Neverland…

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Singing a lullaby–this act is a ritual, a staple in our bedtime routine for our daughters.  At the fringe of bedtime, I am responsible for the soft whispering hums of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and You Are My Sunshine

Most nights, I’m tired as I sit upon the edge of their beds.  After a long day of mothering four daughters, closing with bathing, slathering them in lotion, brushing teeth (and flossing, if their dentist reads this), picking out pajamas, putting on pajamas, fulfilling last-minute requests (I need a drink, I need my folder signed, I need, I need, I need…) I feel the weight of the day heavy upon my shoulders.  Lethargy spreads from my mind, trickling down my body.  And I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t tried to weasel out of ‘singing’ several times.

Last night we had company over for dinner.  By the time our hosting duties wrapped, the girls’ bedtime extended further into the night than our normal routine and I was enveloped in exhaustion.

I found myself rushing, while a slew of ramblings flew out of my mouth. (get into bed, come on…yes, it’s bedtime)  

I was chasing, trying to run down the elusive me-time; the hour(s) I have to myself after all the beauties are tucked in, safe in their beds.  

“Mommy, you have to sing.” Adalynne stated, reaffirming my nightly duty.  Every part of me longed to proclaim, “It’s late.  Mama will sing tomorrow, you have to go to sleep.  You have school in the morning..” But for some reason, I couldn’t.

Pushing myself to achieve their normal, regardless of the time or my tiredness, I sang their lullabies.

Nearing the end of the final verse, my eyes filled with the scene of my oldest daughter’s lip trembling.  Her eyes began to glisten and her chin wobbled.

Silently, she was doing her best to hold back a sob.

“What’s wrong?” I questioned her, alarmed.

“I was just thinking…of the day,” She hiccups through tears now streaming down her face.  I can see where this is heading. “When you won’t sing us songs anymore.  When we grow up.” She finishes, stunning me.

Every part of me crumbles.  She will be ten in a week; the brutal, stark light of this world is starting to leak through the hairline cracks forming in the door of her childhood.

I reached over and hugged her, stroking her hair.  My face now mirrors hers as I whisper, “Children never grow up in the eyes of their parents.  I will always sing to you.”

She isn’t able to see yet, but one day–closer than I want to admit–she won’t need me to sing to her.  She will willingly walk out of Neverland.

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” –Graham Greene

But until that time comes, I’m reminded to not let my tiredness jiggle that door knob, or race after that day.

Daughter, When You Break Your Own Heart…

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Years from now, when your eyes reap these written words, you will note the worry strung behind them was mildly premature.  You are so young now, skipping through billowing clouds of innocence; heartbreak seems eons away.

But as I witness you chase after experience, maturing before my eyes, I feel the weight of life’s realities closing in.  The thread of your childhood is swiftly becoming shorter, more fragile with each passing day.

Right now is a reprieve: a true bliss, as my peripheral catches all two feet of you dancing outside of the office doors dressed as Elsa.  This current phase of your life feels safe, because heartbreak is just another word you are learning to pronounce.

At this very moment, it is not a feeling.  A place.  A person.  A memory.

No, not yet…

But it is undeniable, an unstoppable force, a simple truth among mankind that you will make acquaintances with its meaning.

Heartbreak.

{intense and overwhelming grief, especially through disappointment in love}  

There is no escaping its touch, a rite of passage, an experience cementing your existence. It will find you, because you are human.

But truly, I do not fear heartbreak, the kind inflicted by others upon you. This notion does not keep me covered by a blanket of insomnia, lucidly trapped in twilight, nor make my heart skip beats in angst for you.

Those breaks, the dark strokes upon the canvas of your heart, will keep the spark of your humanity lit and in this cruel world that seeks to make your soul hard, those experiences will keep you soft.

As you whimsically twirl out of sight, I can’t escape instinct.  Every fiber within me desires to its very depth to keep you safe, to ward off any ailment of the heart, to shield you from impending, innate heartbreak from others, but I can’t.

As your mama, this truth pushes dread over my body like a dark, suffocating tide.  But it’s not complete dire…

My despair, my tidal wave of deep dread truly lies in the heartbreak of the greatest love affair of all—the love affair you have with yourself.

(self-inflicted) Heartbreak.

Your heart marred by great sorrow, dipped in agony by your own two hands… 

It happens.  We all, at some point during the journey, walk this stage, go down this road–left a prisoner of our own self-pity, feeling trapped behind an unsightly veil of our own creation.  The trial of despising our inner reflection, feeling as though the picture of our own person does not replicate the goodness that lives in our soul.

When this crossroad finds you experiencing self-inflicted heartbreak, casted as the villain behind your heart’s anguish; when you watch your heart break on the hard axis of your own gravity, shattering…

Hear these words, my beauty…

You are not alone.  You are not the first and you will not be the last to walk this path.  The love affair with one’s self is not a monogamous match made in heaven. It is a constant evolution of self-worth. And my love, you are so worthy.

We are all plagued by the human condition; we all suffer, we all make mistakes.  This life is meant to leave marks.

