Tuesday, October 30, 2007
And slowly decompressing from our week away.

Life is still sorting itself out while we wait.

Unfortunately, patience is a virtue that my life already spreads too thin and I'm finding it difficult not to be anxious while waiting for someone to turn on the lights.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007
It Can't Rain All The Time
And what better reminder of that than the act of packing to go on a Caribbean vacation?

As for the mess on the homefront, it's hard to write about something that you're in the midst of. We're still too 'in' the story to tell it. Hopefully I'll come home from vacation and we'll be closer to the other side of this, closer to some sort of semblance of being settled.

In the meantime, wish me luck. I never thought I'd have a such a hard time making myself want to go on vacation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I'm telling myself that I'm not going to cry.


I'm caught in a slow moving circle, every few hours feeling weighed down, pressing myself against the sobs, mostly managing to hold it in.

They beat me last night and I choked on my own tears, buried my face in the blanket.

Today has been better. Cried only once. Mostly I've been feeling the swollen pit of it in my stomach, turning sick with this weight, this worry, this anger. This sadness. But I only cried once. And that was only because I talked about it. Thought I could make it without my lip wobbling. But I couldn't.

Our world as we've known it has shifted, been pulled out from beneath us and left me grasping for anything for comfort. I've been telling myself that it's only an inconvenience, not a tragedy. And that the ache I'm feeling is that of change, of being forced out of a comfortable place, and not because it's the end of anything that really matters.

I tell myself these things: At least we have our health. At least we have our children and their health. At least we have family and a home and each other.

At least, at least, at least.

I didn't come here to tell the story again, I'm weary of repeating it, weary of it repeating itself over and over in my mind, feeling it hard and throbbing in my gut. I simply needed to come here for myself. To vent. To feel for a moment connected to something comfortable, something that I'm not letting go of.

I'm here because I'm exhausted and want to scream into ocean, let go of this burden, throw it out to sea and reel back in whatever is waiting to take its place.

But it's October in New England. And the ocean is a long cold drive away.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007
He's pushing trucks around the house, hiding in duffel bags, zooming over the arms of the sofa, making squealing noises as they try to stop before diving nose first down behind the television. And tonight as I make dinner, he's playing at my feet in the kitchen. A big dump truck and a small white truck. The big truck is named "Big Truck" and the little white one is "Fire Truck", he tells me this as I stir the tomato sauce. Ah, I say. So, Big and Fire are their names?

He looks at me, but only briefly before disappearing back into his little world of trucks, swirling at my feet.

I hear their conversations and feel almost guilty for eavesdropping.

Hi. Big says to Fire.

Hi. You come with me? Fire asks.

I too big. Big says.

You can do it. Fire says.

And they ride down the length of the kitchen, hopping through the legs of a kitchen chair and then meeting up again beside the wainscoting.

Woo-hoo, Fire says to Big, cheering him on - You did it!

Later, he's jumping in his room - up and down on his bed, his face bobbing in and out of sight of our neighbors as he moves in front of the window.

My goodness, he says to something happening outside - a loud truck rumbling past, an altercation between neighborhood kids, something I can not see or hear. But he says it again, My goodness. Not upset with anything, simply an expression of bemusement. Much like how I say the phrase at the end of a long day.

I stand in the doorway and listen to him, it's the first expression of mine that I've heard him repeat.

It's been weighing on me a lot lately, stressing me out. This idea that somehow I'm doing something wrong, damaging his childhood in some way or another. Snapping at him for not eating all of his dinner, for whining, for taking off his pull-up and peeing on the floor rather than telling me he needs to use the potty. Lots of things have been breaking me quickly lately - lack of sleep, being the primary culprit.

But still, each night I go to sleep wondering if all of my love and attention has somehow outweighed my momentary lapses of mommy-loveliness. The times when I'm raw and irritated and hissing through my teeth that we listen when Mommy tells us to pick up our toys. I pray that somehow these moments of failure, of weakness, of letting myself put myself before others, won't have an impact on how he treats others, how he sees the world, how he deals with frustration and anger.

I just don't want to mess him up, I guess, is all I'm saying.

And so to see him today, mimicking encouraging behavior with his toys - and repeating something like "my goodness" with a quiet bemusement at his window - I sighed with a bit of relief.

It's a long road between here and adulthood, and it's going to be a process for all of us, going through it together for the first time. I'm just glad to be assured that, if nothing else, for right now, in this moment, the good stuff is sticking.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Blar, Harrumf and Woo-Hoo
There's a man at the hotel (where I pass the time between paychecks,) who uses the expression "Woo-Hoo" endlessly. He is tan, horribly so. His skin has the sort of shiny, stained quality that happens when you've never even seen a bottle of sun screen. Darker than a well oiled, oven roasted turkey. And he stands at my counter chatting most evenings that I work. Woo-Hoo.

He bought a Tiffany bracelet for a former guest of our hotel. He brought it to me, to try it on before he shipped it to her overseas. We're about the same size, you see, this young woman and I. Woo-Hoo.

As the heavy gold links dangled from my wrist, I squinted down at the diamond tennis-balls, set neatly between the two solid gold tennis rackets. A charm bracelet for a princess. I told him it's far too expensive of a gift, for a loved one, let alone someone living on the other side of the Atlantic who barely ranks above casual acquaintance.

No matter. Good things for good people, he told me.

I think about him when I get home, not because he has taught me any sort of life lesson, but because he is, essentially, a character. I couldn't have dreamed up such a quirky individual. A once-upon-a-time minor league baseball player who walked away from the game for a woman. Twenty years and four nearly grown kids with his soon-to-be ex-wife, and a house fire later, he's now living in a hotel, imparting his life's wisdom on the captive audience of the desk staff and buying $2500 charm bracelets for near strangers. Woo-hoo.

And that's just the tip of it.

Such glorious fodder for fiction. Any single thread from the tapestry of my encounters with him could be wound around my fingertips as I type out a fictional masterpiece.

Yet, I'm not typing.

I've got a couple of stories "in progress" - one finished and awaiting revision, the other sitting about half way done, abandoned for over a week, probably wondering if it's been left for dead at this point.

Now that I'm working (more), writing has become (more) like working. The only difference being that I feel guilty when I don't accomplish enough writing, whereas I can go for hours distracting myself at the office and never even consider it as I'm wrestling to get my mind to surrender to sleep at night.

I'm groggy lately too, so that probably has something to do with it. It being this ho-hum feeling of meh when I should be writing.

I'm hoping that our upcoming vacation rejuvenates me. At the very least, it will be over a week of not waking up at 6AM with my son demanding crackers and juice. And maybe that's enough.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Things that are not fun
Being home alone with two children...and a migraine.