|(we had friends over last Friday. I bought dough and toppings and each couple made their own pizza to share with the group)|
Maybe it’s because all the words inside of me are trying to live, so they gather up all they can.
I like to imagine this life where I have all these deep thoughts all day long, but usually it’s just random bits like how I love that old donut shop down the street even though I never visit it and that I need to buy Scott a sturdier pillow so he stops snoring.
I've been thinking about how much maintenance everything requires lately. Relationships, appliances, gardens, photo collections, houses, babies, babies, babies.
I did manage to grow two worm-free tomatoes this year and brought my strawberry plant back to life. Last week I cleaned out the entire hall closet. It took me two days and two trips to Target to get it just how I want, but there are a lot less vases and party napkins and charging cords now and the photo albums are all in order.
I went to a therapist earlier this week. The head kind, even though I should see the physical kind because I’m pretty sure I sprained my ankle skating last week.
I almost cancelled the appointment because I’ve been feeling like everything has been fine lately. But then, I thought I might as well go since it would have been rude to cancel so last minute and at the very moment I’d be sitting in the therapist’s office (she doesn’t have a couch you lay on), Maddie would be getting another colonoscopy since she had blood in her stool again and had to go back “stat”, they said.
I told the therapist that we’ve been doing great and how we’ve been seeing a bunch of friends and family over the summer and every time we do I laugh a bunch and cook a little and feel really proud of Avalon. I told her about the river and how it reminded me how to believe in God. I could tell she was trying to wrap things up so I started eyeing how many vegetable-dyed Annie’s Animal Crackers I was going to have to pick out of her carpet before Avalon and I left, and then all of a sudden, I felt compelled to bring up that I’d been having a few more glasses of wine after dinner than usual, that I yelled at three strangers last week, and that I am having a harder time accepting my body than usual.
I went home with a link to some guided meditations and a clear conscience, although it took until I actually did something about any of it to feel better. I'm not holding onto anything that isn't helping me anymore, I decided, so I cleaned out my mind just like I cleaned out that hall closet.
Maddie’s colonoscopy came back totally normal an hour after that. I got on my knees and thanked God. That night and Thursday I had no glasses of wine and went surfing instead. I will not call another old lady a "cutter!" while waiting in line at Goodwill.
The next day we went to lunch with a friend whose baby is due any day now. Another mom who was there with her baby kept inching closer to us and randomly contributing to our conversation so we made an extra effort to include her and talk about her daughter’s pretty eyes. Once you’ve been lonely, you never forget what it looks like.
I took Avalon to the store today and put her in the shopping cart. I’m not a germaphobe. When I tell people this, I usually follow it with the example that I barely ever used to wash my hands after I went #1 in the bathroom until after I graduated college. But despite my best deliveries, this fact is never as well received as I expect. I haven’t worried about putting Avalon in the shopping cart because of germs (you can wipe the carts off), I just love carrying her. When I told a chiropractor I was still carrying around a 13 month old in a front-pack she could not believe it. She had a way of asking me questions about it so as not to sound too controlling: But what about a stroller? And shopping carts? Which I appreciated, but mostly didn’t listen to. Last night I wore Avalon in the carrier the whole time I was making dinner because my carpal tunnel is worse than my back and she was just in a hold me! kind of mood that I can't help but love. But I let the shopping cart help me out today. I guess the chiropractor is a kind of therapist too.
And then I think, maintenance is another form of love and we all need it.