This morning, I found myself locked in a turn so tight, it needed basically 900 points to get myself out of it; and that still didn’t even do the trick. Jeremy’s new car and I are having some growing pains. Its turn radius is different than our handy dandy 2007 CRV, and it has all these fancy features that feel rather restrictive. For instance, it won’t let you back up over your neighbor’s recycling bin that’s got you locked in the 900 point turn from hell, even if you really really want to. Instead, it just halts the car abruptly with a ping that makes you more irate because someone is telling you no while you really just want to say yes, YES IN THIS MOMENT I DO ACTUALLY WANT to plow over my neighbor’s recycling bin, send debris into the collective alleyway, ruin relationships with my neighbors forever, and dent the new effing car. Damn this smart car for denying me this freedom.
Before I got married, I’d never said “I love you” to someone who didn’t choose me.
And for years into mine and Jeremy’s marriage, the words didn’t tumble out organically when speaking to my in-laws.
Let me be clear. I always liked my in-laws a lot. And in some ways, I had the privilege of choosing them where they really only had the option to accept me.
Maybe it’s not the moment to slip into my itty bitty box.
If you read my last post, you know that I’m currently grappling with the intellectual quandary of my own voice. It’s not that I don’t have things to say; it’s just that there are so many of me saying the same thing, and how valuable is that? Or how valuable is one voice with imperfect knowledge? How valuable is one with a spotted record?
Most of my favorite writing happens in bed. Each morning promises something different, and it’s a promise—not a swear, not an oath, not a hint. A promise feels more honest; it feels more hopeful.
This particular morning, there’s a round window high above me, casting the most perfect light on Hudson’s profile. His nose is short. I guess I’ve never realized that before. Hudson’s in our bed because we’re visiting family, and we’re sharing a room. He woke up in his pack-and-play too early, and hoping to get another half hour of sleep or so, we brought him here.
As I write this, I’m eating a leftover burrito for lunch and thinking about all the people who would never eat a burrito— leftover or otherwise—for lunch, So obviously, I’m being very gentle with myself today.
I like so many things about fall, but the chieftest of which is putting a bare foot onto the first cold floorboard of the season. I like hopping into a hot shower to wash off the shivers of the morning instead of the sweats of the night. I like the first authentic sweater.
I realized tonight, while hunting for a pen, that somewhere in the dusk of recent memory, I’d replaced my journals with planners. I’d had every intention of making a tidy square in tomorrow’s box that I could check off as soon as I bathed Maeby. But my epiphany gave me pause. I stopped. I took a mental inventory: on the wanting scale, how badly did I want to bathe Maeby, or rather, how badly did I want to write in my planner that I needed to bathe Maeby?
I could feel anxiety in my toes this morning. Sometimes, though not always, that’s where it starts. It’s like those cartoons characters who wring their hands with stress, almost maniacally. But I’ve never seen anyone actually do that. For me, it’s much less theatrical, but more realistic—I wring my feet. Point and flex, point and flex, shuffle shuffle shuffle.
Maeby is mad at me. Today she made a pass at my chocolate protein bar, which is like a brick of poison for her (because, chocolate kills dogs, and also because Protein gives her urinary tract infections). Being the good mom that I am, I leapt for the protein bar and disentangled it from her jaws. It was an unpleasant experience for both of us; Maeby’s favorite food is chocolate and she really resented my forceful robbery. (To be fair, she robbed me first.).
So, I made a baby. He’s resting up against me, propped up with pillows, after he fell asleep during a feeding.
I made his feet. I made his tiny hands, I made his lopsided ears, and my heartburn made the healthy layer of hair that covers his whole body and gives him little sideburns. For 39 weeks, I sculpted and created this specimen. Last night I realized I recognized this boy on the outside to be the same boy as the one on the inside. He’s the same boy that didn’t kick much, but instead dragged his foot across my tummy like a matchbox car while I chased it around with my fingers. This is the same boy that I made.