Jul 302009

September 2, 2008

Dear Hubby,

I’m sitting at the table where the five of us eat dinner together each night, and all is quiet except for the sounds of the men building our new back porch. Your daughters are sound asleep. When I laid them down, their cheeks were still flushed from the excitement of watching their brother head off to his first day of school.

I’m writing because the walk to the bus stop this morning brought me to tears, and I need to hold on to it, and I want you to experience it too. After spending the whole morning waiting for the clock to tell us it was time for school, 11:00 finally arrived. Chase burst out the front door and led the way down the sidewalk, with his jam-packed book bag falling off his back and his Winnie-the-Pooh nametag pinned to his front. Tish stumbled after him proudly wearing her new striped dress, a bun in her hair and a pacifier in her mouth. She dragged Chase’s lunch bag in one hand and her pink bear in the other. I pushed Amanda in her stroller with one hand and took pictures of Chase and Tish’s backs with the other. At one point Tish stopped abruptly, looked down and starting yelling, “No, No THANK YOU!” at her feet. I ran to catch up and there was a parade of ants crossing over her itty bitty white sandals. In tears, she plopped in my lap as we sat on the sidewalk and shooed them away, and like a flash she was off again, chasing after Chase, as always. In her stroller, Amanda smiled and shined her bright eyes up at me and the trees, blissfully clueless about what an important day it was, but the happiest one of all regardless. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the breeze touched our backs gently, like even the wind was impatient for us to arrive at the bus stop. When we finally made it, Chase shyly approached the three friends already waiting and we moms took pictures of our babies who clearly weren’t babies anymore, but were. And then, all of a sudden, we heard the unmistakable squeal of the Big Yellow Bus’ tires. The new kindergarteners started jumping and squealing too, and then there it was, The Bus, in all its bright yellow glory, like it had been painted fresh this morning just for Chase. When it stopped and the doors opened, we saw Miss Jackie, the bus driver, who gave the moms a warm, understanding smile that showed she’d once stood where we were standing, and then she greeted each child by name. After a quick kiss for me and another for Tish…Chase was gone, climbing the big stairs like he’d done it a hundred times, and squeezing into a seat between his two ladies, Madison and Abby. Then as quick as it had come, the big bus doors closed and they all drove away, while Tish and I waved madly, blew kisses, and watched the back of the bus get smaller and smaller while Chase’s world got bigger and bigger.

Tish held my hand as we slowly walked home together. I thought about what a baby she still is and how grateful I was to have some time just for her, and that she had some time just for me. And when we got back home, I picked her up in the driveway, squeezed her tight, and asked if she wanted to have some girl time. At this, she did some squealing of her own. And we hurried upstairs, put Amanda to bed, and walked into the playroom together, just the two of us, to begin our new adventure.

I wasn’t a girl who spent time dreaming about what my wedding day would look like. Believe it or not though, I did dream about what my babies’ first days of school would be like…but I could never have imagined the magic of this day, or the miracle that is our family.

Thank you, honey, for creating this day for us. Thank you for the example you set and the love you give day after day that makes our children who they are. Thank you for working hard and sacrificing so that we can live in this home, on this street, and send our kids to this school, and so that I can be home with them and experience every minute of it. Thank you for handling all of the details of our lives, and thank you for your optimism, toughness, forgiveness, selflessness, tirelessness, patience and passion for life. Most of all, thank you for loving me as well as you do. Happy sixth anniversary, husband, I love you.

Love, GMelt


Aug 052009

One evening while we were doing the dishes, Craig noticed that I was aggressively quiet and he asked me what was wrong. “Nothing,“ I said. He waited. I turned and continued, like he knew I would. “I’m frustrated. I never have time to write. I feel like I’m not doing something that makes me who I am.” Craig pulled out his Blackberry and set his alarm to ring at 5:15 am the next day. He put the Blackberry on his night stand before he fell asleep, and the next morning when it sounded, he leaned over and whispered “5:15, babe, get to work.” Then he silenced his alarm and went back to sleep. He has repeated this ritual every morning for the past three months, without ever suggesting that I set my own alarm. So each morning while it’s still dark, I wake up to Craig’s encouraging voice, and I tiptoe into the kitchen to pour the fresh coffee that he has made for me the night before, and I sit in front of my computer, and I do what makes me who I am.

Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aug 122009

This morning, stuck home alone with my children, I had the following epiphanies:

-My husband hates me and our kids. When he called yesterday to say good night to us from his “layover in Atlanta”, he was actually sipping his fifth margarita at a resort in the Keys, where husbands really go when they say they’re on business trips.

-My house is filthy, and too small to exist in. Too small to breathe in with all of these high pitched voices and dolls and teeny shoes. I am not a home-owner, I am a half-home owner. I accidentally purchased half a home, which is perfect since it’s worth half of what I paid for it. Where is the other half of my house?

-My son will be in therapy soon for co-dependence. He keeps nervously telling me I am “the best mommy in the world,” which is his effort to keep us all on this side of social services when he rightly senses I’m teetering on the edge.

-Tish will join him in therapy to deal with her neglect issues. This morning when she fell down and cried for the fourth time in an hour, I left her there crying, without even turning my head. I’m sorry, but somebody’s got to start sucking it up around here.

-My parents definitely like my sister more. Which is understandable, but still. Rude.

-My hair is horrible. And I am fat, and short, and ugly, like a gnome. And on the day I die the undertaker will have to use concealer on my wrinkly 80 year old chin because I still will not have grown out of my acne.

-I have far too many children. Every time one of them says “Mom,” I bristle like it’s an act of aggression. One or two will have to go. In an effort to avoid playing favorites, I will get rid of the next two who ask for water.I am done getting water. Forever.

UGH. And one more gloomy, lifeless, miserable UGH for good measure. actually, I’m too blah for capital letters today. so… ugh, instead.

At one point this morning, as I stared at the wall and wondered how I hadn’t noticed before that my life was spiraling into this black hole of despair and drudgery, I was brought back to my surroundings by a sharp cramp in my side.Then another, and then finally the big epiphany…OH. OOOOOOOOOOOOOH.

I got my period for the first time when I was 12, which means that it caught me completely off guard for the 250th time this morning. Why don’t I ever see it coming? Why aren’t I ever prepared for the viciousness of it?

After breakfast when the kids and I were playing Chutes and Ladders …the game that makes me grateful we don’t have guns in the house, for fear that I might use one on myself if I land on that long freaking slide one more time…I heard an interesting news report on the radio.

Apparently, a woman walked into the Louvre today and threw a mug of coffee at the Mona Lisa. She was immediately arrested and the commentator described it as an “unforgivable” act by a woman who was clearly “not well.” But I immediately understood this woman, and I smiled for the first time all day. In fact, I had half a mind to walk out my half a house and put some bail money in the mailbox.

Maybe the poor woman just woke up on the wrong side of the month this morning. Maybe she walked into the Louvre and saw that smug Mona Lisa hanging there with that composed, unruffled, amused smirk that she wears everyday regardless of the time of the month, and the woman had her own epiphany: Mona Lisa’s going down.

I, for one, stand in solidarity with this woman. As a matter of fact, when the kids go down for their naps, I will go outside and spit my Diet Coke in Mona Lisa’s general direction. Take THAT, Mona Lisa.


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