The Addiction Called Pride

While holding my daughter, who is just shy of a year and a half, and directing my dripping, towel cladded toddler back to the Women’s Locker Room, I found myself catching a remarkable chill, not from the cold air that met our moisture marked skin after leaving the temperature controlled water in the pool, but from a conversation that was unfolding just a few feet ahead of mine.  A fit, middle aged, smartly dressed woman was directing conversation with whom at first glance, I thought to be a young high school man. I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation, because it took place as I followed, and then the pair stopped to finish as we opened and entered the door.

This lady was irate with whatever new changes that had recently taken place in the center to let the riffraff in. She made fun of a man, who in her words, looked to be homeless, and had the audacity to be, gasp, carrying his clothes in a dollar store bag! I mean, how dare he??? Right?! If you could have only heard the disgust in her voice as she was discussing the homeless… The other member of this conversation was actually none other than an employee. Young, yes, but still, someone taking the time to agree and further engage in this wealthy woman’s fantasy that gym memberships are only for people who look like her. I was not mentally prepared to go to verbal battle, even though it would have been a wonderful lesson for my children and anyone else, so while still fuming, I made it a point to create this article tonight.

Let me tell you a few facts. I am a 31 year old, single mother of 3 children. This is the first time in my life that I’ve EVER had a gym membership. The only reason I have one is because we currently live with my children’s grandparents. They have graciously extended generosity to us in incredible ways, so that we would continue to be well cared for. I have tattoos. I have been on food assistance. I have been homeless. I have teeth decaying out of my mouth at a rapid rate. I have made decisions that would make the brand of character I overheard tonight wince in horror. I have been caught in public using a plastic bag while looking disorderly.

Dearest pretty lady with the assumed perfect 2.5 kids, well polished partner, and white picket fence,

I forgive you.

I forgive you for assuming my worth and the worth of others based on outward appearances alone. I’m saddened by your lack of compassion and empathy for other strangers. You have no idea what went through the mind of that dollar store bag carrier. Maybe that person finally fought off his phobia that kept him in the house to, get this, BETTER himself. Maybe that person was kindly bringing a bag to another wealthy, to-do individual, who looked like you, who carelessly forgot their stuff at home. MAYBE, it was my father in law who works full-time, makes a GREAT living, who was rushing in with a bag full of the things for his grandchildren to enjoy while splashing in the pool. His hair is a bit ragged right now, and he JUST trimmed what was a bit of an unkept beard. You wouldn’t know that a month ago he was in the hospital with blood clots in his lungs, so you’d judge his blemish marked face. You’d be sure to judge his attire and presence. He has a passion for thrifting, so yes, he could definitely be the man you were referring to.

Whether the changes you were gossipping about are the allowances of the family membership or the new medical insurances being accepted, I’m uncertain, but please, for the sake of humanity, take a step back and realize the homeless matter, the unkept matter, and those who don’t look like you, matter. My worth is not determined by the way you look down on me. I’ll go into my job interview tomorrow with certainty and grace. I’ll hide my chronic pain and exhaustion. I’ll smile with a closed mouth. Appearances are everything. Some diseases are silent killers… Once my children are old enough to understand, I’ll share with them a little story about how Mommy overheard a woman struggling with privilege and pride. Addiction is a very real thing. And I choose to meet that disease with compassion.

“Catch” with T-Rex

Catch with 2 toddlers consists of a lot of dinosaur type poses. Picture an adorable, roly poly, flexible, one year old as said t-rex. Now picture her arms angled a little more outwards, lots of lead footed scampering, curly hair flying, giggles, and an endless supply of high, ear piercing shrieks.

