Monday, October 8, 2012

showing up

my daughter's front bottom tooth is loose. wiggling back and forth. back and forth. an enameled seesaw gliding, effortlessly violent, in the middle of my rib cage. she ate lunch, watched a dvd we rented from the library this morning, leaned over to me and said mommy, look. my tooth is loose.' i leaned in, fully expecting a tiny indentation of movement on my finger. like when you press it against concrete and it gives. (the finger, not the concrete.) i fully expected to honor her observation with unintentional patronizing sincerity. instead, her tooth is a study in geometry and i think about my freshman year of high school and how i wrote notes to my best friends when i was supposed to be learning about angles and theorems and the polarity of variables and i wonder how i ever passed a class called applied mathematics in the first place.
i exclaimed with joy, causing her to clap loudly and start chattering about the tooth fairy. i told her it meant she was a big girl soon. that once she lost her first baby tooth, it meant that she was growing up and how excited i was to see it. how proud i was of her. how much i loved her.
and then i went to the bathroom to cry.

'expressing motherhood' closed last night and i had a tiny palmful of close friends there to support me. they showed up. as did the two friends who babysat for me (for free) so that i could go to rehearsal. as did others who sent me text messages with well wishes, apologies for not being able to make it, emails with love and support. as did my family, as always. (i am a lucky girl.) and it made me think about how well i show up. i know that my friendships have taken a lower priority since the birth of my children. and i'm not apologizing for that. i will never apologize for my children being at the top of my list. my relationship with bryan is entangled up there, too, sometimes being first, sometimes second. it depends on the needs. but with the juggling of those two, i often don't have the energy or time for the rest. right or wrong. that's how it is. and some of my friendships have suffered from it. some have not. so i am always floored and incredibly moved when the ones who show up continue to do so. i have some amazing people in my life and the best part is that my children are exposed to it on a daily basis. because these people who show up for me? my children are just as important to them as i am.

this morning was slow. foggy. i was simultaneously relieved and saddened the show ended because the anxiety of opening myself up in front of a theatre full of people took its toll. but these women? the ones who shared this with me? it was as though we all walked blindfolded into a room of mirrors and were told to take off our skin. to stand up and hold hands and to listen. by the end of the second week, we left our shoes at the back door and spent our time offstage telling our stories to each other. the ones we don't tell our friends and family. we overshared in the way that only those willing to open up can. because we were all there for the same reason. we wanted to know we weren't alone. that we weren't crazy. that we mattered. and while that bubble might not be there anymore, we're still able to say that we showed up for each other. these women who were strangers. who aren't anymore.

i dragged the kids to the library this morning. because after spending so much time the last two weeks listening to stories, i needed to be surrounded by them. to sit among them. while i wrangled the baby in the children's section, i heard finn quietly reading to herself. she sounded out an entire sentence, by herself. without help from me. later, at the park, i asked her if she remembered what she was going to tell daddy tonight when he got home from work. if she remembered what big thing happened. she said yes, she remembered. we drove by the donut shop and you didn't stop.


  1. I am so happy to have met you and now have the privilege of reading your beautiful writing! This is a gorgeous post -- and congrats on the big girl having a loose tooth!

  2. Crying! That was beautiful and then that picture of your little girl dancing. Amazing.

  3. Krista,

    This is such a beautiful post and I am reminded of how much I love your writing. I must admit I have fallen out of the habit of reading your blog, and fallen even further from writing on my own. It's starting to stir in me again and I am inspired as before by your words.

    I actually wanted you to know that I came to your blog today after a conversation with my mother. She said she saw you perform at Expressing Motherhood in Burbank on Saturday evening and that my blogging sister, Erin Senge, went up and met you. As my mom was telling me about the meeting, I didn't even realize you were the blogger she was referring to until she started to describe the stream of consciousness tone of your writing, then I put two and two together and got so excited! Anyway, I so wish I could have seen the performance. If you're going to be real-life friends with my sister, I'd love to play too :) Except that I live in San Francisco.

    Thank you anew for sharing your stories with us here!


  4. Oh no! I just realized I might have spelled your name wrong in that comment, in which case I am a real a-hole and want to apologize profusely. I'm sorry for the follow-up comment, but I just have to excuse myself. If I did, in fact, spell it without the H, then please disregard. Also, I will be following you on Instagram. I hope none of this is creepy.

  5. no, you spelled it right!
    well, you are pretty much responsible for your sister and i meeting, really! because i found her because of you.
    move to la.
    just sayin.

  6. I can't believe she has a loose tooth. I didn't think I'd have to worry about that until like 6, or 7. If it wasn't for the gap in those heels, I could almost imagine she was twenty. If I squint...

    I think Shan turned me on to your blog, too, way back when. Maybe we can have a playdate when she's down here some time! It was so, so nice to meet you in real life and I'm so glad we got to see the show. It was exactly what I needed right then!

  7. I was just looking at Ivy the other day wondering about her teeth, and not sure how I'll do when they are loose. Love this.


  8. I love your mothering, and loving, and daughtering. It sort of replaces some missing parts in least the perception of missing parts. It fills in knowledge gaps about goodness and sincerity, right and wrong. It's just good stuff Krista. I don't have the words for it today, but thank you :)

  9. After reading all the wonderful things in your blog this date, and hating the fact that I had to miss the show (again, if anyone filmed it, could I get a copy?) =and then I read the last part which was the exchange with my Muffinn and I guffawed out loud! Reading out loud to herself is just part of her growing so not monumental in her mind - but good lord - not stopping at the donut shop????? Mommy, what were you thinking?????

    Seriously - I love you so much because of who you are - we who are included in your inner circle of family and friends reap the benefits - you have such a sharing and caring heart which makes us want to give and take and feed and share and partake of everything involving the Kulisch family. I myself cannot ever get enough, whether it's just sitting and watching or actually contributing.

    Your friends know your heart - that's why they are always there for you - because you are always there for them - even if it's only by thought and prayer. You only get back what we all know you give - and more. Whew - makes me teary again - you, this amazing person, came from me. Wow - I hit the motherload!!!!!!

    Love you, Mom

  10. we drove by the donut shop and you didn't stop. HAHAHAHHAHAHAH! oh kids. they hone in on the funniest things. but they remember the big things, too. they better! :)

  11. i love everything about this post, but especially your daughter's sentence. :)

    and how much your mom loves you.



use your kind words.