Another Me. 

Not too very long ago, I was in a very different spot. Emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, and even spiritually.

I was drowning. I was fully dependent. I was fearful. I was lost…with nowhere to go. Imagine that feeling, the persistent anxiety with the breath stealing heavy chest. You’re lost, but you have no destination. No funds, no village, drowning.

I was and still am a single mom. I raise two toddlers full time and one eight going on thirty year old part-time.

I made a whirlwind of choices, and each of them had effects. I quit my full time job that was no longer nourishing my soul. I traveled. I saw the exact spot where my mom died. I walked into my biological father’s home (I’ve still yet to meet him.). I took pictures of my sweet baby girl with a giant corn cob. I realized some of my daughter’s magical gifts, and we shared them with strangers. Have you ever been gifted art from a young child you’ve never before set your eyes on, who is insistent that you are indeed the recipient of her pure love? She, in turn, has been gifted hugs, treasures, and bouquets of flowers. And I was her mom. I am her mom. She is mine, and I am hers. 

And then, I changed. 

She went to live with her dad long term for the first time in her life. The first amount of time was supposed to be two months. During those 2 months, Mommy got to road trip and see amazing things. I’d been a single parent for 3 years. With my parents deceased, close family thousands of miles away, I, unfortunately, was the epitome of parenting alone. She was safe and in a loving environment, and I needed to be Miranda Rose, a woman, not only a mom, for just a tiny fraction of time. When my car broke down and I no longer had extra funds to rely on, two months turned into five. I cried. She cried. We. Cried. She is my family. My home. My heart. 

I got my shit together. I found a beautiful roommate with a heart full of gold. Her son filled my void until I found the perfect job making it possible to bring my own baby back into my world.

During this time away from my daughter, I fell head over heels in love. It was a captivating love. He brought me gifts and ravaged me. He sought me, encouraged me. He filled my cup. 

And then he drained my cup. Drop, by soul crushing drop. He played with me. My body, my mind, my emotions. He ignited me. He fueled my every thought. I found myself second guessing everything. Why would someone who said you were their soul mate be going on other dates, be ignoring you, and tell you all the ways you were imperfect? I was addicted to both his kindness and his shame, and it was incredibly unhealthy.

I had two children with the man whose love I longed for. It left me broken, financially spent, homeless, and raising three children, alone.

It’s taken me three years to climb out of that hot mess. Most of it was timing. I had to wait. It’s hard to wait when you’re drowning. I had to live with my abusive ex’s parents for almost three years. 3 years of someone always second guessing every decision I tried to make for my intimate family. 3 years of anxiety induced fear, not ever knowing my ex’s next damaging step. Almost 4 years of not enough sleep(full time breast feeding mom to two children). Diapers, tantrums, in sickness and in health, only I was there.

I used to beg for child support. Beg. BEG. I needed diapers, gas, and food. The state of Illinois had me backed into a corner where I could work all day long, morning and night, and not see my children ever, or I could work enough hours to make $500/month in order to still qualify for a childcare subsidy. With the child support that eventually got settled in court in addition to $500/month I still would not have made enough to survive on. Raising my babies instead of paying someone else to do it was incredibly important to me. I will never be able to rewind their infancy. So I survived with food stamps. With a part time nanny job. With a $900 car that lasted me 2 moves and a year of driving 10 hours every other weekend. I was isolated in a town knowing noone but my childrens’ family, but I made it.

I scoured Craigslist and the local online ads daily. My children finally were old enough to be away from my breast, literally. My youngest wouldn’t take a bottle. She was completely dependent on me. I was depleted. I found an ad looking for kitchen help from a local restaurant I’d always felt attracted to. I replied with my own job offer. After email tag and phone interviews, I landed a face to face interview with the owner of a local farm to table restaurant. I was hired on the spot. 
On the way to my second day of work, my $900 car shot the shit. I didn’t have local daycare. They were all full or out of my price range. I went in the red driving over two hours a day for two months, dropping my children off at one of my only two local friends’. I had to borrow cars and feel even more indebted to those already giving me a home and place to lie my head. So much guilt, and still yet, no way out.

