“Sometimes the bee stings, and sometimes it makes honey.” Z, age 4, tiny Buddha (and recently stung by a bee for the first time.)
Watercolor pencil, pen and water
Sure am glad I didn’t dawdle getting to the airport and while running late accidentally park my rental car in the wrong return lane and be told I have to go inside to fix it, only to find out that no I need to go back outside to get a slip from the very chatty car dude who I can’t help but be kind to and explain that yes, it’s definitely still hot in Florida right now! I know crazy! To then return to said counter to wait for my receipt that they apparently decided to travel back to 1994 to print on a dot matrix printer. zeet. zeet. Zeet. zeeeeeep. (Repeat approx. 1,367 times.) To then sit on the SLOWEST SHUTTLE BUS EVER and arrive at the terminal and discover my flight leaves in, oh, half and hour, and run to check my bag (because somehow having tiny shampoo bottles in my luggage is still a threat to national security) to then get stuck in a long line of millennials staring at phones in what is perhaps the Longest. Security. Line. Ever. Especially for a second rate rust belt city (I can say this I’m from this region) to then *almost* make it through security except for my laptop that is arousing suspicion and must be checked by the guy with a mysterious magical wand-stick. To then shoe-up and run and I mean RUN to the farthest end of the terminal while overhearing the Southwest gate agent say “final call for passenger Sarah Dee-MA-Teee-no” as I’m still wildly running, dodging couples and children while The Weekend sings in the background I’m tryna put you in the worst mood, ah/P1 cleaner than your church shoes, ah which makes me feel like a badass in a movie scene (until I realize my laptop bag is hitting my butt every two seconds which is not sexy. Not at all.) To then arrive at the gate as the guy is about to shut the door, and cough out my name, wheezing and sweating and and laughing with the cool luggage attendant dude (unlike the check-in dude who is ALL business ok whatever lol) only to be the very last person on the plane (THE ONE TIME I have an A35 southwest spot in line!!!) to then sit in a middle seat but whatever that’s cool cuz I’m making it home!, and cough up half a lung for like twenty minutes and have no water and question the sufficiency of my current exercise regimen and fly to Atlanta and discover my next flight is delayed.
Yep, sure am glad that none of that happened.
The kiddo was up very early today which meant one thing: I had to blog, just like old times! All those early mornings where I wrote as the sun rose. The days where writing daily was a necessary part of my routine.
I got to thinking about it all. How writing was a daily ritual of healing. Only now can I see what a courageous and life-sustaining act it truly was. Day by day, scrubbing away pain and loss. Transmuting the pain. And now, today on August 2, 2017, the fact is that there is so much less pain to transmute – the main reason I don’t feel the need to write as frequently. A good problem to have, no?
In hindsight I have so many questions for my former self. Why did you, former Sarah, take so long to start writing? Why didn’t you start using anti-aging face cream sooner? And why oh why did you sit in that suffering place for so damn long? (Ever notice that “why didn’t I let myself suffer longer?” has been asked by nobody ever.)
There are a lot of reasons. But mostly it is because I hadn’t learned lesson 3.
This is from the incredible Nigerian poet Ijeoma Umebinyuo. I remember the day I discovered this – I wanted to shout from the rooftops: “THIS! THIS!!!! LESSON NUMBER THREE! THIS IS WHERE IT’S AT PEOPLE! Don’t let it overstay!”
(Thankfully I did not proclaim it from the rooftops. Probably good since my neighborhood is full of highly suspicious retirees who would likely bring such an incident to the attention of the HOA.)
Touch and release. Touch and release. So freaking hard. Feel the feels but don’t succumb to them. Swimming without wearing a huge heavy backpack. (It just weighs you down and plus everything inside gets wet. Who wants that?!)
It takes a helluva lot of courage to set down the backpack full of feels. Once you do, you realize what a heavy weight it had been. Really, it doesn’t need to overstay its welcome. Bye Felicia.
