Tag Archives: Anxiety

An Early Valentine

When you are a little kid you give a Valentine to everyone in your class.  You write their name meticulously. You write your name. You go down the list.  One for everyone.

As you get older you might write a little something extra on your nearest and dearest friends but you still give one to everyone in your class.  By the time you are in high school you probably don’t give a Valentine to your friends anymore.  And I think that is too bad.

So, today, the day before Valentine’s Day I want to give a Valentine to you, my readers, and to a friend of mine.


I went to high school with Karen.  But I didn’t really know her until she started pouring her heart and soul and all of her crazy out all over the Internet.  And now I wish that I could have some of those weird years in high school back so that we could say that we have “been friends” for twenty years.  A long, long time from now perhaps we will forget that we didn’t exactly hang out together much when we were in school.  Or that we have only actually seen one another twice in 19 years.  Look at that picture of us, we look like a couple of old friends. Happy Valentine’s Day, Karen.

And my early valentine to the rest of you? Karen moved her blog over to WordPress.  Give her a visit.  You will pop by to say hello because it is the nice thing to do.  And you will go back again and again because she is funny and kind and she will make you feel like it is okay to be a person.

She writes a blog called Honestly Uncomfortable and Uncomfortably Honest.  While her subject matter is sometimes uncomfortable she makes you anything but. She writes about her family, her battles with mental illness.  Oh, and poop.  She talks a lot about poop and I know y’all love that.  She will make you feel like you have known her for twenty years, too.  I promise.

Happy Early Valentine’s Day.  If we were in elementary school I would write each one of your names on a rectangular valentine with a glitter pen.  And then I would  fold it in half and close it with a sticker.  I sure would.

The not so Simple…

Yesterday was a SuperMom day. I went to bed in a freshly painted bedroom. I had two happy children. MQD and I squabbled in the morning but as per usual the conversation we had following was productive. I felt good.

The feeling carried over to this morning. I had coffee with Amy. The kids were good. I bought a mitre box and started a new project. I am framing out the mirror in our bathroom before I paint.  I scheduled a post for this afternoon about how perfect the last day of the Summer with your family can be.

I considered posting about my bedroom makeover but I feared it would sound like I was blowing sunshine up my own ass to compensate. For what? I didn’t know. But I worry when my posts tend towards the “Look at me!! Everything is peachy!!” too awful much.

So if you read and make clucking sounds and think “Damn, that chick must be so full of shit. No one is that happy” then pour yourself a drink!! Kick back!! This post is for you.

Lucy will not stop crying. Neither can I. I cut a perfect rectangle of molding to frame out the mirror in our bathroom. But the glue won’t hold and neither will the tape that is supposed to hold it until it is glued. I painted around the perimeter of the mirror with the color I have chosen for the bathroom and I am not sure I don’t hate it.

I want to open a bottle of wine and drink the whole damn thing but I can’t because somehow I managed to totally forget to buy anything to pack for Emily’s lunch tomorrow. And before you think “what the hell, can’t MQD go to the store?” he already offered but I’m such a control freak I want to go myself. God forbid I don’t pick out my own cheese sticks.

I called my mother when the third piece of molding from the mirror fell in to the paint and what came out of my mouth between the sobbing was not  “oh damn my mirror project looks like shit.”

It’s more embarrassing than that.

I don’t want to be home all alone with Lucy.

I love her with all of my heart. I want to feed her and sleep beside her. I want to console her when she is cuttng teeth. I want to see her take her first steps.

But I don’t necessarily want to hear the song that fucking singing glow worm makes again. I am not really that in to playing with stacking cups. Or putting the tupperware back in the cabinet 87 times a day.

With Emily home I had a plan. Get up. Exercise. Do a project. Eat lunch. Pool. Shower. Dad’s home. Dinner. All the while I am with my big girl. The girl that makes me laugh like no other. It was like a sleepover all day, for weeks on end with my favorite pal.

And I’m a little bit scared of the new routine. Wake up. Make breakfast. Kiss Em and Mike goodbye. Nurse Lucy. Change Lucy. Rock Lucy. Play with Lucy. Repeat ad infinitum until the bus gets here and my sidekick returns.

Who’s going to laugh with me?

I can certainly take care of a baby by myself. I’m not afraid to do that. But I’m a little afraid I’ll be bored. To be honest I’m a lot afraid of being bored.