Amidst this joyful game of “catch”, there’s strategy(I mean, duh, because toddlers…). Mostly, once my tie-dyed dino gets the pink bouncing ball back in her paws, an intense game of keep away ensues. There’s toddler babbles, toddler attacks(this includes slobbering and occasional bites), fighting over whose turn it is(it’s hard to play “catch” with a baby who won’t throw the ball), and laughing and screaming hysterically every time anything, anything at all happens. Oh, you dropped the ball, insert insane laughter. Oh, you’re running away, insert my wish for ear plugs. Oh, you’re an adorable, chubby T-Rex, I smile, which translates to you shrieking even more.

I love catch.

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Bathroom Talk

Oh shit!!!!!

No, literally…

I was on the shitter when I heard the front door slam and moments, later baby giggles outside.

Ohhh mannnnn. Do I continue to empty my bowels, or do I go save the day? And by save the day, I mean half drag, half carry my two tots into the house, all while they are screaming and crying to stay outside(ya know, to taste test rocks and fight zombies and shit).

I decided to continue pooping as quickly as humanly possible. Yes, selfish, but I made a choice, by golly. So while I’m attempting to play Speed Racer in the toilet race of the century, all I can think is that my one and two year old are going on a walk by themselves. This means, my clumsy youngest will probably fall down the initial big hill. Once there, she’ll either cry or go to town chowing down at the all you can eat buffet commonly known as gravel. There’s a decent chance that a neighbor will find them and make a call to the officials leaving more sustenance for my abusive ex to use against me in any possible future squalor.

Wiped clean, raced(yes, sans washing of hands…) to the door, to nooooot find them wandering the neighborhood, to not find them greeted by a concerned neighbor. Nope, biggest was playing in the car, and littlest was exploring the immediate yard (That may or may not have consisted of taste testing non edibles.).

It was then that I sternly reminded my stinkpots of the deal we’d made prior to my bathroom excursion. Socks and shoes and outside time AFTER MOMMY GOES POTTY!

“Ohhh yeeeeah.”, the cutest little two year old voice says, as he erases my fears and fills me with smiles.

Time to go wash my hands…

Hashtag, World’s Most Okayest Mom(thanks, Would).

Let’s Talk About Passion

I remember once in junior high, we had a mock trial. I don’t even remember what the trial was about. What DO I remember? The shocked faces as I passionately drove my case home. I was told by more than one(teacher included) that I should become a lawyer. I laughed it off and said, “Nah, I’m an actress.”.

Let’s take a pause and talk about why that memory excites me. I’d like to believe it’s not fully ego based. Sure, we all like to be recognized and validated by outside sources for what we feel and/or believe we’re good at.

Life’s about sharing. At least the life I wish to live in.

That passion I unknowingly exuded and shared with others was informative and contagious(to both me and others!).

What desires am I currently delighting myself and my surroundings with?

What passions do you hold dear that have the ability to light up a room? Maybe a bouquet you arranged, or a picture you drew, a note you left, a smiley face fingered onto some dust, freely dancing in public, giggling with a toddler… I’m sure there is something you share with Mother that bring others peace and love.

Please, (re)find and share your passions with the world.

And then tell me all about it!!!❤

(Please!!!)

Anxiety vs Depression

I see you.

Aimlessly staring into your phone trying to direct your multi-focused attention and to feed your multitude of needs.

The thing is, I’m right here…

I’m right now.

I’m silently begging you to be present with me.

But you’re not a mind reader, and I don’t want to beg, or plead(or simply ask…), because that puts me in a very vulnerable position. Not that I mind hearing, “Not right now.”, or “In a minute.”, or even ” Later, baby.”.

It’s just…that’s as far as communication normally goes with us, and the whirlwind that is my mind, needs much more.

I want to reach out to you, to sweep your electronic away, and I want to help you feel valued, beautiful face to beautiful face. Loving you makes me feel whole. I want to crawl on top of you, delicately. Heavily draping my full body on top of yours, I wish to bring my arms around and on top of your head so that I’m clasping you within my bosom. I want to slowly kiss each of your eyelids, closing them with the warmth, moisture and tender love that only my mouth can gift to you. I want to find your heartbeat by nuzzling your neck. I seek to smell you. Feel you. I want nothing more than to give you comfort and pleasure. I want to go in-between massaging you with the lightest of scratches and embracing you with intense kneading that helps you to ultimately feel relaxed, sensual, and at peace.

