Wiping Winter

Wiping Winter

April 10, 2015

He touched my leg and told me: “I think your leg is getting a lot of hair!”

“Thank you, Theo.”

With a look of pure delight and satisfaction he replied, “You’re welcome, mommy.” He was sure he was giving me a compliment. I couldn’t resist loving his moon face as he smiled the smile that never fails to weaken me.

This morning started off crusty and foggy, both in the streets and in my eyes. The bigs burst into our room at 12 minutes to 7, I was cranky. Theo told me that they just wanted to say hi. He ran into his room crying when he realized I was cranky and not as equally ready to say hi. I had been dreaming that we had just bought a house and I was obsessing over having my own washer and dryer when I realized there was a nest of birds hanging out right above the dryer. I also seem to remember a tan bathroom and a silk, floral robe. I lay puzzling for a minute, trying to reconstruct what I had just seen in the other world. As it grew fuzzier, I huffed out of bed and moved to the couch. Ev was sitting on my hair and Sophie on my lap, Theo was still crying in his room. I then walked around bra-less for awhile, because the day doesn’t really start until I put one on. Barefooted, and still bra-less, I “made breakfast” by pouring cereal into bowls and milk onto the cereal. The one foot radius around Sophie’s high chair kept crunching under my toes from bits and pieces of her serving of frosted mini wheats, the circle getting wider and wider as my feet swept it all around. I kind of hate crumbs on a cold floor and then transferring to my bare feet as a way to start the day. I should probably wear slippers. I would say I should probably sweep, but we all know how counterproductive it is to sweep as they eat. It’s like trying to shovel your driveway as a blizzard is still coming down. After the snow stopped, I did sweep. They scuttled out and I wiped the misshapen milk monsters around where their bowls had been.

The sun kept lighting up the brick house across the street, teasing us for a few moments, before changing it’s mind and letting the clouds believe they were in charge. The water in the kettle trembled and the steam sang and Sophie ran her bow legged legs into the kitchen to point and scream at it until I turned the knob to quiet him. It’s our little game. Sometimes I’ll let him sing extra long just to see her bounce and hop and bang her one foot and get excited. I’ll hold my hands palms up and to my side, asking her what’s the problem? Theo likes to get in on the action sometimes, too. Evie is nearly 6, she doesn’t find it quite as thrilling.

After the excitement of the making of the tea, Sophie and I sat on the black and white aztec rug from Ikea that everyone on Instagram has. With the said rug being equally as crunchy as the kitchen floor, she alternated between brushing my hair and hitting my head with the brush. Theo rushed in because I guess hair brushing and/or head hitting is on par with tea making. The leg hair comment happened shortly after. And this got me to thinking about how spring is a time for shedding. We purge and clean and shave our legs and lessen our layers and wipe winter away from our floors. We don’t hide things anymore.

I’d like to shed some things—all of my comparisons and jealousy and guilt and feelings of inadequacy. I don’t want to hide under these things anymore, pretending like they will make me free, as if by striving striving striving I’m somehow validated by ambition. I want to shed the pressure I put on myself. I want to believe myself when I tell myself that it’s ok, I’m ok.

Still, it sometimes feels like while I am serving up and then sweeping up frosted mini wheats, the world is moving on at a ridiculously fast pace without me. And I wonder if I will be able to ever join it again. I’m not sure where I’m going. I’m not even sure what I’m doing, or what I will do after my kids are older. But I am trying, trying to do my best. Trying to remember that goals are good but no one knows what tomorrow will look like. I’m trying to stay open, to hold loosely, to breathe in fresh air, to just be quiet at times. I’m trying to remember that small steps add up, and that these small years don’t last. Didn’t I tell you? Evelyn is nearly 6.

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