I fell in love all over again. With gardening. With finally seeing and interacting with other adults, again! With the beauty that manifests in flower bouquets, and watching people’s faces light up as I tell them an intimate story or fill their palate and plate with fresh farm food. I was able to fill my cup by being away from my children, and in turn, fill theirs because I am finally able to be more present for them now, because more of my needs are being met. 

I live in my own home. I pay my own bills. I worked my way up the ladder, and I now have a living wage. I love my job, and I love my life. I’m human with human needs. I often get lonely with no other adult to share my life with, but I’m not the same Miranda I was three years ago, and I’m damn proud of who I’m continuing to learn to be. 

Father’s Day

Today, has been a day of reflection. 

I woke up early (because toddler) after going to bed too late (no naps for the chitlens yesterday, means after they passed out, I. did. me.). My youngest is potty training. She’s doing really good with the occasional accident. As I was dying my hair last night, she woke up because she wet the bed. My bed. Towels. I grabbed towels, and put a diaper on her. She had a restless night…

I have age appropriate snacks at their level in the kitchen, so I was woken up this morning by being asked to open an apple sauce pouch and to put Daniel Tiger on the tv. 

Today, is, was, Father’s Day.

I saw beautiful posts of acknowledgement of amazing men on social media. I reflected on those I know personally who are the real deal fathers. I thought off and on about the men in my life who’ve been father figures. I asked my children if they wanted to call their own father. My 4 year old had no interest, but my 2 year old did. The timing wasn’t ever quite right. I have to hold the phone for her and help translate. I debated on calling my oldest child (who currently lives with her dad), but again, the timing was never quite right (toddler potty accidents, hangry toddlers, driving).

We visited with my babies’ paternal grandparents for a bit.

I saw posts on FB regarding single moms not being fathers, reminding us this day was for the dads. I saw posts thanking dads…and single moms. I saw posts of people checking out, because Father’s Day was too much for them to emotionally bear. I saw the unseen. The posts that were half saved and never posted, because the emotional baggage was too heavy to carry to destination. I know there are daddies not being acknowledged because they’ve lost their children way too early to unfair death. There are families morning the unborn. There are those of us who’ve been abandoned by the men we wanted to call, “Dad”. There are those of us who long to have one last sit-down with our fathers.

Together, separately, we mourn. We reflect. We cry. We carry on. 

We smile, because you are able to have a beautiful relationship with your father. You can still hug him. You can still call him. You can depend on him. We smile for you. 

And we’re slightly jealous. 

Those of us with less than or non existent fathers, grew up having pretend conversations with pretend people. 

Those of us raising children with part time fathers are left resenting the art work that comes home for the absentee parent for the hallmark holiday.

I was very bitter 2 years ago. I’ve come a very long way since then. 

On Mother’s Day, my childrens’ father was in town. I didn’t berate him or my sweet babies for having to share time on “my day”.

If I were to have seen a post acknowledging a single father for raising babies alone due to death or abandonment, I would have cheered him and his on wholeheartedly.

I’ve lived with uncertainty, with abandonment, with death. I alone made decisions that resulted in having children with men not ready to effectively coparent alongside me. I fully realize my decisions have impacted my childrens’ qualities of life. 

With these realizations, comes more reflection. Boundaries.

Everyone is entitled to their own point of view. 

Today, I won’t post the long, sappy, heart tugging post that I did one year ago, stating how I saw the single mom, doing it all.

Just know, I walked on my couch today absorbing/cleaning up a potty accident. I had conversations with toddlers about tight rope walking and secret gardens. We discussed the neighbors, and we tried catching lightening bugs. It was my babies and me. There was no dad. That doesn’t take away from your partner or your dad who was and chooses to be present. I pray for someone to be present. I long for that. I celebrate the men in your lives who are worthy to be called, “Dad”.