I’m torturing myself with all of the possible reasons as to why you’re seeking an outside source of pleasure. The rational part of my brain knows you just need “you time”. To recoup after a hard day of working, or because you’re tired, or because the introvert in you doesn’t want to talk, or because you’re afraid of what I may need, or because…..

I supposed it’d be easier to tell you what I need than to wait for you to guess.

But that means I’d have to be vulnerable all over again.

I’ll wait this one out.

I cook you dinner. I emphasize the timing and ingredients and plating to please you. I try to keep the kids entertained to the best of my ability so that you’re able to unwind, or…whatever it is you’re doing. I’m barely acknowledged. The kids literally fight for your attention. Silence becomes a noose around my neck.

You thank me with a sincere smile, rinse your plate, and head back to the comfort of your phone.

I start to feel more and more hollow and disconnected as the night lingers on. I finish my nightly chores, parental duties, brushing of teeth, and head to bed.

It’s then that you decide to join me. You try to cuddle up to my backside. I lay stiff for moments that seem to last a lifetime for the both of us. I’m sincerely hoping you’re not sexually aroused. With the lack of affection, I’m obviously feeling less than attractive and valued.

You:

God, she’s beautiful. What the hell did I do to deserve her? Do you hear her? She’s humming. While tending to house chores, at that!

God, she’s coming. I don’t want her to feel awkward by me watching her.

Let’s see, what’s new on Facebook? Oh there’s a funny meme. I’ll share that. Maybe someone will laugh like I did.

Oh, another one. Gotta share that.

I wish my body didn’t hurt. I’d love to get down and play with my babies. Poor things would just have to hear me grumble about being in pain, though.

I wish I could give her everything she’s worthy of. She’s better than me. Deserves more…

Man, she can cook!!! I wish I could think of all the eloquent words to share and praise her with.

Good God, I need to lose weight. No wonder she doesn’t want to touch me. I look awful.

OK, first thing tomorrow. I’ll start exercising. That’ll help me, which will help us. I feel better about this decision.

I feel best next to her. She makes me feel loved.

She’s so stiff tonight. I wonder what’s wrong…

Mother Nature

You hear the faintest of rumbles in the distance, a sure promise of the oncoming rain. You half live under a rock, so you are  quite uncertain of the wrath or swiftness of the storm to come. You smile, innocently giddy, realising you’re pubescent-like excitement is bordering on silly.

OK, onto adulting…! Like an adult.

But that stooooooooorm…

It’s hypnotic aromas and sounds carry your mind away.

To sensual, cozy times.

Times when you were melted into one of your former lovers, arms and legs intertwined in the most sensual of ways, focusing on each other’s delight, with the slight pitter-patter echoing on the roof top, and the streams cascading down the window, performing a live show while you yourself were on the mainstage.

Playful, happy times.

Times when you were puddle jumping with your now “big girl”. The memory sings to you of the sweet, sweet song of your towheaded little girl, parading and jumping in pools of water. The laughter and fun made so much more so by the drips and drizzles tantalizing your senses.

Humbling.

Storms are humbling.

They come, and they go. Sometimes, (thankfully) only leaving much needed water in their wake. Quenching the parched.

Other times, the storm rages quickly and fiercely, leaving chaos and destruction in her chosen path.

Still other times, the storm rains on in the most most mundane… No thunder, no light shows in the sky.

Oh, but she’s still boss. In case you forgot, it’s her you fear when your basement is flooding, or the river is getting too high, or when you’re driving at high speeds before skidding on Mother Nature’s rain puddle… I did that once. Did a full circle and came inches from running smack into a pole head on. Ask me what song was playing. Do it! Ask me. ” Mamaaaaaaaaa, oooooh. I don’t wanna die.” That’s right, folks, Bohemian Rhapsody. Mother has a sense of humor.

