Day Two

I recently quit my job as a corporate lawyer and am “staying home” with my kids. (That is the worst phrase ever.) I wrote this on my second day on the “job”. Happy to say that a month in, things are a bit easier. 

Day One was good. Good and weird and boring and amazing and ordinary. Drove carpool with Tigerlily in the car, for the first time. Went to the park twice. Made lunch, made dinner. Played Legos. Ordinary, but awesome. Still, I feel a bit untethered. I thought I would be unabashedly gleeful, excited. Instead it feels a bit more like I’m tip toeing into a very cold, very vast ocean. The water is beautiful, but scary. I want to be in it, but I’m afraid of it’s depths. Anxious that I can’t see the other side. I’m cautiously in awe. It is so strange to wake up one day after years and years of work, and to know that I won’t be working today, next month, anytime soon. Unlike breaks in between jobs where there is a undercurrent of time expiration, this break is possibly, a forever break. It is strange.

Day Two was a bit rougher. Morning seemed to be on track, though I didn’t have time to feed Tigerlily before carpool (the little things I don’t think of that need to be planned out better). But I just figured keep her in her jams, throw her a croissant for the drive, and feed her breakfast when we got home. Except my car was dead. Wouldn’t start. Which starts a mild panic as I have to pick up another little boy and am supposed to pick up woodworking carpool at 2 pm and nanny isn’t due until noon. My husband M is the kind of guy that always plans ahead, so these things never happen to him. Even though he doesn’t blame me, it sort of feels like he does. He assumes it is because I didn’t turn the car completely off. I also left my keys in our backdoor all night, which doesn’t make me look any better. He stays home with TL while I take carpool. After I pick up my other charge, realize we’d left O’s lunchbox in the other car. Detour back home. Get close to school (and manage not to scream at the kids because they are pretending to shoot guns and are SO LOUD) but miss the turn because I am brooding over the fact that I can’t get any of this right. Extra 5 minutes to get where I need to get. Thankfully we are not the LAST car in carpool, but close. Drop kids off and call M to tell him I’m calling the dealership, but of course he already has. Hang up and burst into tears. I know this is silly, but at that moment, all I feel is a failure. Day Two and it feels like things run much smoother when I’m NOT there. I know this is just something that happens but still. On Day Two, I am feeling very unsure of myself, and this decision. Not if it was right, but if it will become glaringly apparent that I am no good at so many things. Get home, Tigerlily is eating popcorn for breakfast. Mom FAIL.

Car gets jumped. It’s actually NOT my fault as there is a faulty charge thing. I manage to get Tigerlily to eat some banana and toast with peanut butter (though she is mostly just eating the PB with her fingers, but whatever). I busy myself unloading the dishwasher and cutting and arranging the flowers I bought, because I can’t just sit and drink coffee while M is dealing with the car guy and late to work.

Get Tigerlily dressed in leggings and a dress- which she then accessorizes with pink ruffled bloomers (over the leggings, under the dress) and a turquoise and red romper which she pulls up over the dress like a skirt and O’s plastic Native shoes. Coax her into tennis shoes and and the stroller and make it to the park.

By now, I’m accepting that these things just happen, and it doesn’t mean I’m a TOTAL failure. Yes, I need to plan better. Yes, I need to get into a routine and learn how to do this. Because despite knowing very well how to be a mother to my two little ones, I don’t actually know how to be a full-time mom that doesn’t work outside of the home. (Can I just say SAHM?) It is a job like any other, and has it’s tricks. I’m still learning.

And today at the park with Tigerlily? It was a glorious day, warm and shiny and not hot or humid, perfection. And she was swinging and swinging and swinging. And I just sat there in front of her, pushing her when she reached me, but not doing anything other than just watching her. Not on my phone, not thinking about when I needed to get back to work, or squeeze in the grocery store, or what to feed her for lunch, or where O was. And I spent minutes just memorizing her face and all of her funny expressions. And realized- this is such a privilege. A huge privilege to be her mom and to just spend time with her, time that wasn’t planned and squeezed in and plotted. A huge privilege to just sit in a park with her, on a sunny day, and just be her mom. So whatever this has been so far, that is my take-away for the day. I feel lucky to just get to be a mom today. And when I picked O up from his wood-working class, you would have thought it was Christmas, he was so excited. It was a privilege to pick him up. I’m very grateful to have this time with them. No matter how ill-prepared for it I am, I will find my way.

