"Can we play a little, when we get home? Before homework?” The words tumble out of her mouth. They are coated with an imploring tone and dust from Pirate Booty. She pauses to nibble another crunchy (but organic!) cheese pod. She swings her legs. They dangle like two muted wind chimes from the bus stop-kiosk-shelter bench. “I know you are going to say no. You always say no.”
Her barbed statement rockets to my ears. I feel its sting, however, everywhere. In prison terms, she shanked me. With a shiv carved out of manipulation and mommy guilt.
For a moment, picture when you vacuum around your couch. You move it out from the wall about a foot and suck up bits back there, then you return it to its position, and get the area right under the front where the vacuum head thingamajig kind of fits. But there is swath of floor -- maybe four inches wide along the whole the length of the couch -- that doesn’t get touched. I’ve dubbed this land Dustbunny Canyon.
New York Family used this for the "Last Word" section in the October 2013 issue. They had to edit it a bit for print and to make room for the very snazzy illustration, so I've posted the wee-bit longer version here. Head honcho Eric Messinger gave me one of the best comments yet about my writing, calling it maybe "the most deceptively profound personal essay we've ever run about being a parent."
We all do it. We keep relatively innocuous foibles hidden. We are less than honest about rather innocent bits of ourselves. Why? We feel embarrassed? Perhaps. Fear of judgment? Of course. Afraid of ridicule? Definitely. Especially us parents, moms and dads who are juggling jobs and family and relationships, why do we spend so much energy — energy we don’t have — hiding certain things about ourselves?
I entered a contest. A writing contest. Haven’t done that in, well, I can’t remember the last time I did that, so it’s been that long. It was run by the folks at LiteraryMama, a pretty awesome online literary magazine that focuses on moms who are writers…especially those that write about mothering. I didn’t win...but I got an honorable mention. Thing is, it wasn’t about winning.
This is a good one, eh? #Repost @therealflyingyogini with @repostapp.
@putzelmovie ala @waterlogue
Watching #thevoice with the kiddo. She loves predicting which coach will turn his or her chair and which team the contestants will choose to be on, but (and I quote) "I really, really like hearing everyone's backstory." Ummm, that's all you @jasonchaet. #directorskid
Spent a bit of my day in this gorgeous place, listening to some gorgeous music via @wlusingers. Best part? Finally meeting @alxxndrapaige, my "niece" in a Modern Family-esque way and my @wluchiomega sister! #stjohnthedivine #nyc
This Instagram made me pause..... #Repost @therealflyingyogini with @repostapp.
Ummm, yup. #Repost from @elementstyle with @repostapp.
I really like this Imagine Broccoli organic soup. It seemed really boring to just Instagram a pic of the canister. So I #Waterlogued it. Looks much cooler this way. But I'm still having broccoli soup for dinner. So, there you go. #monday
Trying to take an Oscar selfie. The spawn pulled a "peace sign in front of the camera" cool thing. Yup, that's where we are at. #oscar
So, yeah, I gave it the #Waterlogue treatment. Digging the doc. Especially the history of the building. History. Truth. Everyone has a story. That's true no matter where you are, eh?
On the heels of Fashion Week, and flying solo at home, watching the doc "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's". The doc is fun. Not hugely full of conflict, but enjoyable, gorgeous, and chock full of fabulous interviews. #shouldidothisinwaterlogue
It's Saturday night and I'm fiddling with old photos and #Waterlogue. This one: I'm walking with the then-three-year-old-ish kiddo through MoMA. @jasonchaet took the original.
Finally, someone recognizes my immense talents. #quizup
Same pic in #Waterlogue. Guess who's procrastinating?
When Dad's away, someone sleeps with Mama...and brings her own pillow. #leopardprintrules
Okay, @adonnrowley. You got me hooked. Kitty City in #Waterlogue. Pretty fabulous.
Movies continue. In honor of Presidents Day, I'm doing my patriotic duty and watching American President. #mynameisAndrewSheperdandiAMthepresident
Negative temps means the TV has been on all day. On right now? A late afternoon movie -- Zathura: A Space Adventure aka Jumanji Part Two. Cast includes a very pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart and a very pre-Parenthood Dax Shepard. Fun for Mama and the kid. #winterparenting #malbechelps
#Repost from @iamkidpresident. Many of you know I'm a big fan. The book is just as awesome as he encourages us to be.
I guess I'm "other people." Good to know.
After a not-great week, I stole a few hours to work on my writing. Not writing I had to do, but writing I want to do. Still outlining and brainstorming. So no laptop to show, folks, but here's a pic of a store window I passed selling wigs, mayo and coffee. It makes as much sense as my notes right now. #amwritingkindof