Anyway where am I going with this post? OH yes, sunrises, sunsets! Sunrises full of writing and healing and transmuting pain. Sunsets of saying goodbye to the pain. Lesson number three. Touch and release. Healing. Dropping the heavy backpack at the shore so you can swim.
- A naked Moana doll (they are always naked)
- oak tree twigs of varying lengths (quantity: 2)
- a penny (she loves coins)
- a small glass jar for placing her collections
File this away to Things I Don’t Ever Want To Forget about My Daughter at Four.
As my four-year-old stated last night (at 4am): “I am a little bit tired and a little bit awake!” She was very excited because grandma and pop-pop arrive today and are staying at our house for several nights while the husband and I go to KEY WEST to celebrate ten years of marriage! So exciting! I look forward to the sleep that I get there.
p.s. I seem to be accumulating posts dedicated to middle-of-the-night conversatons with my daughter–I think it warrants its own category. Today, the category “4am kid convos” is born!
Child climbs into bed with me. Husband is blissfully asleep in guest bed “getting over a the stomach flu.” Please, you know he is psychic and predicted this event transpiring.
4 y.o.: “It is dark!”
Me: “Yes Z, it is the middle of the night.”
4yo: “I AM THE CHEESE MONSTER!”
Me: perplexed. Laughs.
4 y.o.: “I bet Jupiter is GLOWING!” (She is referring to a model kit of the planets that my husband bought her and is not-yet-assembled.)
me: “It doesn’t glow honey. You have to paint it to make it glow.” ( The kit comes with glow-in-the-dark paint you can put on the planets.)
4y.o.: “BUT DADDY SAID THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED!”
Me: “Yes, they are painted, but not with glowing paint. You need to paint them with the glow paint.” Thinks to self, why am I having this conversation??!
4yo: “Will grandma and pop-pop be here soon?”
Me: “Not until you sleep!!”
4yo: “I found Jupiter!!! It isn’t glowing.” Holding a model of Jupiter. Definitely not glowing.
me: “You have to paint it.”
4yo: “But daddy said it is already painted!”
I give up.
4yo. Starts to slowly breathe in that “about-to-fall-asleep-nobody-make-a-damn-noise” way.
Smart dog: “Ouuurrr. Ourrrrrrrrrrrr. Ouuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Standing by the lanai door. Wants out.
Me: mutters under breath. Takes dog outside. Beautiful night! Should be sleeping though! Dog pees. Return inside the house.
4yo: AWAKE AGAIN. Yes, predicted that.
4yo.: Twitching in that “about-to-go-to-sleepyland-nobody-move” phase.
Smart dog: “uuuurrrrrrr. Urrrrttt! Urrrrrrrrrrrt!” Standing by his empty water bowl.
Me: DAMNIT DOG! I fill the water bowl.
4yo: You guessed it: awake.
The-less-smart-dog: “Rrrrr! Rrrrrrrrr! RrRRRRRRRR!!!!!” Standing by the bed. Too fat or old or duffus-ey to figure out how to jump onto bed. Need to purchase dog ramp. Not yet ready to remove his last shreds of dignity.
Me: Mentally muttering swear words. Lifts dog onto bed.
4yo: Laughs and laughs and laughs. Is this funny to you kid?!
7:00 a.m. (sharp!)
Alarm clock: “EEEP! EEP! EEP! EEP!”
Me: (Shaking fist into air) “Darn you husband!” (He forgot to take alarm clock with him to other room.)
Time to make the coffeeeee!!!
Did your cheese monster let you sleep last night? Feel free to share your own stories–but not until you make the coffee.
That’s what I saw outside my bedroom window this morning. I think there were probably more, but the flock flew away before I could finish counting!
I then crawled back into bed to hopefully sleep off the bug that is making the rounds. I’m up finally, feeling much better, and my Fitbit says I slept sixteen hours!
Today is brought to you by the number sixteen.
I’ll let you numerology people unravel that one.
Now for some watercolor sketches of robins. Spring is upon us, friends.