[Quiet Thoughts] You Will Emerge


Photo: I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to make myself take the grass that Ursa Major grew for me at school and take it outside. I look at it and I’m like, “that’s special grass. That can’t live outside.” Silly mommy thoughts…


I told a good friend a few weeks ago that I’m not a data driven individual. There is no art or soul in numbers, and when you reduce life to numerals, so much is missed. But for the purpose of illustrating this week in the best possible fashion, I decided to break down the last 6 days by the numbers.

This week I:

Baked 3 loaves of bread (1 amazing, 2 miserable failures), threw away 1 starter for Amish Friendship bread, banned 1 recipe from the house (Amish Friendship bread), prepared 15 meals, baked 24 muffins, wrote 1628 words of blogging, wrote 0 words of fiction, wrote 5 notecards of inspiration for the story I’ll be writing this week, wrote about 30 emails, wrote 2 facebook posts, hosted 2 guests, arranged 2 playdates, managed to get 2 Final Jeopardy questions correct, did 10 loads of laundry, spent 3 hours playing at preschool, had 4 block towers knocked down at said preschool, hired 1 exterminator, prayed 3 times, had 2 fights with my husband, made one friend…

and I did all of it on about 30 hours of sleep.

I am exhausted.

But I have emerged accomplished. I have successfully turned over the playmat to my collaborator, and I learned that our mat will be put on display to get people excited for the auction next weekend (hopefully that will mean that we will fetch a good price for it). My collaborator was really impressed with the work and was pleased with the product, which made me feel good. It doesn’t really matter how much it goes for– I feel good about what I contributed. It took entirely too much time, but to see it all put together made it totally worth it.

And what now? What world do I return to?

Well… That list above is simply not enough. Laundry languishes in various stages of done and undone in just about every corner of this house. Toys are every which where. Floors are unswept. I lost 2 locs this week in my stress and pulling and scratching, and I realize that I’ve neglected my hair for 2 weeks. I’m deep conditioning as I type, and after giving myself a pedi, I plan on doing some retwisting. The playroom is still in a state of waiting, as The Husband has cut open the wall and plans on installing a new board into the wall this evening. We’re on track to paint on Monday. We have a new problem though: Carpet. We need some for that room and it’s more expensive that we thought it would be, even at a remnant store. I have solutions that I need to explore tomorrow.

And there is tomorrow…

Tomorrow, we’re going to church as a family. The Husband has been going on his own and we’ve settled, we think, on where we’d like to worship. So I’m getting up early, making us breakfast, getting us dressed and putting us in a car to attend a church service. Happy Mother’s Day to me (?). And I need to see my mother, which is going to make things interesting because

My mother lost her job this week. And she’s probably returning to Maryland before the end of the year.

So I am losing my support system (loose as it may be, seeing as we only really saw her once a month and, as you well know, she took the boys for babysitting for a total of 5 times in the last two and a half years). I want to be the supportive daughter, and that’s difficult because I don’t know who I’m going to get when I speak with her.

I am going to write more about this on Monday because I have finally found a full and intelligent articulation for why stuff like “Lean In” makes me really angry. It all has to do with watching my mother, in her mid-50s, after giving her all to get that corner office, ultimately wind up with… nothing. A thank you. A severance (thank God). But really, nothing. It really makes me wonder.. and I’m going to write more on Monday.

So tomorrow isn’t really going to be about me, and it isn’t going to be about rest and relaxation. I’ll be a daughter tomorrow more than I’ll be a mother, and that’s ok. I know that I was a brat about it last year, but this year I have come to be ok with what Mother’s Day is. I have not, however, been neglected. The Husband has heard my pleas for a new journal and it’s hanging out in his office waiting to be remembered and delivered. Ursa Major made me a most beautifully decorated potted plant, which gives me sunny inspiration by this very computer:

He potted it while I was parent helping on Thursday. Sneaky little dude.

And, not to be out done, Ursa Minor decided to escort me to Home Depot today so as to help me start up my kitchen herb garden:


I’m excited to get those started.

And you know what? I feel very appreciated. Those are three lovely things that I really, really wanted. I am tired, I’d love a 3-day solitary vacation in a circumstance where I don’t have to speak, cook, or clean… but I accept these three precious gifts because they are what my heart really wants and needed after such a crazy week.

And it really was that. And I know that May is a rough time for a lot of people. Some of you wonderful readers are students, and I’m sure that you are in the height of finals time. Good luck with your papers and exams! So many more of you are mothers, supporting those young scholars in their academic trials or preparing those graduation parties or maybe holding your breath to get through prom season. Maybe you’re dealing with all of the spring social events popping up all at once, all while trying to get your home warm-weather ready (and inviting). After a long hibernation, life is demanding in all sorts of new and different ways.

And yet, you will emerge. Away from your desks and your books, away from your windex and spring-cleaning scrubbing, away from closets re-arranged from winter to warm, away from long itemized lists of the things still yet to do. You will emerge and take a deep breath and see the leaves filling in where naked trees once shivered. The sun will give you strength, even courage and heart. I emerge this evening, ready for my next creative challenge (this story simply must be written this week), ready to paint a playroom, ready to solve my carpet problem, ready to put this house back together, and ready to support a woman I love and respect beyond words. Even though I’m bone tired, I’m ready.

On this Mother’s Day, I wish you a phone call or an in-person chat with the women in your life who you hold dear. I wish you cards in the mail filled with butterflies and sweet sentiments. I wish you flowers chosen with care, arranged lovingly in a vase, filling your home with the sweet smells of far off places and fond memories. I wish you brunch at a place filled with other honored women, family doting and listening, women holding court and regaling with stories well told. I wish you one little box filled with something special, sparkling or crumbling, handmade or hand chosen. I wish you a “thank you” and a “that’s so lovely,” from a grateful recipient. A “you’re my greatest gift,” or a “I wish you would call more” or even one of those “someday I’ll get a gift from a grandchild, right?” I wish you an embarrassing story about when you were a baby, or maybe a prideful story of when you did something extraordinary. I wish you a good squeeze, a kiss on the cheek, a laugh in your ear during a long embrace. I wish you sleep. I wish you a pedicure. I wish you a facial. I wish you a mimosa (or 3).

I wish you joy. Happy Mother’s Day to you lovely mothers who read my blog. Happy weekend to everyone else who reads. Thank you for sticking with me this week and for the fantastic advice that really was needed and helpful.

This is what kept me away this week:






Blarg, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: The camera on my phone sucks!

Until Monday, take care.

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