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.
Love and Marriage
Continuing the theme for the month of love, I reflected on something I normally don’t write about (at least publish), my husband and my marriage.
I look at the clock again, it’s a quarter past stuck in time with two toddlers. There is a melodic echo of a knife smacking down on the cutting board; I am preparing dinner. The drawer next to me squeaks and I close it again, careful not to pinch the small fingers that keep desperately prying it open to pull out one more measuring cup. It topples out, plastic, disposable, already knowing the fate of soon becoming buried in mystery corners of the house. 1/3 cup. Who needs that one? I fill it with sweet cereal hoping that will allow me to finish chopping carrots. The clock reminds me of how much longer until he comes home and I crave him walking in the front door with fresh relief and companionship.
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.
I am suddenly very aware of my hair. I tilt my head to the side and run my fingers through it as my thought process begins to rev up, like an old car on a snowy morning. I twirl a strand around my thumb and slide my index finger around the smooth edge created by my knuckle. The rhythm of writing begins as my pen dances along the page in the same speed of twirling hair. One hand writes and the other twirls hair. That is how I think, how I navigate through my cluttered brain. I imagine my mom is sitting in her chair watching reruns of King of Queens doing the same thing. Thinking. Twirling. Thinking. We really need to stop doing that, she says out of habit for as long as I can remember. I am suddenly very aware how long my hair has gotten. It is always getting too long, it grows way too fast. I am ready for a cut, a change. It is a scarf, a means to hide things, a security blanket I have been wearing for a while now. I stop writing for a minute and make an appointment at the salon.
I am beyond humbled by the support for my last post highlighting my beautiful relationship with my teenage daughters.
As a giant thank you to my amazing readers, Layla has allowed me to share her last digital art project. She spent long hours laboring over these drawings in attempt to animate the song 1000 Times by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam. (Whom I had the pleasure of seeing in concert last year)
Check the song in its entirety on my Spotify Playlist