Little paper “decorations” are taped all over my house, stuck via finger-print covered tape to the walls and french doors. The discarded clippings litter the floor. I gather them in my palm as I move from task to task after bedtime, trying to resist the urge to rip masterpieces from the walls and hide the scissors.
I leave on Saturday for ten days – the longest I have been away from my family since we first created these little people – and my urge for military-style organization is violent and palpable. It’s work to soften my face, to let the day happen with its crumbs and its laundry and its tiny pieces of paper. I mandate showers on Sunday morning, on the off-chance, I admit, I can’t fit them in again before Saturday, and Quinn bellows his rage at me through the heavy, baby-shampoo scented air of the bathroom.
“I’m so mad at you!”
“It’s all your fault. You made me take a bath.”
“A bath! Sacre bleu! I am the worst mommy ever!”
“Well, not weally.”
Not weally. Aw, Quinn, my paper-clipping-blizzard-creating number one fan.
My thyroid is fine. I stressed inordinately before the ultrasound – not because I thought I would have cancer (not weally) – but because I thought they would want to stick a needle into my neck to prove the absence thereof and I would not quite, but almost maybe sort of actually have something horrible. My life-long hatred of needles, which I had nearly overcome during three pregnancies thanks to a string of excellent phlebotomists, has returned full force as a result of the elephant tranquilizer they jammed into my butt during the hemorrhage after the miscarriage. I barely managed to force myself to get a flu shot this year and I BELIEVE in flu shots. Like, on my knees, hands waving in the air, speaking in tongues believe. The only end-of-the-world scenario I actually fear is a global flu pandemic. Bring on the life-ending meteors. At least that seems quicker than watching a killer flu approach via horrible CDC maps with growing red circles radiating out from population centers. We might survive here, but I would have to accept the threat early and deign to flee to The Land to avoid contact with people. And yes, I would say it’s highly likely that my need to avoid a composting pit toilet could mean the demise of my entire family from the next killer flu.
We all have our limitations. Better to embrace them.
Last week, my writing was featured not only for my usual Friday Mamalode spot, where I wrote about picking my battles, a skill I have all but lost in my insane need to have EVERYTHING perfectly in order before I depart, but also at Scarymommy. Jill asked if she could republish one of my older posts, To My Sister’s Gorgeous, Clueless Friends, and I was thrilled beyond words because I love her and because an almost unfathomable number of people read her site.
It was a pretty cool week and I haven’t said a word about the 40th birthday surprise that took my breath away on Thursday night or how all day Saturday, my LTYM co-producer and I held auditions for our THIRD (!!) annual show in Spokane. People hand us their hearts at auditions and we try to hold them so gently while we have them.
I try to juggle it all – all of the hearts including my own – give each one the time it needs cradled in my palm and the time it needs up in the air. It’s not hard, not weally. Or it is hard, but so worth it. Saturday, I will set them down, very, very gently for a short time, board a plane, and fly to Portugal for my 40th birthday. The day the second half of my life begins, the day our last baby was due, I will be on a horse on the southern coast, pretending I don’t have hearts waiting for me at home. I suspect, before ten days are done, that I will crave the squishy warm weight of love in my hand, its breath hot on my face, its beat that is the insistent tempo of my days. Before ten days are done. But not at first.