I also have zero shame in congratulating and acknowledging the women who do it all. 2 days of acknowledgement in a year are ok in my book. 

Happy Father’s Day, indeed. 

“I Spend A Lot Of Time Thinking About…”

Whomever it is who I haven’t met just quite yet… Or is it we’ve met, but in a blink’s passing, just barely? Was that me who was comically entertaining my tot? Did you accidentally catch a glimpse of my normal, my zany? Of me making silly faces whilst at the gas pump? Was it you who drove by ever so slowly, scribbled directions in hand, trying to figure out how to navigate towards your next biggest adventure? Were you also trying not to drive over my stumbling toddler’s ganter? Did you miss your turn and stumble upon the scarcely populated town found somewhere midstate, with not much to notate except the laughable Effing name and that dauntingly huge cross? 

Maybe we’ve never exchanged glances from across a bustling supermarket, because you were racing to get spark plugs, and me, sour cream. Maybe you’ve dreamt of me. Or maybe you’ve imagined my exact brain and emotions packed inside a tiny, fierce blonde. 

I ponder whether or not you’re tow headed, dark, or ginger. I wonder if you’re bald, curly haired, or if you’ve have had an uncontrollable cowlick coming straight out of the top of your head since infancy. Is your baldness genetic or a lasting memory from a postmortem crash? Is your crisp, curly hair from your mom or your great Italian grandma who now lives in Spain?

Are you bronze skinned? Pale? Or does your skin resemble the darkest of nights blanketing the moon kissed sky?

Are you kind? If you are, is it because of circumstance? Would you like 16 year old you?

Questions. I have ever so many questions. 

I also have answers. 

When you come intimately to me for sensory filled comfort, I will be there. I will palm your face in a gentle embrace, cradled, to my womb. Our worries will disintegrate and our trust will unfold. It is here in our most vulnerable where you will find me, and I, You.

I imagine playful banter, feet high upon the wall, curls cascading down off the bed, laughter filled room, all while outlining make believe characters found within the naturally born artistry of the wallpapered room. 

Comfort. Home. 

Where you seek solace, and I my joy.

Together, we fit. My partner in crime.  My partner through time.

Mine

Puzzle Pieces

I am the woman who impatiently mutters, “Hurry the fuck up.” to a slow poke crawling below the speed limit. I am also the woman who almost always instantly realizes that I’m actually frustrated, because I’m running late to wherever it is I’m trying to be on time for, because I suck at time management. I can blame my poor time management skills on a plethora of different reasons. ADHD/OCD/anxiety type symptoms, single mommying two toddlers, sleep deprivation, physical pain, emotional stresses, blahdy-dee fucking blah. They’re all just glorified excuses. I don’t get to bed on time, wake up feeling semi-refreshed, and then lay in bed ignoring reality to play on Facebook to purposely be late for work. That’s stupid, and trust me when I say that right now, I’m incredibly hyper aware of leaving on time every morning, even if that means someone’s hair doesn’t get brushed or another toddler has to be insulted by the fact that mommy grabbed applesauce and not a granola bar for the car ride into town.

