Undertow (Just Write)


10:51 a.m. Sitting at my dining room table, all quiet except the hum of the fridge, the intermittent rain, and the roar of lawnmowers. This might be the first time I have been alone in my own house in I can’t remember how long.

I keep saying these last few weeks have been hard, like I am expecting them to be better. This has been an especially long cycle of hard, and I don’t really see any change on the horizon. I keep writing about the same things, but these same things are weighing me down. For the first time in a long time, I feel very overwhelmed by motherhood. It’s always overwhelming, in the busyness and intensity, but I mean overwhelmed like I am caught under a large wave and I’m not sure when I will be allowed to come up for air. Usually one kid is going through a phase, then the other, but both seem to be going through transitions at the same time, transitions that has turned my generally happy and independent kids into very emotional and clingy ones. At the same time, I seem to be going through a seismic shift in being. It’s all a little much.

On the micro level, these days are hard to get through. On the macro level, underneath everything is my slightly hysterical realization that it’s moving too fast, and that these are days I will long for too soon. Every minute I spend with the kids is slightly torturous- my two year old is becoming quite successful at the terrible twos, and my five year old is uncharacteristically exhausted and emotional. Both want me to be physically next to them at all times. And yet, I am so aware of how very little time I have with them where they will want to be with me. A friend in a writing group said it changes in a day. One day the door shuts, and that’s it, you will never see your kid naked again. I laughed, because it’s funny and how it should be, but why does this make me so sad?

I keep waiting for the rhythm to reveal itself. (Sidenote, why is “rhythm” so hard to spell right????) Summer’s rhythm was easy to pick up and follow and I thought fall’s would be too, especially with school and set schedules and such. Instead every day feels untethered. My preschooler is learning days of the week. One day he gets them all right. The next day I ask him, what comes after Friday? He frowns and puts a finger on his chin in mock concentration and says, ummm Monday? Yes, that’s how I feel. Saturday doesn’t seem to be following Friday. The rhythm is jumbled, out of order.

I keep thinking of a final exam I took in a music appreciation class in high school. The final exam consisted of my professor playing a single section of a Philip Glass piece of music, and playing it over and over and over for the hour and a half. Our only instructions were to write what we heard. I don’t remember the song, but I do remember it sounded like breaking glass, and only breaking glass. It did not sound anything like music. At first, it was intrusive and almost unbearable. But after an hour, what at first were random and unknowing bursts of sound, seemed to rearrange themselves and a peculiar kind of beauty emerged. A song, a rhythm, something beautiful out of something jarring.

One of my favorite things is the “Just Write” link-up on The Extraordinary Ordinary. The idea is you just write, freely, with no plan or editing. This post is just some random thoughts on a rainy Tuesday, and was very liberating, and very necessary. Check it out! http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2014/07/15/just-write-144/

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Undertow (Just Write)

  1. I’m with you. The attempt to savor & not wish it all away even in the midst of these most trying, exhausting days…I don’t have wise words or some magical solution, but all I offer is that I’m out here too, feeling the same way. Maybe there’s some comfort in that? xo (and p.s. amazed at your writing without editing–don’t know if I could !)

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  2. I am light years head of you–or so it seems an it changes in a day and sometimes faster. Last year my first grader ran up and hugged me every time i volunteered at his school. Today he wouldn’t even give me a high 5…just a scowl.

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  3. I get this and feel this deeply— the “torture” of the moment and the knowledge that we will miss them at some point. Sundays are the hardest for me. Looooong.

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