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just write: getting out of your way

here i am again. starbucks, at lunchtime, trying to squeeze in just 30 minutes of writing. i started a new writing class last week, and he implored us to spend at least 30 days writing. more, if we could, but at least 30 days. it sounded so attainable and i was appropriately inspired.

and yet, here i am again. circling the same drain. i bore myself. i know the tricks (butt in chair, write shitty drafts,the  more you write the better you get, write what you know, write to find out what you know, write what you don’t know, make everything up). I know what to do. i even know what my problem is.

and still. i cannot get out of my damn way. i am not afraid of failure, or i don’t think. no one is reading this, or has to. i have seven different stories open on my computer. just pick one, i tell myself. but i can’t get there, into that character. how do i make myself care? and why will anyone else care?

my problem is that i’m not writing authentically. from the heart. through the fear. whatever you call it, i am not doing it. and i know i’m not doing it. and i don’t know how to get through it, or around it. it’s that intuition that you just know is the truest voice you have telling you: cut out the bullshit. just write what YOU want. this is not fear of failure, or being stopped at the borders by my inner critic, or writers block or procrastination. i don’t have my own voice. i don’t believe in my characters yet. i don’t know how to find my story, my voice.

weirdly i do believe in myself as a writer. i do think that i have what it “takes”- at least a small amount of talent, the desire, the willingness to put in the hours and slog through. i just can’t get out of my own way.

my new teacher is intense. capital I. one of the first things he had us do was take out a piece of paper and write down three things we are ashamed of, three things we would never tell a soul. one i had instantly. took me awhile to come up with more. but i wrote them in code. no one reading the paper could decipher my secrets.

then he had us pass them around so everyone had someone else’s (anonymously). and we were to write about the other’s secret fear.

vulnerability. maybe that is what i’m missing. my secret fear? that i have nothing interesting to say. that i can write beautiful sentences, and quirky characters and funny lines, that i can draw you in and establish POV and pacing and do all the right things but still, you will be bored. you will think, so what?

i am not aiming for so what. and of course, i know the answer to my own quandary. there is no answer. the only way around this problem is through it. writing through it. writing my boredom away, writing pages and pages of boring things until I find the one sentence that isn’t.

i know this. and yet, here I sit.

This post is written as a link-up to The Extraordinary Ordinary’s JustWrite series, an exercise in free writing. Check it out, and link up!

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The HerStories Project!

I planned to write my own post about this day, but I am sick in bed with strep throat. Thankfully, the awesome editors of The Herstories Project wrote the words below about this project. I will say that being selected to be a part of this project is a true honor, and has been a huge inspiration (kick in the butt) to get back to writing. I am thrilled to share this with you.

I have some exciting news to share with you all today! Today is Launch Day for The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship. I am proud to announce that I am one of 50 fantastic contributors to this new anthology, including a foreword from Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy. This collection of essays about women’s friendship is a reflection of just how important these relationships can be.

All women’s friendships tell a story: these sacred bonds define us, and contain our history within walls that are both fragile and powerful. The girlfriend who held your hand during a time of intense grief. The best friend who broke your heart. The woman who helped you find your footing and retain your sanity as a mother. The friendship that turned toxic. The person you don’t think you could survive without. The bonds of female friendship are among the most essential and distinct of all relationships. The friendships in the life of a woman serve as mirrors, reflecting who she was, how she has evolved, and revealing what she needs and craves in her life.

In this book, 50 women writers paint real pictures of friendship; in addition to paying homage to the beauty and power of their relationships, they share the gritty details of bitter friendship breakups and uncomfortable life transitions. This anthology will enable readers to find their own stories in the words of others, cause them to reflect on their own unique friendship history, and perhaps even inspire them to rekindle connections with women who have shaped them. The authors of this book share their stories of friendship loss, enduring bonds from childhood, navigating the transition to motherhood, and renegotiating the role of friendship in their adult lives. The diverse essays in this collection will evoke tears, laughter, and a deep recognition and appreciation for the friends with whom women everywhere share their lives.

