"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.
Perseverance, people. That's what it's all about...or so they tell me.
Snow day = googling images of cute cats. Of course. #meow #snowday
#Repost @newyorkermag with @repostapp. Loved this one by Joe Dator. #blizzard #snow
Oh yeah, the kid was in heaven at her school's annual skating party last night. Her "dates" on the ice? None other than @lembar17 and @arindfuss. You guys rock (and saved this klutzy, non-skating mom's tush)!!! ❄️💕
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality." It's 5:29 pm. I'm at the computer. The kid is eating. I see a sliver of the moon from the window, surrounded by Mars and Venus, shining bright. I feel small this week, though my emotions are rather big. It's a tricky thing, this Life. Tough and brilliant, thrilling and messy. Tricky. My new (temp) tattoo from @consciousink peeks out of my sleeve, reminding me of C.S. Lewis' words. The highest point of reality, eh? Okay, dude, if you say so.
Good Thursday exercise class...or, should I say, therapy? Thanks @soulcycle and @iamnowmellyg #sweatingisgoodforthesoul
At Apple store. I spotted an iCat. #computerwoes #meow #nyc
Okay, I'm not one to "push" products, but this #mindware book is amazeballs. The kid is loving it. Brings me back to my childhood when I did these logic puzzles in GAME magazine. She's much, much more like @jasonchaet, so it makes me a little giddy to see her enjoy these as much as I did. And, yeah, maybe, while she's been at school today, I just may have done a few...😊
A five-hour visit from the Fios cable folks meant we hung out in the abode today. Which, of course, meant the perfect opportunity for new construction in Kitty City. Welcome the tallest building in Kitty City: The Perriet Jouet Tower, part apartment building, part hotel. The name came from a sticker on a Champagne box she had kept for about a year and now, finally, found a place for it. #meow #purrfectvacationdestination #hoarderchild
Watching "War Games" with the kid. Interesting to explain the dual-key silo military job, floppy discs and phone modems, yet, she knew some elements. As she watches a quite young Matthew Broderick, she remarks, "Oh! He's a hacker!" #shallweplayagame #lifebeforeipads
I'm cooking. That statement itself is a 2015 miracle, but the only two potholders I own are in the laundry due to unfortunate spills from microwaved soup earlier this week. So, to remove the scorching CorningWare dish, I do what everyone else does: I grabbed a Hello Kitty towel, rolled it up and used that. Methinks Julia Child would be proud. #mamadoesntcookforareason
Feeding the kiddo. About to head to a #happierhour hosted by @adonnrowley. Been to quite a few of these. They are always inspirational, always an amazing night of discussion, always a bubbling of creative energy. But this one tonight? The first one I will attend while actually, actively working on a book. The quote in the kitchen? Coelho's "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting." Oh possibilities, you little buggers. #nyc
What am I listening to? Drop it like it's hot...the instrumental version, of course! Aren't you glad you asked? #spotify #longdayatthecomputer #oddlyfabulous
Shhhhh...don't tell the kid I borrowed her mug. #coffee #meow
Ok @adonnrowley, here's my #fridaynightselfie. It is grainy, a little like the day. I was turning off the heat I had turned on 23 minutes ago in the kiddo's room. It's the radiator dance we do all winter: we turn it on, we turn it off, we turn it on, we turn it off, cha cha cha. The posters on the wall? All quotes/sayings. "Be a voice, not an echo." "Believe in yourself." And from Ms. Coco Chanel: "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." Not sure who is inspired more from those...me or her. #nofilter #love #nyc
Trying to let this warm me....but I'm still damn cold. #winter #quote #needabetterhat