Perspective. I don’t want someone to believe my lack of time management skills means my job isn’t incredibly important to me. I need to re-earn their respect in that specific area. I’m genuinely working on it.
I’m 32 years old, and I’m still learning. 
And wondering. 
And daydreaming. 
My heart still breaks, and then is glued, sometimes poorly taped, back together on an almost daily basis. 
I’m mesmerized by owls that fly almost directly into my car. I find magic in authentic conversations. When someone smiles at me, and their entire body language screams that they are tuned into me and my needs, my mind goes into a fury of mixed signals wanting to smile in joy, sigh in relief, hug it out, jump up and down in excitement, and cry because someone sees. me.  I debate with myself on a multitude of yes, no, maybe so’s, and then push forward to offer a sincere hug or a simple, “Hello, my name is Miranda.” served with a half smile and a genuine want to meet someone where they are. Sometimes, keeping eye contact is incredibly hard for me when I’m living in my head. If I’ve recently made a mistake or am vigilantly fighting the anxiety demons in my head, I don’t want to look at anyone. I feel like they can read my failures a mile away. Other times, I’m on fire and seek to see all of everyone. I notice the way other people walk, talk, and bullshit. Some people are great story tellers. They live to tell stories, but more often than not, it’s other people’s stories. It’s a way to get the lime light off of the intimacy that truly pierces their own souls. 
Apathy can sting so much harsher than any criticism ever could. They’re fighting their own demons…
I feel like every person I come into contact with is basically different versions of me. Head Centered Randa vs Fire Randa. I don’t mean that selfishly, like I know that I have no idea about the struggles of a physically disabled person or your curly haired, sweet natured mama who grew up down the road. I mean it in the sense that I’m incredibly empathic, and even though I get pissed off or upset like everyone everywhere, I can normally (although not always in the moment) put myself in their metaphorical shoes to view the world from their vantage point.

I realized 6 hours too late that I forgot to do something for a customer. Then it clicked into place that I received a 10% tip because of my own doing. I recognized the awkward facial expression exchange at the table, but I had no idea what was going on, because my customer’s request had slipped my mind. I learned a lesson. In efficiency. And in time management. To slow down and pay attention to detail in the moment.
The same could be said for the puzzle that is our lives. You could be in my metaphorical shoes. Please don’t forget the blinging socks. Anyway, me…longing for intimate connections everywhere, uninterested with small talk, striving to do better, finding happiness in joy, in simplicity, and even acknowledging a little sadness, because it feels like life is somehow always missing that crucial spark that a life partner could possibly bring.
Would you get all of that by glancing my way? If I were in my head, and you were in a hurry, your thought process would probably be, “Oh, Miranda’s in a mood. Stay away from her.”. So basically, we’d both still be in our heads, needs left unmet.

I have friends with terminal illnesses fighting. to. live.

I have friends who look normal to the untrained eye, who long. to. die. 

I have married friends who worry about their partner’s fidelity.

I have friends who are married who openly engage outside of their partner’s comfort zones.

I have friends living with invisible illnesses. 

I have friends who live life blissfully unaware of life outside their privilege filled upbringing. 

Have you ever tried to shove a puzzle piece into place not realizing at first that it didn’t actually fit? That’s life. We all have our place, but sometimes we try really hard to blend into color schemes that don’t quite match. You can turn the piece around, or keep it in your hand for safe keeping. Truthfully, often, the confusion needs to be put aside. Pieces interlock accordingly, not always chronologically or even logically. Mystical sea creatures found only within the clouds and the canvas the volcano’s fiery depths portray are different views of the very same scene.

Loneliness

Sometimes, loneliness doesn’t come in the form of your overly awkward coworker who still lives at home with mommy.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of unanswered text messages.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of kind smiles amidst a room full of chattering people, yet noone to talk to.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of your life love(s) anchoring you to the fine line between drowning, gasping, and reaching for what’s just beyond your grasp.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of endless Facebook scrolling. 

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of pillow tossing, Netflix binging insomnia.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of one drink too many to shut the voice of longing up. 

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of bond forming memories continuously bruising.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of wanting the hug that fills your cup instead of depleting your soul. 

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of your smiling friend asking you an authentic question, because your response gives them life…