You can learn more about our project and our fantastic contributors at The HerStories Project website (http://www.herstoriesproject.com), and our book is now available on Amazon! For our Launch Day today, we would love your support. You can buy a copy of our book—available here in paperback and Kindle– and spread the word to your friends! We think the book would make a fantastic holiday gift for women- the perfect present for your girlfriend or sister.

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i haven’t been doing it all.

As I noted, I have been away from blogging for almost a year. I’d like to swagger in here and talk about my big year, the drama that kept me away, the amazing project I undertook, the book I wrote, or the company I started. Nope, it was none of that. Truth be told, the past year has been ordinary. Gloriously, maddeningly, ordinary.

I have not been doing it all. Not even close. I’ve been working. I’ve been parenting. I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve been watching tv. Putting the kids to bed (why does this get HARDER, not easier?). Sharing a beer or glass of wine with my husband when we survive the bedtime battles. Friday night dates with my husband. Movie nights with my neighbors. Started working out again. Started eating too many cookies again. Discovered Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad (late to the party, I know). Took a trip to visit my best friend in D.C. Took a trip to Colorado where I didn’t ski. Took a much-needed anniversary trip to Puerto Rico. Read a lot of books. Didn’t read a lot of magazines, as indicated by the stacks piled around the house. Made some life decisions. Didn’t make any big life decisions. Debated whether to redo the kitchen, or completely remodel, or move altogether. (Still debating). Stopped nursing my last baby.

But I have not been trying to do it all. I have let myself go this year. I have let myself be lazy and sit still. I have not gotten up early and gone for a run. I have not gotten up early and written. I have not accomplished a lot of things I  thought I would. I have not hosted dinner parties. I have said no. I have ordered more take-out than I would like. I still have not gotten my kids to eat many vegetables. I still let my baby have a bottle before bed, even though I cut her brother off at exactly 12 months. I have yelled more than I have liked to at my kids. I have enjoyed my kids more than I thought I would. I let my son wear his costumes every day. I try to make him drink milk. I got stressed out for a minute about private school admissions and then thankfully, came to my senses. I do my job well, but I’m not necessarily interested in a promotion. I am late to work sometimes. I still haven’t found the perfect way to do my hair. I am still looking for the perfect pair of leather leggings. I still talk to my mom on the phone every day.

Some weeks it’s flowing, and I think I am getting the hang of things. Some weeks it’s all I can do to just survive. Some weeks we have hard-boiled eggs and toast with jam and oatmeal and fresh fruit. Some weeks we have a LOT of frozen pancakes. Some days I drive to work smiling, noticing the sky and the smell of my coffee and feel hopeful. Some nights I drive home and play a song that is certain to make me cry, while I take an extra lap through my neighborhood and sing at the top of my lungs, tears flowing freely.

I’m not sure what people mean by having it all. What I envisioned as a young person was a glamorous job, where I wore glamorous clothes and told people what to do. I assumed there was a husband and kids and a house, all perfect angles and glowing. I  don’t have that. I don’t even know what that is. I had no idea about anything. I don’t have it all. But when I think about it, I do have all that I need.

It’s been almost a year of ordinary days. Somewhere inside each of those days, it’s happening, the outlines of what will compose my childrens’ childhoods are being drawn. Like a paint-by-numbers, those days are slowly bleeding into color, creating a picture in their heads. One day they will look back and these will be the days for them. These ordinary days are what they will remember.

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fresh start.

I haven’t written a blog post in almost 11 months. For all intents and purposes, I’m really not doing enough to call myself a blogger. Truth be told, I’ve never felt comfortable calling myself a blogger. I love this community, love reading others’ words and making connections, finding a tribe of like-minded reader/writer/mothers. But I’ve never felt quite “enough” to be here- I don’t blog enough, I don’t have a particular niche, I’m not funny enough or deep enough or stylish enough. I don’t really fit in. Everyone seems to be doing it all so much better.

