Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monkey Business.

“I’m going to have to get right up into your business. I hope you don’t mind – this will only take a minute.”

I had a plan for this evening. And this … this was not in the plan.

We are t-minus 17 days away from needing a new place to rest our heads. Somewhere in between a job that is anything but 9 to 5, shuttling between hockey practice and gymnastics and squeezing in my own sparse allotment of sneaker time, I am doing my utter best not to drive our realtor to the edge of insanity. Or maybe I’m doing my best to drive her over the edge. It’s hard to tell at this point …

The kids are on edge. The dog has cabin fever. I need a drink. Or a very long nap.

Or both.

Driving in the dark this morning and then again this evening, I turned the radio down and let my thoughts ebb and flow with the traffic around me, slowing with the heaviness of the world around us and racing with the immediacy of our own.

I’ve been on my feet since 4 a.m. this morning. A day of debating coupled with a 3-plus-hour commute that I was looking forward to burying with an aggressive hour at the gym before settling in for another evening of shopping for rentals and schools and school districts from the comfort of the couch, armed with the hot tea that enables the meager sleep I find.

Instead, a tiny woman is crawling all over me armed with olive oil as the clock closes in on midnight, peering and picking at me like two monkeys in the wild.

“How much longer?”

“I’m done, dear. You can go wash the oil off now.”


“Nothing to be found on that pretty head.”

Unless you're looking for somewhere to lay said head.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Popping the Cork.

“Is it hard to learn how to do that?”

Looking over my shoulder, I know that his curiosity is more than pre-teen-ness. The conversations about things not-so-childish have steadily increased in recent months, dialogue he gleefully enjoys as he stands eye to eye with me. When he kisses my cheek, he no longer stretches to the tip of his toes and our dialogue is increasingly laced with the sprinkling of world events and impressive NHL maneuvers he has absorbed online.

“Not at all, if you do it right. Maybe when you’re a bit older I’ll teach you how to do this.”

I am untethered, a feeling that has me afraid and ill at ease. In just two weeks we could be without a home and we have, as of right now, nowhere to go. Nothing is packed, I have no idea what school Thing 1 and Thing 2 could land at (because that requires knowing where we will live), and I am stretched well beyond capacity from 8 to 5. Snide remarks imply I will, once again, prove incapable of showing up this holiday season in any other form but solo and I am suffocating under the silent screams in my head that I keep contained to avoid altercation and affronts. 

The flat tire. The broken windshield. Nanny who abruptly failed to show. A math project soaked in hot chocolate. Emergency visit to the orthodontist. The smell of death coming through the car’s air vents. The ice cream delivery truck that slid around the corner and right into my rump.

All of which left me overwhelmed by the weight of everything until it spilled over in waves in the dark and the quiet of another lonely night. 

“And then someday I can pour you a glass of wine so that you can sit down and rest for a change. You’re always doing everything for everyone else.”

“Someday you’ll understand that sometimes you do something not because it’s what you want to do, or because it benefits you. Sometimes you do things because they matter to someone else or because you want to make them happy.”

“And … sometimes … you just have to do things yourself.”