Sometimes, You Just Need Some Cheetos

  • Someone enters the gas station moments before you, but fails to hold the door open for you. The glaze eyed person absentmindedly peruses the junk food aisles. You’re silently grumbling to yourself about how selfish people can sometimes be. You hit the pisser, grab a water bottle, and then, end up directly behind your newest best friend. Your frizzy haired fellow settled on a bag of cheetos, a chocolate bar, a Mountain Dew and was currently trying your patience as they asked for a pack of smokes. If you could roll your eyes any farther back into your head, you would. The dude’s card gets declined. You audibly snicker your amusement and disgust at the situation at hand. The guy is very noticeably embarrassed at this point. He asks to please return the Mountain Dew and chocolate and then asks the cashier to try his card again. Denied. By this point, you’re really agitated. You have zero sympathy for this frazzled looking guy who is trying to veg out on nasty junk food and cigarettes. He apologizes again. He started pulling change out of his pocket for the cheetos. The well-to-do-lady who’d slipped in quietly behind you stepped up. You were sure she was going to voice what you had been thinking all along, but she surprised you by insisting everything he initially wanted get rang back up. The cashier clarified her meaning, and she paid for the man’s purchases while he stood there trying to give her the change out of his pocket. She surprised us all by hugging him. The grown man started bawling. Now I’m not talking silent, man tears slipping into oblivion. I’m talking loud, boisterous boo hoos that made everyone in the gas station turn their head. He was almost convulsing. When he seemed to catch his breath, with a face full of snot and tears, he managed to spurt out that his daughter had just died. He’d stayed by her bedside during her rapidly declining sickness, held her hand, lost his job, never left her, not even once. The nurse who’d helped them throughout their entire ordeal urged him with great fervor to go outside and get some fresh air. He wasn’t really sure how he ended up at the gas station, but when his stomach rumbled, he realized he hadn’t eaten or really drank in days. He’d lost touch on his financial situation, and he was pretty clueless actually to how low his funds had gotten, because he’d been such a dedicated father. He just kept saying, “Cheetos were her favorite… Cheetos were her favorite…”. Not a dry eye in the place. Not one. 

  • Today, I learned a lot about perspective. When you see someone who’s light appears to be dim, sometimes they just need a match. Or ya know, a hug and some Cheetos.

Intimacy is…

*slow, heavy, breathing* You hear the mostly even regimen of your partner’s slumber as his S shaped body is curled away from you. With the pillow between his arms, his dark, tousled hair spikes in contrast against the off-white pillow case still half adorning the bed. His broad, curl sprinkled chest keeps rhythm with the deep, dreamland encompassed breathing. You watch captivated in almost silence, as the lone audience member unbeknownst to the performer. The sheet has fallen to cover only his midriff and one partial leg. You see the crescent shaped scar that sits atop of your love’s muscular bottom. You tenderly trace the scar, knowing it came from accidentally sitting on a rusty nail poking up from a rusty bench during his adolescent years. He makes jokes and comes up with a different origin every time it’s seen or mentioned. Your favorite is the one he told when you were camping early on in your relationship. You were a tangle of limbs, courageously naked, on top of a blanket, with the stars as our canopy. I couldn’t decide which was more gorgeous, the sky, or the new body conformed to mine. I was dizzy with the newness that was us. I was caressing your bottom, and finally found the strength to ask you what had made its mark on you. Without hesitation, you pointed to the matching crescent in the sky. You brought my hand up to point with you. “There, right there.” You said. “The moon graced me with a tattoo, so I’d remember this moment for all of eternity.”. I couldn’t figure out whether to smirk, laugh or kiss you. The intensity in your gaze made up my mind for me.

I moved to the beautiful waves cascading his back. These came from his monumental growth spurt his freshman year of high school. They used to be an angry red color, and even though your partner was genetically gifted with an athlete’s body, the stretch marks caused him embarrassment, so he routinely covered his body, even during summer swims with the rest of his pimply faced, hormone raging friends. They’ve faded with time to a dull beige, just slightly lighter than his natural skin tone. You migrate up a bit and notice his lip and brow are wearing a light layer of perspiration, so you tenderly roll over, and gracefully stand. You pause to stretch out the kinks from laying in an awkward position. You then walk around to his side of the bed where you turn the fan to the middle notch, knowing it’s his favored position. You turn the fan so that it’s hitting his legs, and not tickling his nose. In your haste to see to his comfort, you didn’t notice his eyes flutter open or his arm reach out for you.

