I know I should be sleeping. Every action of the morning points to that (I’ll get to that later), but there are all these words jumbled up inside of me like a literary traffic jam and they’re keeping me awake.
I’ve thrown around the idea of writer’s block lately, but I don’t think that’s the real problem. I have plenty to say, it’s just what of all of that is important? Appropriate? Mine? What should remain on the internet and what should live and die quietly in my head?
Having two tiny girls gives me plenty of material, but much of that is part of their story and will be their’s to share (or not). And yet, everything that happens to them happens to me too and so I get stuck trying to figure out how to express it all.
I’ll start here.
Scott’s Papa (grandfather) almost died this week. In predictable fashion, our potential last interaction involved me blubbering over FaceTime as he sat in his hospital bed awaiting surgery, saying nothing more than “You look good”, even though he didn’t, and “I love you” even though what I meant was:
I love that you’ve let me know you. I love how you’ve shown my husband how to be a good man and father; how to accept mistakes and keep your head up. I love how much fire and passion you still bring to this weary world, even from the reclined position of your easy chair. I’ll always remember your dapper white hair, your spark, your deep cough, your honest smile. Thank you for loving me too.
He had two stents put in his carotid artery after a stroke Monday, but came out smiling and ready to live his 9th or 90th life.
I think of my friends who have lost fathers and mothers recently. I think of their strength and how bawling like a baby at your baby’s swimming class seems so weak in comparison, but then I think about what Dave used to say, that “Sad is sad”, and I let myself feel it all anyways.
Here’s what opened the flood gates today. Wait for it…
I almost ran over a lady. Twelve sleeps ‘til Christmas and I almost canceled someone out; drew a great big line through their name right before they were about to attend a bunch of parties serving ham. It’s really not funny.
I always intend to be on time to activities, I do, but the universe always works against me. Today the obstacle came in the form of baby barf on the just made bed and a certain toddler needing to sweep dirt off the driveway with her bare hands.
When we finally left, I crossed the busy highway cautiously once the traffic breathed, but so did a lady on the opposite side. As I turned my car to go northbound, she came into view (illegally jaywalking) and I had to slam on my breaks. I mouthed “oh my god!” and “I’m sorry!” just as she screamed “F*ck you!” and threw a venti coffee all over my driver’s side window.
Sprout was scared, but instead cried “Stop it Mommy!” over and over. I turned back to her and said something like “I’m so sorry. That was scary! Mommy’s just trying her best!” She didn’t seem impressed. I can picture ‘She tried not to kill anyone’ etched on my tombstone and how no one else would be impressed either.
I made all the messy gingerbread houses. I strung the popcorn and the cranberries. I checked out the holiday books promptly from the library. I made arrangements at the soup kitchen….I almost killed a grinchy lady two weeks before Christmas. I know there’s a lesson here, but I’m too tired to see it.
At swimming class I broke down to the mom next to me. So far we’ve mostly talked about potty training and our kids losing their goggles and yet, here she was suddenly hugging my tears into her shoulder. Here she was humble enough to tell me she’s been there too. Here she was offering to take me for a cup of coffee.
A writer named Kate Baer says something like:
Women helping women. Moms helping moms.
I will cry about that until the day I die.
Thankfully, I don’t have to add to the list: Tired moms running over crazy women.