A Book I Love. #TBT

Each Thursday in honor of #TBT, I am going to feature a book that I truly love, that helped shape me as a writer, as a woman, as a human.

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This book saved me. I read it when I was a new mother myself. It was before I had found my circle of other mom friends. I was far from family, my husband was often on the road for his job so it was just me and the girls. Her daily reflections sustained me through the dark times when I was exhausted, had no idea what I was doing and felt incredibly alone and lonely. It wasn’t a sugar-coated version of motherhood. It wasn’t the Hallmark version. It was real. It was honest.

Exhausted, she leans over the bassinet as her son wakes up from his nap and thinks, with great hostility, “Oh, God, he’s raising his loathsome reptilian head again.”

I laughed out loud, I cried and found solace in her words. Here was another mom going through the same joys, the same shit, the same despair, day after day. She gave me permission to not enjoy every single aspect of motherhood even though it would go by so fast. By being herself, she gave me permission to be more of myself.

 “We had another bad night. We finally slept for two hours t 7:00 AM. What a joke. I feel like thin glass, like I might crack.”

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The Practice of Devotion to all that Lights Me Up.

Wednesday Writing Prompt

winter swings

Image found on alice-eve-lithium.tumblr.com

 

{Fiction}

She hadn’t been to a park since it happened. Just couldn’t bring herself to be around all those children, all the moms who don’t seem to realize how lucky they are. Lucky? Does that mean she is unlucky? Does luck have anything to do with it? It’s science. She knows that.

People don’t know what to say to her. Even her own husband has no words. She actually finds that comforting. No words are better than some of the words that have been tossed her way like tiny breadcrumbs designs dot lead her out of her grief. Words like God’s will, not meant to be, try again…

Her husband is asleep in their bed now. She envies him that space he has to retreat. She had trouble sleeping toward the end. Her belly so big, so cumbersome but secretly she loved it. She carried that huge belly proudly. They had tried long enough. She wanted to savor every second…even the crappy uncomfortable ones.

But nothing prepared her for that night. That night she just knew something was wrong. Her belly felt so still. Probably sleeping her husband said. Even the nurse tried to reassure her but then came the ultra sound. And the silence. From the machine. From the technician. From her belly.

She’d known. Even as the doctor delivered the news, part of her felt like at least she’d known, like it was some kind of badge of honor, some secret link to her baby.

Now she can’t sleep for other reasons. Her belly is soft and empty, but her mind is hard and jagged. She crawls out of bed each night, slipping gout into the night, walking the neighborhood, a few random lights still on well after midnight, the occasional car passing her, its lights streaming over her for a brief moment before leaving her in the dark again.

Tonight it has snowed. She can handle the park at night. An empty park. layered in snow is even better. The silence is profound, dense against her ears. She feels the cold seep deep into the canals of each ear, almost painful but she welcomes it. A different kind of pain. The snow crunches beneath her boots. She holds one of the chains of the swing in her bare hand, squeezing gently as the cold metal presses into her skin. She sits in the soft layer of snow on the swing and feels the cold permeate the layer of jeans she pulled on over her pajamas. She kicks her feet out in front of her, leaning back, gripping the linked chains with both hands, pumping more and more, gaining speed and height, flinging her head back, eyes wide open as the world flails around her at odd, sweeping, disorienting angles.

 

Celebrating the White Space of Motherhood.

Celebrating Motherhood

Three months into our empty nest and I am feeling the emptiness.

I’m surprised that I never noticed how similar those two words sound.

Empty nest.

Emptiness.

Our house feels empty.

My days feel emptier.

The girls came home from college last weekend with a bunch of friends. I fell gratefully into my mom role—preparing a delicious homemade dinner for them including an apple crisp; making a big breakfast in the morning with a fresh fruit salad; taking them shopping for clothes, shoes and food.

(Read the rest of the piece here.)

What I loved about writing this is that I wasn’t even aware of what I was thinking or feeling until I wrote my way into it.