And still, I’m drawn to being here. It would be very easy to simply fade out and never post again, but I don’t. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out my blog persona, what I can offer, how to craft posts that are witty and insightful and heartfelt and don’t offend my parents, or my husband, or the dog. I wasn’t always writing for myself. The blogs I love the most are simply authentic. I realized I want to be here for me. I want a corner that’s mine to share my thoughts and my words, to recommend books, to commiserate over parenting and working and writing and trying to figure out this one life we get.

I found a blog post I had written on my daughter’s first birthday. It was sweet and filled with the mundane details of our day. Details I had already forgotten a few months later. I treasure that post, those words, that glimpse into time. Taking pictures or writing down memories seems to me to be a way to unlock time, for just a moment. When I read the words describing her birthday morning, I was there once again. It keeps a piece of her there, for me, and for her when she gets older. This is why I want to continue here.

So I am here, once again. A slightly new look. A slightly new outlook. I hope my words contribute to this community that has sustained me time and time again. And if they don’t, if these words are just left floating here, it will still be enough to say I was here, I thought this, I existed.

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What If This Is As Good As It Gets?

This morning at work I glanced at my desk calendar to schedule a meeting. The calendar was still on its last page, and filled with scribbles of end-of-year meetings and lunches and parties and plans. It was full, and it was over. I closed it, and opened my new calendar for 2013. The calendar pages are startling white and completely empty. This actual blank slate makes me feel simultaneously giddy and untethered.

I don’t make resolutions. I’m a realist when it comes to grand declarations of change- I know I’m not going to completely change my eating habits, turn off the television for good, and become a runner. But there is something about the start of the new year, especially after the chaos of the holidays, that gives me pause. Looking at that clean page makes me feel like change is possible, probable even. Change is good, and thinking about what needs to change in your life can never be a bad thing.

2012 was personally a good year for me. Among other good things, it brought the birth of my baby girl. But out in the world, the end of 2012 was a snarling mass of bad news and even worse news. By the end of December, I was left thinking over and over: how much more can we endure? Most of us felt a collective relief to turn that page, both literally and figuratively, into 2013.

This thought hit me the other day: what if this is as good as it gets? What if I will never have it better than I have it now? What if I will never have more money? What if I will never be as healthy as I am now? Am I making the most of it? Am I living the life I want?

In a world that can feel increasingly dark and full of despair, what else can I be but grateful that I even have time and energy to contemplate how to make my life better? It’s a gift to be able to think about such things, a gift that my days are filled with mundane thoughts about eating better and writing more and noticing more. It is a choice and a privilege to focus on the better and to turn towards the light. The resolutions we choose might be silly or superficial or doomed to fail, but the act of making resolutions is our way of choosing hope.

Instead of resolutions, I’m making intentions. I’m not sure what that will look like. I’d like to live my life with more intention, with more careful action. I want to live closer to what I know is true. I want to eat food that makes me feel good. I want to move, luxuriate in the feeling of my body getting stronger and doing what it was meant to do. I want to sit quietly, by myself and among my family, pay more attention and listen better. I want to soak up every moment and every feeling while I can. My son is three, and full of high-pitched giggles, poop jokes, sudden tears, and hilarious questions. He is gorgeous, blonde and skinny and slightly sweaty and his eyes are so blue and unclouded. He won’t be three for much longer. My daughter is seven months, and her perfection takes my breath away. She is feisty and loud, so soft and smells so sweet. I want to gulp down her innocence. She won’t be seven months for much longer. I want to be a witness to my own life, stand up and raise my hands and testify: ” THIS is who I am, what I love, what I do. THIS is my life.”

So this year, I choose hope. I choose love. I choose my kids. I choose me. I choose my husband, every day. What do you choose?

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i don’t know where prayers go

(the morning after the morning after)

I HAPPENED TO BE STANDING

I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance.  A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep.  Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why.  And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t.  That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

~Mary Oliver

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(beauty the brave)

PEONIES

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open–
pools of lace,
white and pink–
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities–
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again–
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

~Mary Oliver

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Just Write- The Deep End of Parenthood

I am sitting in a tiny French bistro near my house. The coffee here is good enough that I don’t need to add milk, a plus since I have cut out milk after Tigerlily’s arrival. I planned to write, for the first time in months. There is no WiFi, but I have a small notebook. I stare at the blank page and get ready to immerse myself. Out of the corner of my eye, my croissant waits patiently. It is a perfect croissant, large and golden and airy. I notice the ends of the croissant are folded over on top of each other, and it reminds me of Tigerlily’s newborn picture, the one I have chosen for her birth announcements. She is curled up on her stomach, her legs tucked under her and her feet sticking out behind her but intertwined- like matching puzzle pieces or a cat’s tail, her feet belong together. And I think, I should be home with her, breathing in every minute of her newbornness.

