#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014. Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13. Let’s reverb.
Relationships: Did you find a new best friend? Delve deeper into a relationship? Break up? Get back together?
It’s not the endless piles of laundry or the constant making and cleaning up of meals or the countless visits to the pediatrician that gets to me as a mother.
It’s the loneliness.
Being a mother of young children is lonely. The loneliest I’ve ever been.
So I cling tight to my relationships, those people who offer life support when I’m drowning in a sea of diapers and goldfish crackers. A special thanks to:
To my Tribe. That’s what we call ourselves, my family and Dan’s family. When Dan and I first were engaged, I couldn’t have imagined how this family dynamic would play out. I foresaw years of alternating Thanksgivings, eating twice for every holiday, driving to this house and that house for Christmas. Then one year I suggested that we all have Thanksgiving together. And now we do it all together. Holidays, birthdays, everything.
And when I refer to my family, I mean my Tribe. Everyone. I don’t see it as Dan’s Family and My Family. We’re in it together. And this year was especially traumatic with my grandmother’s move to a nursing home, Michael’s surprise early arrival, and various other familial trauma dramas involving extended family members. But what’s remarkable is we drew closer together. Circled the wagons. Tightened our love hold on each other.
To Corrine. I’m glad you don’t think I’m crazy when I text you because I think Michael is holding his arms strangely and do you think that means there’s some underlying, never-heard-of-before disorder? Am I just being nuts? Okay, we agree I’m being illogical. Great, thanks! I’m glad you don’t judge my dirty house, that I let Kate eat animal crackers for breakfast, and when you’re pretty sure I wore those black yoga pants yesterday…and maybe the day before that. You totally get it. And I need that. Because I don’t want to explain myself. And with you I don’t have to. I cherish all those playdates in your basement where we exchange heartfelt conversation while the kids scream at deafening volumes and throw plastic balls at each other. Sometimes I think about us, several years from now, with our kids in elementary school and us having lunch at Panera, alone, not having to cut up anyone’s grilled cheese.
To Kim and Ginny. I remember when Kim emailed me, and said she wanted to come over and had something to tell me. I thought she was going to tell me she was dying. And I was prepared to get real upset. She was acting all cagey. And then told me she was in a relationship with Ginny. And I wanted to kill her. She had me all concerned over nothing! That’s all you got? I THOUGHT YOU WERE DYING! Anyway, Kim and Ginny, I couldn’t love you more. I’m so glad we’re not only deeper pals this year, but we’re also neighbors. You both inspire me to live my life on my terms. A common phrase in our house is WWKS? (What would Kim say?)
To Marie. I read somewhere that if you’re friends for someone for at least seven years, then you will be friends for life. We’ve been friends for just over a decade. Remember in high school when I owned flip flops in every color of the rainbow? And remember when I’d get mad when you couldn’t eat lunch with me because you were studying for the Calculus AP exam? And remember at U.Va. when I convinced you to haul your laundry on the bus so we could do wash together and we’d wait between cycles in my extremely small dorm room? When I see you, I still see 16-year-old Marie. Even though we’re married and own homes and really I know we’ve come a long way, when I see you, you’re still high school Marie. And I’m high school Sarah. And we’re in Creative Writing class making up bad haikus.
To Dan. Marriage with small children isn’t for the faint of heart. And it’s a reminder that there’s no such thing as equal. Some days someone pulls harder than the other. Some days it feels like we’re just Small People Managers. Some days we can be like ships passing in the night – literally changing rooms as you attend to one Small Person and I attended to the other Small Person. And I need you to take care of Small People while I do my thing. And you go out of town so I’m on Small People duty. I worried about this at first. But it’s just a season. This is life with Small People. And in that short time between Small People bedtime and when we crash for the night, we plan and scheme about all the things we’ll do and all the places we’ll go when people can take care of wiping their own bottoms.
To myself. You think you don’t know who you are. But you do. You’re not just one thing. You’re a lot of things. Be all the things.