Shift in perspective

You awaken as the bed creaks in movement, and the warmth leaves your side. You reach for your love in your half asleep state of mind, and as you do, your partially opened eyes become transfixed by the sensual art piece in front of you. Your breath catches as your body stirs to life. Her back is turned to you. She’s standing, strong, vulnerable, feminine. The light floats down, and streaks of sun soften her dark ringlets as they bounce in response to her light neck and core stretches. 

Her hair has grown quickly… Just a few months back, we were having relationship problems, and I moved out. When she agreed to meet up with me, I almost didn’t recognize her. She wore a short, spunky hair do, had new clothes, she was leaner, and an attitude that told me she no longer needed me resonated off of her. It scared me. With our pause, I realized how much I’d become comfortable. Too damn comfortable. We met on common ground, at our favorite coffee shop. She was keeping busy by staring intently into her coffee mug. I got the feeling she was using its very warmth just to keep her going. It was a long and hard discussion, one that took courage from both parties. We had to break down walls we’d worked diligently as a team to put up together. We both felt like failures. When she found the strength to meet my gaze, I knew. I knew she was still mine, and I hers. Her eyes are the most expressive eyes I’ve ever encountered, and I would choose hers every day for the rest of my life.
As she turned, her dancer like body seemed to glide across the room. Even in the sticky humidity, with her unruly bedhead reaching to the ceiling, I’m mesmerized by her beauty. Her physical beauty is obvious to all. It still manages to catch me off-guard. She teases me sometimes, and tells me my jaw should have a hinge on it in order to keep it shut. That’s what I love most about her, her ability to play. That, and her kindness. She just got up to turn the fan on for me. She could do without. She did it for me. As she walked to the bathroom, I watched intensely. The way she moves, lithely, with purpose. As I heard her start the shower, my mind raced for ideas to help show her I appreciate her. 

Breakfast? A silly poem? Join her in the shower? Ummmmmmm. I performed an internet search, found the song I was looking for. I quickly located my small speakers amidst my messy closet. I scrounged to find her favorite candle. I went downstairs to peruse the fridge. Nothing screamed romantic or sexy, so I opted for toast with her favorite jelly and a cup of oj. Got the coffee pot started. I brought her snack upstairs, lit the candle, and laid it on the nightstand.

I took a deep breath and decided to go full cheese. I brought the speakers and my phone into the small bathroom. I peed and then hooked everything up. She peeked out once, but kept her curiosity at bay with a questioning glance. I pushed play on my phone. Incubus’ “Wish You Were Here” blared with harmonic clarity from the small speakers littering the limited space on the bathroom floor. The song has kind of been “ours” since the beginning of our relationship. I stepped into the shower to face you, and with perfect timing, embraced you while mouthing the words in alignment to Boyd’s soulful singing, “And in this moment I am happy. Happy. “.

Just Your Average, Everyday, Absent-minded Mom

***To quickly update my newest readers(hi!), I’m a full-time, single mama of a 2 and 3 year old.***

It’s like 52 card pick up, only it’s toothpicks and toddlers.

Today’s task to accomplish: Blow the massive piles of leaves littering our yard over the hill.

That’s it! Simple, right?! Right… *ahem*

Ok, to be completely upfront, this was yesterday’s task. I even promised. I failed. I could say it’s because I stayed busy all morning cleaning and organizing(truth), put the littlest down for a late nap(truth), and as I was contemplating whether or not the leaf blower’s loudness would wake the baby, my 3-nager, who’d just fallen asleep on the couch, woke up dry heaving(truth). His earlier complaints of his stomach hurting made me rush to his side, but not quickly enough(of course…). Couch, check. Shirt, check. Blanket, carpet, and mom’s cupped hands, triple check. I got him stripped, cleaned up, and the couch sprayed. I got him situated again, and then the littlest woke up. I said to myself, “Fuck the leaves.”.