A recent weekend. O is up early and like a cannonball shot from a cannon, bursts into awakeness with energy to burn. He is insistent and loud and joyful and tearful and like a pebble in your shoe or a fire alarm, impossible to ignore or tune out. He is inside, he is outside. He is stomping in puddles, he is burying his cars in the rain. He is giggling sweetly, he wants a snack, a piece of cheese, some fruit, a lollipop. He wants you to look at him. He wants to do it by himself. He is crying hysterically now, he wants something that even he can’t articulate. He drops his cookie, the dog eats it. He smears cheese all over the wall. He screams at me to go away. He begs to sit in my lap, tells me he misses me so much.

Same weekend. Tigerlily screams and refuses to nurse at every single feeding time. Is she fussy? Is she starving? Is she full? Does she have gas? Is it reflux? Is it an allergy to something I’m eating? Is it the position? Is it the time of day/the room I’m in/the day of the week? What is causing this, causing my sweet baby to scream in my ear, scream in my face, scream with her mouth open so big is swallows her face? I can’t help but to take it personally, to feel like she is screaming at me. She hates me already.

I think, thank God the nanny will be here on Monday. Thank God O has camp to go to for part of the day. Thank God I don’t have to do this all day, every day, without help, without a break. When the nanny comes, I will steal away to the coffee shop, do some writing, have one hour just for me.

But here it is, a day that I have help, that I can grab an hour to myself. And I’m thinking I should be there instead. I shouldn’t outsource her newborn time, shouldn’t let someone else hold her and breathe in her yummy newborn smell. I should be there for all of it. After all, it goes so fast, it won’t last forever, I will have to return to work soon enough. Soon she will be trailing O, wanting a snack, playing in the puddles, throwing a tantrum.

Parents talk about balance. I’ve talked about balance, about finding the balance between motherhood and working, between kids and your own identity, between being present for your kids and also finding time to devote to things that you love. And today I realize that it’s crap, this idea of balance. Because having kids is all about the overwhelming moment. Parenthood is all or nothing and it is lived in the extremes. Like a toddler, being a parent is insistently, intensely and overwhelmingly Present- not past, not future, just now. Trying to balance anything, trying to do one thing while thinking of another, just makes me angry or annoyed or impatient. It’s like dipping your toes in the shallow end, slowly letting the chilled water creep up, past your ankles and then your knees, letting yourself get “used to” the water. The whole time you are thinking about it, about the water and if it’s too cold and if you really want to be swimming and if you should get your hair wet or not, do you really want to take a shower, is it worth it? The whole time you are thinking about swimming, you aren’t actually swimming. You are evaluating and analyzing. Whereas when you just jump in, the cold water rushes up to greet you and tumble over you and possess you fully in one instant, every inch of you all at once. You are IN it, and you are swimming. You are just being, just doing one thing. Swimming in water. No negotiating, no worrying about your hair. You’re all in.

You can’t tiptoe into parenthood, or get used to it. It doesn’t wait for you to catch up or decide that you are comfortable, so you might as well just dive in. I’m in a hard phase right now, and I’m trying to be okay with being overwhelmed. To be okay with being submerged in the deep end of parenthood.

*******

I wrote this a month ago, when Tigerlily (not her real name) was about 6 weeks old and we were in the deep end. I planned on editing it, but decided to just post it, bad writing and all, as it was exactly how I felt at the time. Tigerlily is now almost 12 weeks old, and we have learned to tread water and are surviving beautifully now. Although we still haven’t mailed out those birth announcements yet. Maybe next week.

