Lately, I just keep running. My brain is so full. I am a bottle of champagne just waiting to be corked and running allows me to pop the cork, no one else. I need an appointment with my own thoughts, but they were so busy they couldn’t fit me in. So it got clogged. I made mistakes, first little ones then much larger ones. Or was it a lot of little ones that made me look like one big failure? Either way, I didn’t have time to organize my (many) thoughts. And the cork blew on me. With running, I am alone in my head, letting it all go. All those analysis, those worries, the funny musings and the downright cliché; it all piled on top of each other, like the laundry I don’t have time to sort. This isn’t something that happened last year or recently; this is a lifetime of bubbling anxiety. I need to get healthy. I promised myself.
For the Love of Toddlers
Maybe it is midnight. Maybe it is four am. I am emotionally and physically exhausted; as I have been for the last few years. Am I still watching TV? Mountains dissolve into the screen answering my question: screen saver is on. A tiny voice yells out. First it cries, then begins saying my name “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy” with increasing desperation. Jackson. I open the bedroom door. “Blue stars. Need blue stars.” He says knowing I will be sleeping next to him tonight. I turn on the stars, (part of a toy that shuts off after twenty minutes) reminding my self to continue looking for his missing nightlight. He rolls over, as if the crying never existed, and burrows his head into the space between my chin and shoulders. I kiss him on the forehead and whisper, “love you”. “I luff you Mommy” he whispers back.
My Not-so-typical Teenagers
To be a parent to teenagers and toddlers often puts me into a weird parenting tug-of-war. Then I take a step back and realize the advantages I have. This week I focused on a little ode to my beautiful teenage (well Liv, 12, is technically not a teenager yet..) daughters.
I am in my car, with two toddlers. Only a two and half hours until home. I reassure myself. A quick check to the rear view mirror reminds me that I am alone with them. The older two are at home. Help Mommy! Ipad stuck! Jackson shrieks as I pull onto the freeway. He locked it. I curse. Mamamamamamamamamamama!!! Cece chimes in. Her arms reaching out trying to hand me the bag of cereal she was eating. I watch as she sprinkles half the bag onto the car floor I had just cleaned. I see a Mickey Mouse book beyond my reach. Refocusing my attention on the road, I turn up the music. “I had that dream; that you were mine. I had that dream a thousand times; The car seems lonely, I realize how much I miss my girls. I don’t hear their chatter: silly, sarcastic, intelligent, confusing, and comforting. I want to see their faces when I surprise them with hot chocolate from Starbucks; a gesture of appreciation for them fixing the Ipad for Jackson or replacing the cereal in Cece’s outstretched little arm for the book in front of her feet. My thought haze dissolves as Cece coughs up green Lucky Charm tinted blob of vomit.
Ode to “Me-Mowe”
Ode to Me-Mowe
(Pronounced like cow, but with an M. that is Cece’s word for Mickey mouse)
Dear Mickey Mouse-
Let me start off by saying I am a big fan. I have been since I was in diapers. You and your crew were my first friends. It is nice that you now spend so much time in my home again. At the risk of being judged by other parents, I am just going to come clean: I let my kids watch a lot of TV. I don’t mean to, but we are all happier people when the TV is on. See, you still bring joy to my life. But you already knew that, you are a smart mouse. I can’t quite figure out why you are still friends with Pete, he is seriously an asshole. But I am sure you have a reason, I won’t doubt you know what you are doing. You, little mouse, have become generation-less. I like how you have become quite musical in this new generation. The hot dog song? And kids eat it up. (pun intended) Anyway, like Goofy trying to remember quite how to say Toodles, I am stumbling over my words. What I really wanted to say was thank you for being there to help out this week.
I am running around the house trying to prepare for another holiday gathering. Presents need to be wrapped bought, and my house is in its normal state of cluttered chaos. Why do they need to dump the toy bins to play with one little thing? Cece has attached herself to my leg and Jackson weaseled a bike in from outside and was running over my foot, again. The girls were just waking up and their faces were glued to some device. I was letting Josh sleep in since he was fresh off two double shifts. I stood there, looking down at my ratty sweat pants tucked into my slipper boots and stopped in the now familiar command: breathe
“Hell of a winter we are having, eh?” An imagined passerby calls out to me smiling at the two toddlers playing around in the back yard. I tell myself they are some how missing the piles of dog poop were buried under the snow then thawed back out. Another thing on my to do list. I sigh as I am oddly reminded of the three-inch layer of dust on my windowsill. Jackson and Cece are battling each other with sticks as the dog darts out of the way. They are probably too young to be playing with those sticks. Oh wait, I stopped giving a shit what people thought especially in the judgment free zone that is my back yard. The trees are shaking in the loneliness that comes about when all your leaves have fallen. The breeze causes a ripple shiver in my shoulder. My watch dings. Breathe. I inhale, my gaze softening on the babies giggling around the yard. I exhale these insignificant moments of my day that I
will most likely forget tomorrow. I just breathe.