After breakfast, flirting, and heaps of procrastination, I headed outside. I quickly decided I’d picked a really stupid day to blow leaves. It was drizzly and the leaves were wet, but at least it  wasn’t bitterly cold like it had been earlier in the week!

My snapchat account is only really used about once a week. When I do remember to check it, the munchkins normally demand to participate(because who doesn’t like to be made into make believe characters and have funny voices?!). Today, I decided to show off my greater intelligence, by snapchatting part of my leaf blowing experience. Immediately after, you guessed it, I lost my phone amidst the army of leaves.

Insanely stressed Randa was then on her knees, hand searching through a wet yard full of rotting vegetation. I got the ingenious idea to call  my phone. Here’s where that idea gets tricky…

1) The phone I lost isn’t connected to a conventional phone plan. I bought the phone secondhand online. I use it for its awesome picture taking capabilities and its ability to connect to wifi. When connected, it DOES have a texting/call app. I was hoping that the lost phone was close enough to the house to even pick up internet signal.

2) My normal cell phone was not only dead, but it doesn’t get service where I live. I seriously have to like stand on 1 foot with my tongue attached to a makeshift antennae with the phone precisely in a very specific spot in order to get 1 bar of service. Difficult to accomplish when it’s attached to a cord charging. 

3) I just recently downloaded the phone app, so I didn’t have my secondary number saved anywhere, including my other cell phone.

4) I couldn’t send a message(because charging and no service) or get a response to find out what my number was(is) in order to try calling it from the house phone. 

5) I have a toddler handled tablet. Which means it’s dysfunctional as all get up. I tried, and I mean, I REALLY tried to send out an S.O.S. to Facebook land in search of anyone who knew my “other” phone number. I couldn’t get past, “Hey, does anyone know my $$$%/”. No matter the direction I turned the tablet, I couldn’t get it to type numbers. This isn’t including the multitude of times I typed incorrect letters because the tablet is broken, and I couldn’t remember which direction the tablet had to be facing in order to backspace…

6) I gave up all hopes of finding the number and calling my lost phone.

I went back to being the frazzled looking woman wandering her large yard and inconsistently moving leaves/sticks/small mounds of earth around with her hands.

I’m sure I looked sane…
And then there’s the toddlers. Prior to me losing my phone, they were super good “helpers” outside. After I lost my phone, they were long gone inside reeking toddler havoc in the house. While I was trying to find a way to call my phone, they were busy hunting and gathering fruit snacks. They tried really hard to get me to open them, but I was on a one track mission to find my phone.

Sometime during my search, I decided the universe was possibly telling me to rescue Bella’s thorn imprisoned soccer ball from our long forgotten, late summer game. I also thought the universe(please read: my brain, possible Gods, higher spiritual beings, etc) was telling me this was a good lesson in not being so reliant/dependant on my flippin smart phone! I went and grabbed the hedge cutters, and went to town hacking the thorn bushes that were fiercely protecting the long lost soccer ball. I saved it! But my toddlers were now outside again, carrying unopened fruit snack packages. Oh shit, my youngest is barefoot! And I’m being hugged by thorns I previously cut down… I managed to accrue a few war wounds, hopefully didn’t rip any new holes in my winter coat, and brought the ball and munchkins to safety. Once I decided to stop being selfish and open my baby loves’ snack, I went back to searching, in the rain, did I mention it was raining?!

I FOUND IT!!!!!!!! Saved by the leaves from the rain. Hip, hip, hooray! 

Once I got my phone to safety, I realized I still had a task to complete…

With the tots waving, signing, and dancing to me from inside the floor to ceiling window, I blew, blew, and blew some more(leaves…). Oriana came outside barefoot again. She wanted a nap, but I was determined to get my chore done. I picked her up and continued on. I got a full body work out kicking and blowing leaves, while toddler holding.

I washed about a billion loads of laundry today, got zero put away. Argued intensely with headstrong toddlers. And still managed to feed them a semi healthy dinner(that was a fight, too). My youngest just passed out for the evening, and my 3-nager is still mad at life. 

