Today, on the first day of her 8th year as a human being on this planet, I picked my daughter up for her Friday gymnastics class. The sun was shining; the rest of her friends were scampering off to their first afternoon soccer practice.
My kid had to make a choice earlier on: soccer or gymnastics. We couldn't do both. She was conflicted. Didn't want to disappoint her daddy, the beloved soccer team coach. Liked being with her friends at practice and the games. BUT, also really liked gymnastics. The flipping, cartwheeling, splits, balance beam.
"Noura isn't going to be in gymnastics today and Eleanor isn't either," she said. We both knew where they would be instead of flipping and jumping alongside her.
She climbed into the car, quiet. "I am going to be alone," she said.
"Yes. Today is the first day you won't have your two friends with you. That's definitely different."
"Are you sad?"
"Do you miss soccer? You don't have to answer me now, but if you think about it and feel like you do, we can always see if we can switch. I can't promise that we can, but I can try."
I have not blogged in foh-evah. Foh-evah, evah. And like everyone who lives life on this planet of ours, lots of stuff has happened. Lots and lots. Birthdays, visits, family, friends, work. The stuff of suburban family life right? I take a shit-ton of pictures with my phone and I post a shit-ton to Instagram. It's almost like so much happens, I need a way to keep track of it all in some sort of tangible form. And as I get older and my kids get older, I feel more of this compulsion to hold on to our moments -- happy and sad -- in picture or written form.
My little blog has become part of that effort. For me, it has become a way to stay true and honest to my feelings, who I am, etc. -- no matter what. My feeling is if I write the hard thing, press that "post" button and let it out into the universe, it can't hurt me anymore. Or at least it hurts me less. There. I said it. No more hiding.
And I can't wait for my adult kids to read it. To know that their mom was NOT perfect. And she struggled and got pissed and cursed and cried. To know that feeling imperfect is not anything to hide from or be ashamed of. It is part of being a frickin' human being, kids. And if you sit in that imperfectness for a little while...you will learn and grow and maybe, just maybe, be happier and fuller as a human being because of it.
As a result of my need to observe, analyze and make sense of difficult things in my life, I often feel that when things are happy and wonderful, I don't blog. To write about all the simple and sweet things in my life feels...showy. Inauthentic, almost. But, really it's not either.
I also want my kids to know I was really fucking happy in life. I had FUN. I loved their dad more than I can even write about here on this little blog. And we were the best of friends. I loved them and their poopy jokes (most of the time). I loved to laugh...loud and hard. And dance. That I was their mom always, but I was also MORE THAN MY MINIVAN (that one's for you, S.)
So, to that end, 2013 thus far has been all about the seriousness that I write about here (and don't write about here), but it has also been about moments that send me so far into the stratosphere of happiness I believe my little, fragile body won't be able to take it...
I have been freaking out. Freaking out, I say. And not in any way that a passerby would notice. I look normal. I act normal (most of the time). But I feel my insides spilling out.
I have sat down to write down about my freak out (plus a million other things that are swimming around in my head) no less than 25 times in the last couple of months. For some reason, I have stalled. Either I get distracted by family stuff, work stuff or both.
But I'm always busy. We're always busy. Everyone is always busy. Making time. That is what I haven't done lately for myself. Making time to sort out all the fear, frustration, etc. that has been poking my insides for a while now.
Sometimes its easier to ignore the poking. That is until it gets to the point of hurting.
Over the weekend, I met a woman who has read my blog almost since the beginning. She mentioned to me how it seems the purpose of my blog has changed. I hadn't given it much thought, but her words stuck with me. What started out as light-hearted and funny stories about my life with small children -- and an outlet for some of the tedium and ridiculousness and joy and hilarity of raising said small children -- has become an avenue for me to stay true to myself.
I never meant for the blog to become therapeutic, but sometimes you get help in unexpected ways. And I looked at some of my recent posts and boy do I sound bummed. But it's the truth. It's not all of me, but it's me when I most need to write...when I am struggling. The longer I write, the more this blog is simply about this: authenticity. That I am not perfect. My family is not perfect. And the more I write about how unperfect we are, the stronger I feel about life and its ups and downs.
And so when you need help, you do what has worked for you in the past. And that is what I am doing now.
Again, back to the freakout. I am closing in on a milestone age. I never, ever, never thought I would have the feelings I am having about getting older. I just never gave getting older much thought -- until I got older.
On the fun side, my husband is throwing me a party where some of my favorite people on earth will be in attendance. But still...wig-gin.
Now before you go thinking that this is some lesson on vanity, it's not. Don't get me wrong, I notice my hands a bit more wrinkled, those lines around my mouth deepening, the grey hairs (that started in my 20s and used to make me laugh -- the novelty of a 20-year-old with some stray grey hairs!) that now are exercising manifest destiny on the continent that is my scalp. But, more than that, I am happy. Deliriously happy. And I don't want it to end. It's the fatalist in me. I feel my life going. And going. And going. It's too fucking fast. I am a total cliche. But here I sit, writing these words and feeling them.
When I think about how old I am turning this year, I catch my breath. Please, God, slow it down. Those babies aren't going to be babies for much longer and it kills me. One day I am going to be old and it may not be pretty. And, good god that scares the living daylights out of me. To the point where if I think about it, I feel short of breath.
But today. Today, today, today, today. What is life like today? Today is good. Today is more than good. It's happy and funny and tiring and blissful and busy and full of so much love I am not sure how this little house contains it all. So, that's my plan. To stay in it. Today, that is.
I'll let you know how that goes. And in the meantime, today looks like this. And I couldn't ask for anything more.