I Already Know (On Saying I Love You)

I am so incredibly in love with my husband.

I tell him I hate him sometimes, often in fact, in the same lighthearted way I say I hate everything, or the cat, or even the yoga pants that have become my haphazard uniform. He fires off a pun or any number of otherwise terrible Dad jokes and I groan I hate you in response* though both of us know I could never actually mean it.

On Gratitude and Going On

It's Thanksgiving and the house is full, both of people and the smell of roasted turkey. We loll back in our seats in that moment between being too full to move but too tempted by seconds (okay, thirds) to relinquish our half-empty plates.

The Boy In Our Hearts

She knows she has another brother, one she can't play with or see or talk to or torment. One who won't torment her back, the way her eldest brother does.

“He's in our heart,” she says, pointing to her chest.
“Yes, baby,” I tell her. “He's in our heart.”
“I'm not a baby,” she says forcefully. And she isn't, of course. She's four. But she doesn't only mean that she's too big to be called baby. She knows she'll always be my baby. Daddy's baby. Our baby.

Backburner

He comes home for lunch at 11:05, shoulders stooped from the weight of Language Arts and Algebra I. Last night's pizza is pulled from the oven and set on the table.

“When are you going to buy milk?” he asks, instead of saying thank you.

This is how he lets me know he needs something. Not, we're out of milk or I drank the last of it this morning, but when. When will I replace the milk I didn't know was out, the shoes I didn't know were outgrown. When will he get his license, a car, a haircut.

On Time Travel And Therapy

I'm having a tough time lately. And by lately, I mean always. I can't remember a time that wasn't tough. That I didn't struggle.

I do well sometimes. So well that even I don't believe that I'm on a tightrope of depression and anxiety. I feel like I'm walking that line so perfectly, so capably, that I am keeping my thoughts of doom and wrongness away. But after awhile, in they seep and I realize they've always been there. I've just been good at ignoring them. Ignoring the tightrope. The trepidation.

A Very Lovely Summer

The strawberries have going berserk in the front yard. The bean plant I unceremoniously ripped from one back yard container garden survived its relocation to the front yard as well and one long reaching vine climbs happily up a shepherd's hook I'd been keeping in my I swear I'm going to do something with that pile for years.

On Loss And Celebrating Small, Nothing Memories Of Dad

This morning I asked my sister if it was okay to have hot dogs and saimin for dinner tonight. It's Dad's birthday so we're skipping our usual Tuesday fare of carnitas and fresh-made tortillas pressed by Iliana's busy little hands. I know that changing the menu isn't a big deal, but today it might be. I mean, it is. After all, this is Dad that we're talking about.

I am excited about the trip, but still I am angry. Taking my children home is important to me, but this is not just a homecoming. It is a fact finding mission. One I resent having to make.

We fly on Tuesday and are in Target on Saturday to find things to entertain the children on the plane. The youngest gets activity books and the oldest gets novels. I am not getting anything because I already have three non-fiction titles packed away. I don't expect to actually read them, of course. After all, this is traveling with children.

Unpack This

I'm early for my appointment so I sit in the waiting room. Usually I wait in the first floor lobby, alternately checking my phone and people watching until it's time to go upstairs for my session. I also hang back from the bank of elevators, waiting to catch an empty one. It's a busy building so I'm hardly ever successful, but still. I try.

Day In The Life (With A Side Of Anxiety)

I turn the key in the ignition and grip the steering wheel; ten-and-two, as always. I breathe. No, I heave. Sigh. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

I relax.
Well, I try anyway.

I remind myself that this is a tight little spiral. Anxiety. Nothing is actually wrong. I haven't forgotten anything. Nobody is injured. I am just picking up my daughter from school, as usual. I am pulling away from the curb as usual. It is all okay.

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