in under the house and I’m not sleeping as well because there is a turnip sized person working to become her own inside of me. But everyone has these details and while most people’s might be much less “white girl problems” than mine, we are all still human in the end; we are all still resilient and fragile, shatterproof and innately broken. Every pair of shoes you could wear in this life would leave you tired at the end of a day. And we all wear them out in the end.
Is this essay becoming uplifting yet?
I know what I’m trying to say and then I don’t because I feel like somehow I will annoyingly only really know what I meant the whole time at the very end, when Avalon is changing my underwear.
Dammit Daniel Tiger, life is so much about feeling two things at the same time. I can’t wait to hold this new baby; I can’t hold tightly enough to the small moments happening over these last few months when our family is comprised of three people and Avalon is still wearing clothes measured in months. I will love the hours I have to myself or with the squealing turnip I deliver while Avalon is at school. I will sickly miss her when I’m not scraping avocado out of the wicker chair after lunch twice a week.
We are so full of feelings. We are soft hearts inside strong bodies.
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