You can save the well meaning advice about mommy and me activities, all the friends I’ll make, volunteering in Emily’s classroom, the walks in the fall leaves, how quickly the time will pass. Or the snarky comments about how I’m getting exactly what I’d wished for. Because I know all of this.

But right now I’m going to pout. It’s the last day of Summer vacation. Since the second day of break I’ve joked that I didn’t know what I was going to do when Em went back to school.

Well the joke’s on me. Turns out I wasn’t kidding. I’m gonna miss the hell out of that kid.

In the time it took to write this on my phone I have stopped crying. So has Lucy. I don’t give a good god damn if the molding holds on the mirror. I sent MQD a text “Get pizza for dinner.” I am sitting here.

My house  looks like this.

I have a tendency towards being a Perfectionist in the Mom category. Pizza for dinner and a blown up house and a half-ass DIY project do not Perfection make. I am gonna call this Progress.  Nobody likes a Perfectionist.

Fuck it. MQD can go to the grocery store. This is Progress, right? No one likes a control freak. Just one glass of wine. One big glass.



At first glance you wouldn’t guess that the ornament that says “God made the beautiful skies with stars like twinkling eyes” would rank high among my all time favorite ornaments.   I don’t exactly go very far out of my way to keep the Christ in Christmas.  But this ornament has something special inside.

A little Kelly, circa 1979, plastic dress up shoes, Raggedy Ann pajama top, Dorothy Hamill haircut.  Behind that pantry door was the first and maybe second of what would be many marks indicating the heights of everyone in our family.

On the back it says “Love, The Speedys, Xmas 1979.”

The Speedys lived next door to us when we first moved in to the house I grew up in in 1979.  They had two teenage boys and a huge dog.  Sue Speedy liked to garden and she did so in a manner that made her appear as though she had just stepped out of an LL Bean catalogue.  I remember her seeming so put together.  Decked out in the best of early 80s fashion, whale turtlenecks and duck boots.  There were snap dragons planted in the island between our yard and theirs and I can remember sticking my finger in and out of the snapdragon’s mouths while my mom chatted with Sue.

This ornament is interesting to me for a couple of reasons.  The first, of course,  being that it has a picture of me.  And if you read here, you know I am wildly fascinated by old pictures of myself.  Heh.  But this year it took on an even greater degree of interest.  Christmas, 1979.  My mom was pregnant with my brother.  Not very, as he was born prematurely six months later. But she was pregnant.

I remember the snapdragons that spring.  I remember Sue Speedy’s duck boots.  I remember my brother being very small.  (Or at least I think I do. The line between photographs jogging your memory and real memories made up of smells and “brain movies” is fuzzy to me.)  But I have no memory of my mother being pregnant.  None.  I remember the way her perfume smelled, the way she looked in this amazing water-colored silk dress.  Her closet.  But I don’t recall her being with child. Strange the things the mind omits.

I wonder how Emily will recall this pregnancy.  If she will remember the nights I climbed in her bed.  Because pregnancy induced insomnia had me pacing the house and her steady breathing and warm little body relaxes me.  Last night as I slid in beside her she rolled over, brushed her hand across my face and said “Sleep, Mommy.  You need to sleep before the baby gets here.”

Earlier in the evening I was overwhelmed.  A sudden rush of “holy-shit-we-are-going-to-have-a-baby” consumed me and I sat down on the couch with a huge exhale, called MQD and said “I can’t make dinner.   My hip hurts, I am tired, I just can’t.”  Kindly, he said to just tell him what I’d like for him to pick up and he’d get it on his way home.  Ever the pregnant woman I was not satisfied with this answer and complained that the pressure of having to make up my mind was making me feel like I was going to cry.

Em sat beside me on the couch.  She put her arm around me and kissed me on the cheek.  “Just let it out, Mom.”  I smiled at her wordlessly.  She held my hand.  “We can get Mexican food?   Yanno, Mexican soup.”

She’d effectively broken the spell of my bad mood. “Sweetheart, I don’t think we have ever had any Mexican soup.  Do you mean Chinese food?”

“Yeah, Mexican soup is Chinese food.”

Of course it is.

And so I wonder if she will remember when we sat on the couch, side by side, because she no longer fits on my lap.  And she offered me Mexican Chinese soup and held my hand.  “We’re a perfect little family.” And my eyes teared up, worried that somehow I was destroying our perfect family of three with the new addition.  She continued, “and it will be even more perfect when the baby comes.”