If I were more invested in things, I’d have written up a summing-up-2011 post/hopes-for-2012 post.  But it’s too much work, you know?  Doing something like that requires bullet points and lists and nicely placed pictures.  Most of my pictures from 2011 are skulking about in random folders on my external hard drive.  I write down my thoughts on random pieces of paper and they scatter and I hope to someday rediscover them.  I do have thoughts about 2011 and hopes for 2012; but how much do I want to say about them?

What I can say about this stage of my life is that there are Cheezits in our bed, which is actually a futon cushion on the floor at the foot of our real bed, which has been taken over by Simon.  He’s only 13 months old but the kid knows what he wants.  I spend each and every night playing musical beds, starting off trying to sleep with Roy on the futon and moving up to the bed when Simon needs to nurse, there and back again, all night long.  This is exhausting, but in the best way.  I love to feel the softness of Simon’s hair and hear the sound of his sleepy breathing through the night, and I miss my husband and his warmth.  There are some mornings I am so tired I know I will not make it through the day without a steady Dr. Pepper IV drip but somehow I always do.  It’s the scrappiness in me.

(I did drink three Dr. Peppers today.)

My world does not look at all like I thought it would.  When I was a kid I somehow expected that as an adult I would have a house that looked like something out of Better Homes and Gardens, I would be wearing mom jeans, I would be neat and tidy and tidy and neat.  When I was pregnant the first time I expected that I would not let Charlie watch TV, we would sit around in the organic silence of our little house doing crafts and playing with all-natural wooden toys, and never would any preservatives or chemicals enter his precious little body.

Something went awry somewhere.  It’s called life.  It happened.

The thing is, I am not patient enough to do crafts.  The closest we get to crafts around here is when I take out the markers and crayons and Charlie asks me repeatedly to smell the markers while Simon samples each color of crayon.  I do this in a desperate attempt to distract them for 10 minutes so I can empty the dishwasher.  I also let them watch TV; today was a sick day and there were unabashed mass quantities.  And since we are desperately broke, most of the food we buy is cheap and therefore laden with chemicals.  I know better, but right now, I can’t do better.

I am not the mother I thought I’d be.  This is not the life I thought I’d have.

And yet it has somehow exceeded expectation.  I am richer in love than I ever thought I’d be.

And yet and yet and yet I usually find myself in a strange pit of despair at least once a day.  I think about how ugly and bloated I feel, how badly I want to go out to some restaurant and get something disgustingly rich to eat, how I want to take a vacation from all of this, the bills, the budget, the sleep deprivation, my sick father, the clutter, the absolute loneliness I feel at the center of my soul.

I want to be frivolous, with money coming out of my ears.  I want to be a cool mom, the one who looks effortlessly gorgeous while wrangling her children.  I want to be crafty and serve the healthiest foods and have enough energy to not have to rely on TV sometimes.  I feel that I have failed in some major way but I also know that’s the mom guilt talking.

I know that I am doing my absolute best with what I’ve got.  We are a scrappy little family* and there are things that are perhaps priorities for others that aren’t priorities for us.  My priorities have to do with getting basic needs met, and love, and creativity.  Words.  I decided to make words a big priority this year.  I will show up and do the work.  I will write every day.  I will neglect the mess on the carpet in favor of word vomit.  I will not think too much about it.  I will not strive for perfection.

This is me, neglecting the mess.  This is me, not striving for perfection.  This is me and my words and the revolutions that will follow and the revelations that will lead.  And love, baby.  Love amidst the heap of life, always flawed, always whole.  Lovescraps.

*Credit for the term “scrappy little family” goes to Amanda.  But I stole it and will continue to do so.


4 thoughts on “scrappy

  1. Steal whatever you want to steal, baby. I am so happy that “more words” is your priority. I want to read everything you write. And, none of us have the life we thought. That’s just part of being smart. You’re beautiful.

  2. i like to start it with, in my imaginary life i still look like i did when i was in my twenties and i am living in a tiny little apartment in a turrett at the top of a beautiful old crumbling stone building in paris and and i have pages of pages of manuscripts and words toppled over old wooden tables and art hangs from the ceilings and then i travel by train to a beautiful old house where grapes grow wild and my family and i eat outside on a slab of artwork that just came together in a moment of fresh cheese and wine and fresh salads. blink blink. oh right, its almost forty below and the car creaked to work where i sit in my cube wanting to cry because i can’t get this damn rewrite right and i continue to peddle other people’s words and ideas only to go home and look in the fridge at all the fresh vegetables that will go bad if we don’t eat them soon and then decide that it surely must be family pizza night. i love the term ‘scrappy little family’. i have one of those and we’ll eat those veggies before they go bad and some of them are even organic but we’ll also eat that pizza and i’ll get whole wheat crust and say no to the guilt and one day, i’ll have my week or month or year in a stinky little apartment in paris and my old creaky legs will thank me for the daily exercise as the greys frame my face. and its all good.

  3. i love the deactivation feature on facebook too.

    …and sometimes all i can muster are tv and pizza days. i hear you. and i don’t feel alone tonight. thank you.

  4. When I am feeling down I ask myself what can I do right now in this moment for me? What do I need right now? Sometimes it is to draw, write, dance, clean, play with my granddaughter, go outside for a walk, and sometimes to just sit and do nothing with a smile on my face.

    I hope you find your perfect moment in the present.


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