Friends & Family


My lovely friend Antoinette (aka The Healthy Professor) posted something on her blog this morning that got me thinking. She wrote about her busy life, how she’s spread too thin, and how she wants to find balance between productivity and enjoyment–enjoyment of where she is right now.

Antoinette and I are kind of like parallel lines. Well, not exactly. We’ve zigged and zagged a few times to bump into each other, but ultimately, we’re never going to really meet. I first met her in the second grade, when we were in the same class, but while I remember a lot about elementary school, second grade was not a good year for me and I’ve mostly blocked it out. I do remember that Antoinette was the only kid who ever got her worksheets turned in before I did. I both admired and hated her for that. (I’ve always been a grade-grubber. Just one of my many charming attributes.) After that, I moved away for a while and then moved back into the same school district, where we attended the same middle school but on different tracks (the school was year-round). In high school, we were both honors students and had a couple of classes together, most memorably tenth grade English, where we sat close to each other and on at least one occasion, she made me reexamine the way I thought about life.

Right now, Antoinette and I are about as far away from each other as you can get in the contiguous United States–Florida and Washington–but I still see us running parallel, and darn it, she’s still making me reexamine things. We are both writers and bloggers, both lovers of the English language. Her daughter and my son were born in the same year. We both play guitar (though I’m sure she’s much better at it, as I only play a handful of chords), we both like to cook, we both like adult coloring books. We’re also different in oh-so-many ways–most ways, really–but she’s one of my favorite Facebook friends, and I admire her.

But whenever I read Antoinette’s blog, I never think, that is so me. I often think, why isn’t that me?

Antoinette loves to exercise. I would love to love to exercise. She gets stuff done. I have a to-do list and a pile of dirty laundry that just keeps growing. Today, she posted about being spread too thin; lately, I’ve been feeling like a glob of jelly on toast. Continue reading “Reset”

Friends & Family

Dropped Off and Picked Up

samschoolMonday was the boy’s first day of preschool.

No, it isn’t September. Yes, he only just turned three. But it’s a developmental preschool. You see, on his third birthday he aged out of his regular speech therapy, and after a series of tests, he qualified to go to a preschool that will take its place. Because he requires special help, he gets special circumstances.

He was so excited to go to school. I did my best to make sure he knew that it was something he’d be doing on his own, that though he had been in his classroom playing with trucks a couple times while I had meetings with the teacher, today would be different. He kept saying he understood. But, with his speech delay, it’s often hard to tell whether he’s saying something he understands or just parroting me. Also he’s three. Three-year-olds aren’t exactly reliable.

I was prepared for tears and screams. The tantrum of a lifetime. I had contingency plans.

But then, as I explained the situation for the fifteenth time, he looked at me and said, “kiss,” and planted one right on my mouth. Then the teacher showed up and he said hi, and he gave me a hug and followed her to the school bus to pick up the other kids, eager and happy and so grown-up. I didn’t allow myself to linger. I went right back to the car and packed up the baby and the stroller and drove away. Continue reading “Dropped Off and Picked Up”

Friends & Family

Mother’s Day Off

Have I ever taken a selfie without a baby or at least a baby bump? Not since before the word "selfie" was a thing.
Have I ever taken a selfie without a baby or at least a baby bump? Not since before the word “selfie” was a thing.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Today is Mother’s Day Off.

Confused, are you? Thinking, I didn’t see any Hallmark cards for that one? Well, it’s not a national holiday. You might call it regional. That region is my house.

What does Mother’s Day Off mean? It means I’m wearing a short skirt with no concern about sitting cross-legged on the floor stacking blocks, because I won’t be doing that if I don’t want to. It means I’m not wearing nursing pads in my bra and won’t be until I decide I want to go home and nurse, because my husband will be feeding pumped milk to the baby. It means sitting in a coffee shop by myself, doing the work I haven’t found time to do in far too long, sipping coffee, wearing impractical shoes and lipstick and eyeshadow, noticing the man two tables over as he notices my legs, which I only today remembered existed under my yoga pants.  Continue reading “Mother’s Day Off”