"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.
I was in the neighborhood today, @samunderwoodnyc and @valoriecurry 😉
And those are just the stuffed ones. #chaetmovingadventure
Good reminder. #Repost @therealflyingyogini
My bed. Reading time. For both of us. And, yes, that may be the Hogwarts crest on my shirt. #love
This gave me a good chuckle. And who knows...right? #Repost @samanthajbo
Aren't we all? #sidewalkwords #notontheuws
Kiddo ran errands with me today and played photographer. She snagged these shots of inspiring words via the artwork at Banana Republic. You never know where your mojo boost o' the day will come from...you just have to keep your eyes open.
A bit of life encouragement spotted at Banana Republic. #doingreturnsgainingmojo
Poetry month = Kiddo writes some cat haikus, complete with illustrations. Of course. #meow #poetry #crazycatkid
Trekked to Brookyn for Sunday brunch with this awesome duo. Chatted about everything from moving apartments to watching tonight's #GoT premiere to (of course) loving cats. Photo credit goes to Kiddo, who snagged this shot (along with Sam's hat for a bit) before we left. Cheers to fresh starts. @buildingonbond @samunderwoodnyc @valoriecurry
Saturday night. Family dinner and a movie. Tonight? An 80s classic: The Princess Bride. She liked it, especially when we would start laughing, knowing what was to come in each scene. Let the quotes start flying.... #havefunstormingthecastle #mostlydead #ROUS
Need book hoarding advice. Soooo, this is one of the seven bookcases in our smallish one-bedroom apartment. Many are stocked two deep with books. This doesn't count the books in closets, atop tables, and whatnot. I love being surrounded by them...but we are moving, would adore the ability to make room for new stories, and, ergo, I'm pondering a book purge. Question at hand: how do I choose? All brought me something, though some more than others. Do you give away books? Do you keep all stories that cross your path? Thoughts??
The photo booth with amazing #lifeofcats artwork as backdrop? Nice touch, @japansociety_nyc, very nice touch. #art #love
Not sure what the @japansociety_nyc guards thought as I explained that no, we can't make something like this in her new room. We compromised on a poster. #lifeofcats #art
Friday. Spring break. Kiddo and I trekked to @japansociety_nyc to see the #lifeofcats exhibit. I mean, it's like they planned this collection just for her. #nyc #art #meow
Reunited and it feels so good. @sarajeangalm back in town! #family #love #beentoolong
Monday. Spring Break. Rummikub on the bed.
Wise takeaway from my early morning @soulcycle ride: don't be a contender in living the life you want. Specify, simplify, and win it. #soulcyclewisdom #happyeasterpassovercomboplatter
Saturday movie night: School of Rock. Aside from fabu introductions to Led Zepplin and Rush for the kiddo, awesome message. #love #powerstance #creativelife
I read/think/overthink a lot about my role as a mother/mentor/guide in this relationship I am building, constantly, with my kiddo. In the midst of the craziness/pressure/comparisons we all make/have/succumb to because we are moms/dads/parents, yet all human, I always come back to this one quote. #wisdom #motherhood #love