I haven’t published anything in quite some time. Not for lack of trying, if you take a gander in my drafts folder. I would love to say that todays outbreak of words are due to a moment of brilliance. Disappointingly, They are not. These words are spurred by the notice of my renewal fee. A fee which ignited the frugal portion of my brain. The one that screams “you’re paying for this, use it!”. Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places.
The blinking cursor which antagonizes as much as it beckons, is more than another bill to account for annually. It’s my hideaway amidst the vast internet. I carved out this little piece of cyberspace when I was adrift. My life was a series of tidal waves, crushing me under their weight. I was a husk of a person, merely aimed at surviving. All bits of me carved away, sliver by sliver. The freedom and catharsis of these words revived me. Reminded me of who I am. Allowed me to process my experiences-finding who I want to be.
I ran away from this space with my tail between my legs. I got a bad review. Accused of fabrication. Martyrizing myself. A portrayal I don’t believe nor ever intended. I allowed the indictment to fester a fear of my own words.
During the time that I have shied away from writing, several things have occurred. I confirmed that I do not, in fact, see myself as a martyr. I’m not special. My experience is not as isolated as it feels some days. However, I do see myself as authentic. Taking responsibility where it is due. My experience may not be validated by other parties, but that doesn’t make my experience less mine. I shouldn’t be afraid of my voice. For even when I am wrong, I can learn from it. I can grow. I do pause to ensure that I am speaking of my experience and not casting accusations. I allow the possibility that at times I stumble in that goal. Slinging mud is never my intention.
My fear and miserly ways aside, this is my little corner. It is important to me. So I am going to do my damndest to hold onto it.
I have been ruminating on where to go from here. The above portion sitting in solitude as I tried to work it out. The last year has been full of so much change. Now that Moose is getting older, the struggles are different. I am no longer tasked with keeping a sentient potato from harming himself on a daily basis. Mostly, his head is above table height, so I can breathe easier. However, separation anxiety is rearing it’s ugly head again. School is exposing him to kids I may not have chosen as his friends. Homeboy inherited my attitude. And a million other examples that get lost in the daily shuffle. Mostly, he is a whole ass person now. With a wealth of thoughts and emotions. And though his vocabulary is impressive for his mere six years, he still lacks depth to some of his articulations. I tried to ascertain a common thread to write about, connecting these disparate things. Or do I chose a topic, expounding on it- probing the minutia?
My brain likes patterns; warping itself to find connections. The elegant thread to pull. Relentlessly, it was worry. An easy thing for me to write about. Enough material to chronicle via dissertation. A reoccurring theme over the years.
Worry comes easy to me. There are psychological reasons for this, I’m sure. Deep diving into my childhood. Early adult experiences. I like to think it’s because I care. Jesus, do I care. About my people. My family. If I am a good person. The mother I strive to be. The citizen I want to see in the world. The well is ever deep to draw from.
Recently, I’ve been hyper focused on my mothering abilities. My father and I joke that we juggle glass hatchets. This is typically in reference to work, but it seems to be spilling over into everything else as of late. I am struggling to keep them all in the air. Work. Adulting. Mothering. Hell, myself. I want to do them all perfectly, without blemish. An impossibility. There aren’t enough hours in the day. No amount of multi-tasking will allow someone to “have it all”- at least, not at the same time. Hence, the hyper fixation on the stumbles I inherently experience.
Tonight, my son had to sit in my office with me until 8 pm. He had to be quiet for the majority of the (nearly) three hours he accompanied me. My focus, the conference at hand. Moose had the responsibility of entertaining himself.
The walls of my office have become a second home to him. A milestone I am rarely ashamed of. I work hard and he is learning that through my example. But long days can steal my energy. Erode my patience. Dwindle bedtime stories to sleepy snuggles with a reliance on a podcast to do the heavy lifting.
Tonight was one of those nights. Minecraft kept him company while I sorted laundry- ensuring that his karate uniform be ready for his belt test tomorrow. My chatter enveloping him via adjacent rooms as I prepared medicines, toothbrushes, and lunch for tomorrow. Finally, I slunk into his bed, turning down the lights and powering off the television- at his protest. His small voice excitedly told me about Minecraft worlds. Asked me questions about camp. Attempted to negotiate more time to play. Eventually, he settled. My body stilled, but my mind didn’t. The task list ticking away in the back of my mind. The regret of a poorly handled social situation. The worry.
As the worry attempted to take hold, a small hand reached across my abdomen. A simple gesture void of calculation. The pure desire of a child. A tactile reminder of my presence. Comfort in my proximity.
I lay in my sons bed, his arm draped over me, for a little longer than I originally planned. His steady, sleepy breathing filling the room. The weight of his arm silencing the worry- if only momentarily.