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Five for Five: Word Up & Just Write

 

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.”
– Emily Dickinson (“A Word is Dead”)

Don’t say it, you beg him, but silently. In your head you are having one conversation, with him you are having another. The words hover in between, the air is charged and if you strain you swear you can see the molecules collecting and moving, the atoms bouncing wildly off of what is left unsaid. If he says it, out loud, it is done. It is real.

It is already real, of course. You know this, already, by your intuition, by the way that something in your chest feels heavier than the rest of you. It is as if there is a impish being that sits in the space between your heart and your rib cage, crammed into that hollow space that was waiting for it, swinging its feet and licking a lollipop.  Swallowing every full glance and misunderstood word, every story that is not quite right, every way he averts his eyes when you ask him that question. She collects them all, gleefully, until she is too full and something must be done.

So we have the words. And yes, you already know it is broken. But before the words are actually spoken and given life, there is still us. When he says that word, when he breathes out yes, it is done. What was youandme is now you. And me. Because these words have the power to dismantle things. He says, yes, it’s true, and you think, now I have to lose you. The imp inside you has long ago tossed aside her lollipop, and is hunched over with the weight of what she is carrying. She has to let it go, and it slides out of you, and you think, I am coming undone.

#####

Waiting for a phone to ring when you expect bad news. You pick up the phone. You should feel terror, anxiety. You should be nervous. But you are not. You simply do what is expected. Sit up. Lift the phone. Look at the number, a doctor’s office. Think you should say a prayer but you don’t. The prayers have already been said. You consider letting it go to voice mail, but then whatever is to be said will be recorded. Longer lasting. A human voice that disappears is better. Click yes, I will accept this call. You say hello. A man, a kind man, says something like “Well, there’s big trouble in little China”. Or he says “Is your husband with you?” Or he clears his throat, stepping up to the platform, ready to dive in. That’s all you need to hear. You don’t need the words, the actual words to confirm what you already know. But he says them anyways. And you think, five minutes ago, this wasn’t true. Five minutes ago, I didn’t know, not for sure.

The real shock doesn’t come when you are waiting for the phone call. The real shock happens when you are thinking about if you can make that trip to Belize in your condition, if you should ask the doctor. Or you are thinking about a party that is happening that weekend, and if  you should wear your black skirt or your leather pants. Or maybe you’re thinking about the way the doctor’s nose hair seems abnormally long for someone that spends a lot of time looking down at a person. Whatever you are thinking, it is not about the thing that is about to change your life. I wonder, do the doctors ever hesitate, knowing that when they speak, your life gets split in two? Before and after? Do they want to wait, to let you live in your before world for just a moment longer? Because these words, they have the power to destroy. A dream of something. A person you used to be. A life you thought was about to be.

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He says “I do”. The sun is dappling, actually dappling through the trees. You feel beautiful and your dress is right. The flowers dangle from the trees and you somehow know enough to look up, to really take it in, to not let it all fly by too quickly. You thought about the dress and the flowers and the risotto and the duck quesadilla appetizers, and the poem to be read, and the song to be danced to. You thought of it all. But you did not think of the vows much, the classic words that you chose. You wanted the tradition, of course, but expected the words to float by you in that way that all big moments seem to float. It is only later that you can take in the big moments. But this, you did not expect. When he said “I do”. When you said “I do” and meant it. At that moment you feel as tall and rooted into the earth as the massive oak tree you are standing under. Everything that has come before and everything that will come after is exactly turning on this moment. The balance is whisper-perfect, and just as delicate. Yes, this man, this moment, these words.  I do, I do, I do. They fill you up, inside a raw place that has been empty until now, a small hollowed out hiding place below your heart and above your ribs. The words fill that spot and keep flowing, overflowing actually, The words tumble out of your mouth, and they are alive, doing cartwheels over each other, spilling out over your dress and down your toes and into the damp grass, below the dirt and into the roots of the trees, where they keep flowing, out into the river that winks at you from beyond the trees. You think, you are done. These words, these words have the power to build things.

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I’m joining the lovely sisters at Momalom for Five for Five this week, taking part in a blogging challenge. Check out the other amazing posts inspired by these women.

Today’s post on WORDS is also coming to you from Just Write, a free writing exercise hosted by the extraordinary Heather of the EO.

 

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