Monday, July 23, 2012

stuck in the rails

i've got a to do list written on graph paper. because, somehow, tiny little boxes make me feel better. more in control. this summer is half over. we move in a week and a half and the house merely looks disheveled and impersonal without the art on the walls and no books or tchotchkes. which i spelled chotchkes on the box and bryan had to tell me about the 't' and i swear it's like my world turned upside down. does that happen to anyone else? like when you find out that the steven you know is actually spelled stephen? all of a sudden his face looks different? 
the stack of books on my nightstand is growing and i'm working my tail off at the bright side project (have i told you to visit there? i should have. i meant to. please, go visit there. yes, it's my job. but i love it. and i'm invested in it. and i'm spending my energy on it daily. which is usually why i have none left for here.) right now, i'm at the very beginning of cheryl strayed's wild. and i love it, so i'm pacing myself. good writing does that to me. 
our house is a bit disheveled from packing. which makes me feel out of sorts. my four year old got her head caught in the railing near the stairs leading into the living room and we had to call 911 to get her out and my first thought was 'oh, god. what are they going to think of the house?' my second thought was 'thank god i'm showered and wearing a bra.' calling 911 is one of those things you do and then you feel like you're trying to climb out of a vat of taffy. i was in it. 
she surprised me, my little one. with her terrified eyes looking at me, welled up with tears, on the verge of a panic attack, telling me she was nervous for the firemen to get there. once they did, she was all business. calm breathing, listening to them intently, doing everything they asked of her without so much as a whimper. she held one of their hands the whole time and i got to watch her be brave right in front of me. i watched my tiny, tiny girl face her fear and do what needed to be done without panicking. i was overcome with such a surge of pride i simultaneously wanted to high five strangers and curl up on the couch, knees to chest. i realized that as time goes on, she is growing and stretching and climbing trellises and that each new branch is a piece of her that is less me and more her. that she has this heart full of strength and bravery that has blossomed in the four tender years she has been alive and i got to see it that afternoon. in full bloom. 
i also felt immensely grateful that the house we are moving to in a week and a half has no stairs railings.
this afternoon, i'm writing lists on graph paper. because, somehow, it makes me feel better.


  1. omg! the stairwell incident! ACK!!!!!!!! i do NOT know how parents deal with these things. i am so glad that everything is ok now! thank gawd there are people to help when we are STUCK in life!

    i am not a parent. i am fretting about this weekend -- i will be watching my 4-yr old and 7-yr old nieces and i have to take them to the beach. THE OCEAN?!?!? WITH TWO KIDS?!??! ONE OF WHICH IS A DAREDEVIL!! i am having nightmares. i do not want anything bad to happen when i have them. i am so worried. i am NOT EQUIPPED FOR LIFE, nor for children. keep your fingers crossed for me and those kids!!!!

  2. Each time we speak of this incident, I didn't know the little parts about her being brave like holding their hand - brought tears to my eyes - what a trooper! You have a lot to do with that demeanor, you know - the calm with which you handle situations flows out to those in the "railing" or any other catastrophic situation.

    As for the house and the way you looked-I actually have a friend who, having fainted and awakened to find the paramedics were on the way, had her husband get her makeup bag so she could freshen up for them. Too funny - but then again, remember how I always wanted the beds made? If we had a fire I didn't want the firemen to see unmade beds (like they would notice, and talk about my lack of housekeeping skills later, right?) Amazing the avenues our minds travel in certain circumstances.

    The move will happen, your work will get done, and by next Sunday you will be all unpacked and orderly. I have to think of all kinds of things for us (the kids and me) to do while you accomplish this mountainous task. But we'll get it figured out so you can focus where you need to be..... xxoo

  3. Calling 911 is never fun and like a heavy dream. I am glad all was okay. I have that book on hold at the library. Just finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird again and ohmygod is that book perfection. Reading The Age of Miracles now but- as we are packing to move- not finding good chunks of time to really dig in.


  4. Oh, I miss coming here.

    Yes, to them becoming more them (and belonging more to themselves) and less us. My almost-9 yr old has crossed that threshold and I am in awe.

    I read Wild this summer, and it (in part) inspired me to take a solo backpacking trip for a few days this fall. I need it so.

    Also - at the doctor last month they measured me as 5'4" while I have identified as being 5'3" since I was 12. I'm still reeling. Steven/Stephen/new face.

    I love your house is a mess/thank god i'm wearing a bra.

    And lastly - I got my head stuck in a bike rack, upside-down (don't ask) when I was little. Crazy, crazy, childhood is.

    Miss keeping up with you. xoxo


use your kind words.