Somehow, I managed to type this out. On my once lost, deeply treasured phone. I also transferred a yard full of heavy, wet leaves down the hill. I feel accomplished even though my dining room table is overflowing with clothes. *shrugs*

Child’s Play, A Story


Chapter 1:

I heard faint, play filled giggles as I hung the worn out dish brush to dry and turned the faucet to off. *drip…drip…* “Dammit, I need to remember to have Mario look at that.” I quickly dried my hands and wiped the seemingly endless amount of droplets off the counter top as I left the puddle of water to accessorize my new shirt. 
I tried to retrace my child’s footsteps. It didn’t take too long. As I continued to follow the distanced laughter, I shut off the buzzing ceiling fan and unnecessary light in the play room. I picked up a barbie who’s hair I cut off haphazardly when I was not much older than my daughter, a harmonica, and dirt streaked mismatched socks queen B had taken off prior to her newest barefoot expedition.
I knew I was rounding in on the infamous queen herself. I opted to creep silently, to give myself time to prepare. My gap toothed, curly~blonde headed, four year old, tiny tot was a brazen force to be reckoned with. She was as unpredictable as a full fledged hurricane deep in the throws of her fury but also as breathtaking as the heavy aired, distinctly rain scented, grey smear of portrait perfect clouds with the most picturesque rainbow peaking out as its golden ray accentuated centerpiece. Yes, she is the storm and she is the calm. She is my daughter. My Isabell.
***Dear readers, this is my first real attempt at a short story. I’ve been craving a new creative writing piece for several days, but with my full work and single mom schedule, I rarely find the time or energy. Today, would have been my dad’s 62nd birthday had he survived. I’ve been thinking of him off and on all day. This is in his honor. I’ll write at least one more chapter before I commit to my pillow for the evening.***

The Social Experiment

(imagine this as a spoken word piece)

Social Experiment

Shake hands, nod, smile pleasantries, and then, sit.

Face to face, shoulders and backs aligned, here we go, your eyes on mine, my eyes on yours.

Breathing nervously, breathing fast, breathing slower. Ever so aware, of my breath, of my pulse, of my very own heart’s rhythm…and now yours.

Nervous twitches in and of my mouth, fidgeting fingers, still ever so aware of my breathing…and now yours.

I feel the soft and slightly scratchy material of my retail bought “grandma sweater”. I wore in layers. For style, for comfort, for security. While holding on to the sweater sleeves as if my dear life depended on it, your piercing gaze was effecting me in more ways than one.

I felt as if you were seeing all of me, by looking into my eyes. In my mind’s eye, I rewound until you saw me as a mere child, creating appetizing mud pies and unbeknownst to my parents, making Barbies…kiss. You saw adolescent Miranda, in all her frizzy haired, pimply skinned, out-dated hand me down clothes, prepubescent glory. You saw my adult triumphs and my soul shattering weaknesses. You saw me fall, and then you saw me stand.

With a tear in my eye, and a shiny, skinned knee, I meet your gaze. Ever so aware of my breathing…and now yours.

I see the hidden stress just barely visible on your face. It’s in your expression, your posture, your breath. You’ve stayed strong for one day too many. No one really looks into your eyes anymore. Our society has made it taboo. Well, I’m looking now. Really looking. I see anguish. I see longing. I see need, and I see relief. I breathe in my awareness, and I breathe out yours. I see how the wind just barely tickles your hair into your face. You debate on whether or not to acknowledge it. In another lifetime, another moment in time, I would have had no second thoughts. I’d have lovingly replaced the hair back into its place, but we aren’t to touch, simply look… and breathe.

I see your face alight in laughter. I see joy, passion, and kindness. I sense your strengths, and I feel your worries. You’re a strong warrior, but even warriors need their wounds tended to and their cups refilled.

With dampened rag in hand, and a pitcher for your soul, I see you.

So very aware of my breathing…and now yours.