I wasn’t sure I would post anything at all this month. But here I am, only two days past my deadline. Lately I can’t shake the feeling of dread that comes with sharing. I want to take it all back. Everything. The invitation into our world, the social media posts, the things I have written on other topics in other public spaces…all of it.
In a thousand different ways, and in a thousand different moments, I have handed out pieces of myself to a mixed audience. Both in public, and during my daily routine. My humor, heart, stupidity, brilliance, and even cruelty–offered to true friends, fake friends, and strangers. And now it’s all part of my permanent record.
I want to go back to being a mystery. I want to go back to being the nice girl who only occasionally expressed herself through vague lyrics.
Don’t worry. I’ll change my mind.
I know it’s better to have a few people love and support me for who I truly am, than to have many people feel politely drawn to me based on their best guess. And I am slowly learning to stop being so available to “friends” who want me to feel unsure about myself. I am trying to figure out how to throw the invisibility cloak on them, instead.
For the moment, I don’t want there to be places where someone can find me. So how do I offer an update on our lives in this frame of mind? Continue reading
Two nights ago my daughter was sobbing uncontrollably on the hallway floor. The reason? She had removed a strainer from the cupboard and wanted it in the toilet. I had taken it out.
But that wasn’t the reason, really.
First of all, I have no idea how she even knew it was in the cupboard. She hadn’t seen it used in the toilet, so I am not sure how she decided it belonged there. And although I am 100% positive that my removing it was the source of her great distress—I may never know why it distressed her. Because in spite of the leaps and bounds she has made in communication, conversation is still not an option for us.
Other parents will reassure me by letting me know their children are unable to express what’s really going on inside their heads, too. I imagine children who have regular conversations with their parents do sometimes fall to the ground in fits of rage over something they can never quite put into words. And then I think, maybe this is one of those times and we are just like everybody else.
How can I explain the difference to someone who hasn’t experienced the ways missing conversation can truly keep you in the dark? It’s easy to throw up my hands and say “who knows” while I wait for her to calm down about an insignificant strainer. I strongly doubt it will affect her long-term. This one is easy. And really, it is more than slightly easier than the tantrums over something put in the wrong place, or because the neighbors didn’t park their car in exactly the same spot today. The good news is that it will pass, and she will survive. Maybe I don’t even need to know the details.
What isn’t as easy is when I do need more information and I know there is no way to get it. Like when she comes home from school crying, or comes down with an illness. I have no way of understanding what might be going on. I could ask questions all night long and never get closer to the truth. She would only go back and forth between completely ignoring my inquiries, and repeating the last word I said back to me. Continue reading
I didn’t have too many big birthday parties growing up. Most years we just went out to eat at the place of my choice- and I usually chose Pizza Hut. Of course, in the eighties Pizza Huts were a little fancier. The pizzas cost more, and you actually ate inside the restaurant. Every Sunday my dad’s side of the family got together at my great-grandma’s house, so there would always be cake and ice cream that week, and I would get some cash. I usually shared this party with my older brother, whose birthday is just four days before mine. Continue reading