Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Not So Pretty Truth

Oh, but aren't they cute?

It's spring break here which means the girls are out of school.  For the whole week.

I wish I could say that we're blissfully enjoying our time together, frolicking in the sunshine, smelling the flowers, soaking up these precious together moments.

But the honest truth (in this moment) is that I want to bolt.

Seriously, I want to hightail it out of here and leave them alone with their whining, bickering, cat-chasing, irritating, potty talking, noisiness.

I want to catch the next flight to somewhere with an ocean, somewhere warm & sunny and, preferably, far, far away. 

We just got out for a walk (finally) and, despite their rambunctious, nutty, high-pitched screaming behavior, I, in a moment here & there, was able to will myself into the present moment...I noticed the chirping birds, felt the warmth of the sun, savored the moments when they ran up ahead of me.  Prayed for patience.  And presence and perspective. 

In the middle of the deep breaths, I noticed the loud background noise...the noise that was saying, you really should be savoring them, giving them the gift of your undivided attention, enjoying the time you have with these two little girls who are growing so quickly

This was not a nice voice.

It was a shoulding, guilt-trippy, you're-doing-a-shitty-job-at-this kind of voice. 

Feeling completely drained and defeated, I climbed the front steps just in time to see the cat bolting full speed off the deck (turns out the girls were trying to force her inside our front deck bench (that opens and closes).  Right next to my absolute & complete frustration, was a feeling of deep envy for the cat...envious that she had managed to break free.

After I sent them to their rooms for animal cruelty, I turned to the computer for help.  And, get this, I stumbled upon these life-saving, beautifully expressed words by Karen Maezen Miller.  Thank God for people who tell it like it is.

Here are her magical words...

There is a certain hour every day, although it rarely lasts for just one hour, when I most want to leave home.

I see the faint blush of morning light under my eyelids. I hear the dog begin to patter on the parquet in the next room. I feel the inescapable weight of the morning routine descend upon me. My husband sleeps on, undisturbed. It's up to me to begin.

There is the dog to attend to. The coffee to make. The breakfast to assemble. The grumpy daughter to wake and push through her morning's grim reluctance. The lunch to pack, the dishes to put away. Then the walk to school, the weeds to pull, the clothes to wash and dry. The million, billion pieces of everyday life to steer and clear, the volume of which darkens my mind in a long, dense shadow of never-ending mundaneness.

What about me? I always think and often say. What about what I want to do? There is an hour every day when I most desperately want to leave home. And the thing is, I should.

Oh, the power of words.  These words, in this moment, have saved me. Thank you Karen.  There is such deep comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my occasional urge to bolt.

To read the rest of this article by Karen, entitled Parents, Leave Your Homeclick here.  It is well worth the read.  I just ordered her book, Mama Zen.  Please, Amazon, get it here quickly!

Okay, I feel better now.  On to a brand new moment...

***There is a giveaway in HERE to enter!


  1. i love your honesty. i can only imagine being a mother, and it scares the crap out of me. being a nanny and an aunt is enough for me now.

    and your little whiners are adorable.=)

  2. i love that you share these honest moments with us. thank you thank you thank you.

  3. Just when you need it, you find a fellow traveler on the escape route.

  4. My sister was saying the same thing the other day. she has one boy 17, the other 12, she wants to go somewhere warm too, when I read your post I had to smile. may all be well in your world. I liked reading the other blog too. take care. may you get some alone time.

  5. I loved this!! Absolutely loved this....I'm an "empty nester" now, so leaving home isn't as impossibly hard as I thought it was (even for an hour) back in the days of children.

    Back in the days of children, I wish I hadn't been moving too fast and furiously to pay attention to one of life's important lessons (learned on an airplane) - put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.

    Take the time to escape - to be you outside of wife and mommy - even if only for just an hour.

    That's my take from the land of "been there."

  6. Thank you for this. I needed to read it!!! I also am going to go order Zen Mama :)

    Sending you love, patience, and the wish for time along, dear Julia.

  7. Julia, I always love your honesty.

    And, yes, you are right ... they do grow up so fact. So, savor ever moment with your girls ... paint, decorate each other's nail's, dance wild together, bake, and see who can laugh the longest. And, find the quite moments for your self, too, so that you can always come back whole to enjoy and savor the time with your precious girls.

    Such preciousness!

  8. Mine are all mostly grown now, but babe, do I *ever* hear you. Soooooooo much. I have been there.

    You have my deepest love and empathy. <3

  9. Darling Julia...

    Your honesty is so refreshing it's like drinking pure spring water after hours of being parched and thirsty. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for busting that part of your mind. I have all those same thoughts about my everyday life - child free, pet free, and yet still able to induce to urge to bolt, to get away, to run.

    I wonder how it would be if I just allowed myself to rest a bit more and not try so hard...?

    I love you. I support you in taking care of yourself. You are an incredible woman and an incredible mother.


  10. oh yes, i know that hour! mine comes in the evening, quite unexpectedly, and not every day. maybe it's the witching hour. maybe it's the hour that i turn into a witch? karen's words are so liberating. this is no easy game.


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia