Ladies Who Lunch

Isabel and I met up with Paul for lunch downtown today. The weather is beautiful so we ate outside. We enjoyed the sun and breeze and also the joy of having an almost two-year-old who, contrary to our past experience, can more or less hang at a sit-down restaurant. I won’t say too much more on the matter, mostly because I believe in fate and also in jinxing myself. I know I shouldn’t but I totally do.

Cathartic Brain Drain

Writing is therapy for me. This is how I manage my thoughts and order my feelings, how I tally my emotions and file it all away. I think my thoughts and feel my feelings, and then writing helps me formulate what it all means to me and in getting the words on the page, I’m able to drain it all away and move on from there.

All that is another way of saying, get ready. Things might get messy.

Oh don’t get nervous. Not really messy. There will be no public running of mascara in this space. But today was a very, very hard day and the way I need to sweep and dust and mop is to sit here and let the words flow. It’s that whole writer thing versus blogger thing. Blogging feels much more like: what is the message I need to share today? Writing is: I. Must. Get. This. OUT.

Here, in this space, writing is what this next little season in my life is about. That might also mean I close comments because ironically, I get all shy feeling when I write like this and there’s that complicated mix of “someone left the sweetest comment!” and “only thirteen comments? Why so few?”

So, today. Rough.

I think I mentioned this before but I’m noticing in this season of watching my mom suffer so, that I can handle all that just fine but don’t throw me any curve balls. For some reason I’ve had a few lately. It’s the kind of thing where I wonder if I’ll look back a few months from now and laugh at the circumstances that pushed me to the limit or if I’ll say “wow! No, seriously, that was stressful no matter what.” Funny little things like a slight change to one carpool I’m in and it all suddenly felt overwhelmingly EPIC. And some communication with a friend that I totally misunderstood that I took really hard.

Today I also got caught up in some Internet drama — which I rarely do, honestly. I’ve been really lucky that my worst experience with on-line pettiness has included one man a few years ago telling me to give up writing and either have another baby or join the Junior League (did not join the Junior League but opted to have that baby) but please just get a life (the man actually later apologized! And we exchanged some heart-to-heart emails) and someone writing that the show I am on needed a style consultant which, while a little hurtful, might be true (wonder if she’d be willing to hire one for us?).

But I realized at the end of the day that I was thinking about that on-line situation (that involved some people I really love, not me) and that it was depleting me, much more than it should. Perhaps much more than it would under normal circumstances.

Add to this the fact that I didn’t have much to do today — nothing to complain about, I agree! — but I opted to use my “free time” (while Isa napped, and then continued to nap while Henry had some down-time) to watch a movie. A two hour movie. The Joy Luck Club. Have you seen it? Not a real laugh-a-minute.

So lower and lower I sank into my solitude and quiet and dangerously pensive place of sadness and fatigue. Watching a movie about moms and daughters and thinking about my mom. About half-way through the movie Henry got home from preschool and as I was outside getting him from carpool, my mom and dad got home from a long doctor’s appointment that involved getting fluids and working to get on top of some infections (stuff that I realize is standard issue with chemo). But there was my mom with mask to help avoid further infections and head scarf and just looking wiped out. And I hated it. I know she’s a fighter and all that good stuff, but my gosh I hate this.

And then, dumb old me, went back to watching this emotionally gut-wrenching movie while a) thinking about my mom and b) thinking about Internet drama and c) thinking about my feelings and d) thinking a little more about my feelings. All the while eyeing a fern on my front porch that looked dried out and me worrying about that as well. Is the fern dying? Am I watering too much? Not enough? Why is this movie so sad? It’s all so terrible!

The thing I’ve noticed with me is that the more I “lay low” the more incredibly capable I am of “laying low.” Which means, when I spend two hours of some very good and appreciated down-time, then I want more down-time. This afternoon, I started getting this bratty attitude towards anyone wanting anything from me. “You want me to push you on that swing AGAIN? I’d rather sit in this chair here and think about how I’m feeling at the moment if you don’t mind.”

Now if this sounds a little worrisome, I entreat you to please not diagnose me with anything. I do appreciate the care and concern, but this has been going on for one day and the point of this post is to not admit this problem as much as get over the problem. In other words, I share to get it out and move on. I write to clear my mind, to empty the trash (so to speak) so I can just quit with all this thinking thinking thinking. Thinking is way overrated. Who’s up for some retail therapy?!

So there we go. No nice tidy finish, no cutesy lesson. Today, it’s just me filling the page of this moleskin to empty the space in my head.

(But hey! Thanks for reading. I appreciate your love.)

Smells like Fear

Elliott and Paul are having a conversation in the dining room as everyone gathers for dinner.

Elliott, standing with his arms draped over Paul’s shoulders: Dad, are you afraid of anything?

Paul, facing Elliott: Of course I am.

Elliott: Like what?

Paul: Marshmallows on casseroles. And men’s cologne.

Afternoon Walk

Running stroller plus two boys on bikes plus one little guy on a scooter plus one boy on a ripstick being pulled by a dog equals my afternoon jaunt around the block.

If I didn’t already know every single one of my neighbors, I’d be tempted to wonder what they thought of us.