But do not fear, my love.  Heartbreak can be beautiful, it can mean the chance to redefine love for yourself.

In the midst of your sorrow, do not forfeit, or turn blindly away from who I know you to be…

Strong.  Intelligent.  Kind.  Important.  Beautiful.

Face your suffering head on, gaze into its eyes.  Own your agony.  Bloom your remorse.  Accept your own forgiveness.  And let yourself rise.

Feign the courage, baring the will to fight against the dark side of being human.

Do the next right thing for yourself, because you, most of all, are so deserving of your own love.

When you find yourself here, feeling broken by your own volition, pluck those gorgeous pieces of your beautiful heart up off the ground, brush them off with care, lace them together…and let it beat wildly again.

Because you are important to this life, this world, this universe.

 

 

 

Neighborhood Watch…

When we moved into our neighborhood, nearly eight months ago, I was elected Neighborhood Watch President…okay, no one acknowledged my campaign, therefore I was self-elected, but hey, it counts.

The more eyes the better, right?

I woke up yesterday, on a normal Friday, unbeknownst I’d be called into action…

I drank my coffee, got the beauties ready for school (“Yes girls, I know you despise being woke up school, but it’s Friday!!! You. Are. Going.” “Mom, you are ruining my life, they grumbled in unison.”), then watched all three of them catch the bus (Amelia running after it, me cheering, FASTER, RUN FASTER, YOU CAN DO IT!), and then pushed the husband out the door (which means my attempts at begging him to play hookie from work didn’t pan out) and finally wrapped up the morning by getting Bella situated with morning cartoons and breakfast.

So there I am, sitting at my desk, creeping behind my Mac–checking my e-mail, paying bills (gag, rolls eyes), and minding my own business, definitely not snooping on my neighbors outside my office’s bay window, when a random vehicle parks directly in front of my house.

It just sits on the street, parked, right in front of my house.

Nobody gets out, no movement, nothing…

I sit at my desk, peeking out the window from behind my computer, staring at the violating vehicle like I can actually see through metal. After my stare down bares no fruit, I get up and go to the dining window and do the side peek through the curtains. Like one eye blinking, about to solve a mystery Magoo.

Still, the vehicle continues to sit there.

Suddenly, the phone rings and I jump out of my skin, nearly hitting the ceiling like every scared cat ever.

It’s the bestie, so swiftly in five seconds flat, I fill her in. “There is a burglar parked in front of my house…” She screams call the POLICE and every scary movie I’ve watched rapidly bombards my brain!

I hang up with her and drop to the floor. Yes, I’m crawling on the floor, yelling at the two-year old to get down.

At this point, I’ve moved on from thinking burglary to straight DRIVE BY.

I call dispatch and force myself to not cry out, “HELP ME! I’M ABOUT TO BE SHOT!”

I am not dramatic at all.

So instead, I quickly relay, “um, yes…it’s not an emergency, but there is a suspicious vehicle parked in front of my house.”

The sweet dispatcher says she’ll send a patrol car and then I call Travis. Because of course, being a tad dramatic, I’ve got to call my husband and freak him out!

“Travis, I’ve got the AR-15 out of the safe and I’m about to mow this truck, parked outside our house, down!”

I’ll omit what he said after I dropped that bomb…

Bestie calls back, she says, “I’m assuming since you’ve answered, you’re still alive…”

It takes all I have not to whimper back, “He’s says to just pay the ransom.” But I’m not that sick, so I don’t.

And thirty-five minutes later, as quietly as the vehicle showed up, it left just as undramatically—life on Wisteria Lane is well again…

Bestie and I stay on the phone until I could see the cruiser patrolling down my street…eleven minutes too late. This is where I tell you, remember earlier when I listed my morning activities, none of those said, brushed teeth, got dressed, put on bra, combed hair, and attempted not to look boho bum.

So I stepped out onto my front porch, ready to wave them on. Clearly there is nothing to talk about, the nappers are long gone.

I’m two beats away from lifting my hand to wave at their patrol cars parked in front of my house, when not one, but two officers walk up from the corner of my garage.

Who ever said “that only happens in the movies” was lying. Who knew that real men in blue, really do look like Magic Mike actors in real life…

I’m standing there, speechless in very unflattering pj bottoms, an oversized t-shirt (which doesn’t match said pj bottoms), an oversized grandma sweater, no-make up or eyebrows, with a top not doubling as a bird’s nest created by a rabid, deranged bird, to top off the look.

So of course, I babble, stutter, and represent myself as a slightly demented, clearly desperate housewife, who is in the middle of a strange mid-mommy life crisis. Hello, my wardrobe.

I might have sounded just like this….“Hhhh-hi, Mike (Are you really the police, or did my bestie send strippers—because she would totally do that, I thought.) Um, um, um, I swear the rrrrrrrobbber was here, but he left. Without taking anything, bbbbbut, it was definitely a robber.”

After they left, I may or may not have told my friends that from now on I might start finding reasons to call the men in blue…

I’m totally kidding, but thank goodness we have brave men willing to walk the line everyday for our lives…and step-up (unknowingly) to be objectified by housewives…

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Loves,

–Sarah