She demands respects, and she gets it. If you don’t listen to her warnings, well, then that makes you not very bright. She won’t be grumbling about how her little duckling’s listening ears were compromised, so just settle your ruffled feathers and, “Carry onnnnn, carry on.”. 😉

She’s ruthless, but she’s steady. She’s calming and desired. Needed. And she just doesn’t give a fuck!

“Nothing really matters to meeeeee.”

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Experimenting with Spoken Word

If you found out tonight I had stage 4 cancer, what would you say? How would you feel? Would you regret what you had said or not said? Would your feelings bring forth a change in you? In me? In us? Would you be driven to act, rather than ponder?

Would you forgive?

If you found out tonight I’d died out there, on the snow covered ground amidst this freezing weather, would it make you stop? Would your heart stutter? Would your eyes leak? Would you fret? Regret? Be upset?

If you found out tonight, you could feel what I feel, and know what I know, would you only then reach out? Would you take my hand? Would you dismiss your fears and quiet my tears, and fully, genuinely embrace me? With all of my aptitude, presence and strengths? With all of my demons, shadows, and angst?

Share laughter with me. Share anger and love and spiral with me. I double dog dare you to be honest with me.

I’m an animal. A beautiful expression of said perfection. A sorrowful heap of human reflection. I’m flawed. I’m real. I feel both joy and pain. I have highs and lows. Feel madness and sane.

I’m invincible, but I’m not.

Home

Home.

I want it to feel like home.

That scent. Familiar. Normal.

You know…that weird, flowery, musty, all encompassing smell. The kind of smell that instantly takes you back, all the way back. It’s that ‘not’ so random memory, securely tucked, snug into the depths of your intimate heart space.

That scent is you.

On your knees, deep in the closet of your childhood home. Reaching passed your mother’s dress-up, church coat and your daddy’s clay dusted, work boots. You reach juuust passed your brother’s most treasured toy train, laying haphazardly in all its played with glory, to find your most favorite pair of sneakers, hidden deep inside the closet’s bosom. Those well cared for shoes that you’ve worn long enough to perfectly mold to your graceful, yet still semi-clumsy feet. As you breathe in, you catch just a hint of the peppermint gum hidden within the pocket of your mama’s wool coat. Your shoes were kept safe from your sister’s greedy hands for just one more day!

Home.

I want to be floored with memories that last a lifetime when I inhale~You.

I picture me greeting your gently whiskered cheek with my partially parched lips in a comfort filled, hurried embrace. You hear the shuffle of little feet, giggles, and exasperated warnings not to be late. We’re off to their next biggest adventure! We share in one heavenly glazed, long paused expression. With heavy lids, our moment’s embrace ends, but not without the silent promise of our own nighttime adventures to come.

Home.

#momlife

My response:

“I mean, who WOULDN’T want to share a home where everything is hoarded up high(yes, that does mean cluttered, unorganized shelves), where you get the view of one tiny minion tearing the extra toilet paper roll(that you stuffed to the very back of the low shelf. You note to add another item to your cluttered mess.) while you poop, and you hear another set of tiny feet clapping down the hallway in hurried excitement. Oh shit. You hear drawers being opened and closed in the kitchen. Trust your toddler to not die so you can finish pooping in peace? Yes. You come out to your toddler eating ice cream with a pair of tongs and frozen chicken strips littering the floor. Tablet. I need to purchase a tablet to occupy him while I poop. But then I’d worry about finding it in the tub of ice cream. No, locks. I need locks. High locks. This isn’t my house…. Ok, I’ll settle for a sense of humor and knowledge that my tots will be in pre-k in 2 years. Yeah…I probably shouldn’t date for another 2 years… I mean, unless drool puddles, cheese smears, and the faint aroma of hidden urine do it for you. In that case, sign me up.😉 ”

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