It’s been more than a week since I’ve written — which, I’m certain, reflects (with the exception of a somewhat low-key weekend) the endless stream of activity involved in juggling life and motherhood and working and whatnot. I have seven blog titles in draft form, all of which seem hopelessly “so last week” and perhaps unlikely ever to receive the full attention that processing in writing provides. Thoughts on belonging and community; on gratitude for the various people in my circles who provided life-saving (literally) support during a particular period of crisis; on regrets; on owing explanations; on new mercies and mornings; on thoughts and prayers; and on the miracles of modern medicine…those will all remain tucked away for now — incubating, I guess, until life stops getting in the way of profound insights.
In the week since I last posted, I’ve been to four different therapy appointments (my son’s psychiatrist; my therapist; my daughter’s therapist; and my son’s psychologist). I have two more appointments tomorrow (my therapist and my son’s social worker). Last night, I spent the evening at a court-ordered co-parenting workshop. I’ve had one trip to urgent care, and one weekend of tending to a hyperactive nine-year-old stuck on crutches because he thought it would be “epic” to see what it felt like to “fly” off of the top of a nearly two story climbing web. The weekend brought six scheduled soccer games (but, because of the injury, we only attended three) and another piano recital.
I think I’ve taken on four new clients, and I sent our legal assistant my very first closing letter (yippeeeee!!!) — an exciting milestone for sure. The week also included an effort to identify a new therapist for me (mine is moving to a practice that no longer accepts my insurance), a new psychiatrist for me (mine is going on maternity leave and has no immediate plans to return to practice), and a new au pair to join our family when our current one returns home at the end of the summer.
I think the week might have also included the first bath that my son has taken since he inadvertently flooded my home office while imitating this Calvin and Hobbes strip in my bathroom [FN1: Note my intentional failure to tell you just how long ago the flood took place. I’m not giving you the chance to judge my lackadaisical parenting and low hygiene standards.]; the first time in months that my ex has requested the chance to FaceTime with the kids while he was out of town; and the first time that my son declared that he “hates” said ex for “betraying” him. This was also the week of my daughter insisted that my dad “stop mansplaining” to her, the week that our puppy was chased by a chair through a busy parking lot, and the week that — I’m told — someone left a paralyzed skunk under a box in our driveway. [FN2: I know of the mansplaining and the chair chasing and the skunk only through hearsay. My father was the one at the receiving end of my daughter’s admonishment, the one who tied the unsuspecting dog to the chair, and the one gracious enough to dispatch and discard the dying animal in the driveway.]
So, you know, typical week.
You know what kept me going? Connection with other humans. Texts and comments (okay, just one comment — but a real-live comment nonetheless!!) and messages from the small circle of people that I know read this blog. An unexpected email from the assistant dean of my graduate program telling me that — shockingly — there’s a chance that my dissertation might finally be released for publication, more than 10 years after I wrote it. Two emails from former military colleagues who took the time to send me an update after getting my “Christmas” card and letter. [FN3: As a matter of practice, I don’t write my annual letter until the year is over. I usually aim to get it out by the 12th Day of Christmas. This year, I wrote the letter on January 31, and then it took me another two months to print the letter, stuff the envelopes, update the address files, make the labels, and get everything ready to get them in the mail. But even *that* was almost two months ago now!] A particularly affirming note from one of the people who knew my ex really, really well in which she confirmed — she didn’t see it at the time but it is clear in retrospect — the wrongness of my ex’s behavior. (#iamnotcrazy. #iamnotcrazy. #iamnotcrazy.) And a delightful conversation with my son in which he acknowledged having a friend who is a girl (but not a GIRLFRIEND) that he likes to talk to while they’re on the nest swing together during recess because “we have a lot of the same problems, mom.” [FN4: I could do an entirely separate post on the beauty of the environment that my son’s teacher fosters in her classroom — one from which this sort of supportive friendship blossomed so organically. She might take away his recess when he doesn’t turn in his homework…but I adore her in spite of that particular shortcoming.]
That’s all I have. Nothing profound or dramatic. No major breakthroughs. No major setbacks. Just the promised miscellaneous goings-on in this single-mama life I’m living.
PS: I finally got thirty minutes on my elliptical trainer this weekend. #goals
PPS: My son’s emotional support dog ate another pair of (my daughter’s) shoes this weekend. She also devoured couple of stuffed animals, two boxes of Peeps marshmallows, a raw onion, several pens, and none of her new Super Chewer BarkBox subscription chew toys.
PPPS: In case I never get around to writing the blog post that I have in mind, I highly recommend you take the time to read this article about supporting friends with depression.