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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Joy is in Forgetting

I think joy comes with forgetting
With living in the moment
With time that separates itself
From everything else
From the noise
And from the heartbreak.

I can forget when I read:
Lost in a story
Whether true or make-believe.
I can forget my faults, my limitations
And find peace with myself.

I can forget when I teach:
The world shrinks down to that room
Those students
And the outside dims.
Time races.
I can find my strengths, my abilities
To question, to explain, and to respect.
I can be at peace with myself.

Thinking robs the joy
Fills time with what ifs and should haves
Awakens the beast
Of utter discontent.

But one cannot live in forgetting.

And so I ache for the moments when I forget

Only knowing them
When they have already gone away.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bedtime is Terrible

His angry words burn like glowing daggers.
His small frame shines with the might of armies.
He tramples my soul with his dissatisfaction.
His anger overflows.

He is my husband, my father, my brother.
He is me and mine.
A snarled reflection of all that I hope to be.
A fragrant symbol of repeated failure.

I am responsible
And I have no words.
Nothing kind, nothing gracious
Only anger and fear to face the same.
We stalemate at the edge of the evening.

It is night, and yet no one is sleeping.

Anger is wide awake.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Some Days are Better Than Others

Today was a good day.

I got to go to work early, nothing exploded, and I left before 4:30. Both boys were fed before either one managed to go to pieces, and I got to ride my bike, which is more exciting than it sounds.

My small people and I rode to the park, where I ran into a woman who used to attend a yoga class I frequent and who was the recipient of an extra car seat I had sitting around taking up precious real estate in my seemingly tiny apartment. She has a daughter not much younger than my second son, and together we talked as our children played together.

We chatted about having small children, about her job, about my recommendations for starting children to school early or holding them back. We laughed as our small people demonstrated their mastery, or lack thereof, in throwing a frisbee. We had forgotten each other's names, and we were both too embarrassed to ask, but together, nameless, we enjoyed motherhood and the park with our chilpdren.

Upon coming home, I found abundant food to offer my small people and electricity to keep it cold and make it warm again. Tears were kept at a minimum, and everyone ended up brushing their teeth.

Now, after the screentime and the p.j.s and the story and the hugs, we all drift off to sleep, a home full of blue eyes, with my green ones watching silently over them all.

May there be many more such days to come.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Life is a Journey, But I Want to Go Live at the Destination

At work, I cannot see incremental progress. I know intellectually that our program has improved, that I am a better teacher than I was in the past, but because there is still room to grow, because I am not all that I want to be, I stress and fret and am never satisfied.

At home, I cannot see incremental progress. I know intellectually that my children are small, that they will not stay one and five forever, but because Boy One throws a fit, because Boy Two pulls all the clean clothes onto the floor, I stress and fret and am never satisfied.

I do not know the solution to my problem.

I do not know how to manipulate how I perceive time and my own shortcomings or how to find more peace within myself.

I do know that I love my children and respect my students, all of whom are talented and beautiful, flawed and deeply human.

May I find a way to grant myself that love and that respect.

May I find a way to see the progress without drowning in the incremental.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bedtime is Terrible

Bedtime is at 7:00.

(And unicorns are real and M&Ms have more vitamins than kale.)

It is now 8:27. We have officially been getting ready for bed for more than an hour and a half. One boy is sleeping. One boy is throwing blankets off of the top bunk. One mommy is silently gripping her sanity, holding on for dear life.

Can someone please tell me that this will eventually get better?

After screen time was over, Boy One threw a fit to end all fits because he wanted to watch another episode of Rescue Bots.

After smearing blueberry yogurt basically everywhere, Boy Two demanded more food, none of which he was willing to eat in his high chair.

After working for close to ten hours, I wanted to drink some wine and watch an episode of The Good Wife.

Obviously, my expectations for life are far too high.

Now, at 8:35, both boys are finally asleep.

I am physically and mentally exhausted.

And tomorrow will not be any better.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I'm at the Park, Again...

I'm at the park, again, and the breeze is soft and warm. Boy Two is wandering around with only one shoe, a green monster truck clenched in each hand. Boy One is climbing on the outside of the play structure, showing off for an older girl in pink tennis shoes and a cat helmet with ears.

The girl's grandmother watches her from a nearby bench, occasionally saying something in a language I do not understand. The girl speaks a mile a minute, peppering Boy One with questions.

"Can you ride a two-wheeler? Can you climb on the top of the monkey bars? Have you ever been to a pool with a high-dive?"

She's said more since we got here than he has said in a lifetime.

Boy Two finds his shoe under the slide and waddles over to me, shoving the shoe in my face. I pull him into my lap and put it on his tiny foot.

In a moment, he's off again, chasing Boy One as he rides around the blacktop on the little girl's scooter. When Boy Two finally catches up, the three of them stand around for awhile, the girl talking the entire time. After a few minutes, she takes her scooter and rides away.

Both of my boys stare at her as she goes.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Fits are terrible

When anger overflows,
Like a volcano,
Like an explosion,
Everyone suffers.

Everyone is burned by the heat,
By the fire,
No matter the reason,
No matter the source.

The anger of children
Lashes out
In every direction,
Flailing, scalding,
Regardless of cause
And immune from reason.

The anger of adults
Focuses in,
Bores a hole,
Targeted, searing
Bursting with cause
And stuffed with reason.

Reason is less than it claims.
Anger is more than it seems.

In a fight, anger will always win.
No matter the topic.
No matter the reason.
No matter the bodies left behind.

Anger, unfortunately, conquers all.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Driving Doesn't Always Take You Home

Most of the time, as I drive, I listen to NPR.

It makes me feel up-to-date. It makes me feel like part of what is going on in the world. It makes me feel intelligent, knowledgeable, connected.

But then, sometimes, as I drive, I listen to music...

Then I am 16 again, lost in the world and free to be foolish, free to scream the words as I drive down Bolsa Chica Street. Free to yell. Free to be.

Most of the time, as I live, I am constrained.

Constrained by my desires, by my children, by my expectations.

But then, sometimes, as I live, I listen to music, and I forget...

I forget, and I live, completely on accident.

I forget to plan, to consider, to organize, and I just be. I forget what I look like, how others perceive me. I just sing along, and I be. I sing along, and I am.

To live more and plan less? I only dream.

Maybe in the next decade.

For in this one?

Perhaps the realization is more than enough.

Perhaps the knowing and the being take years to get to know each other.

Perhaps I can plan to be what I think I should be sometime in the future, sometime that is not now, sometime that is yet to be.

May there be more being as I drive along.

May I remember to forget to plan...

May I forget what I am trying to be and just be what I am...

And may I always feel free to sing along.