Goodbye moon

Ever Sophia, Love, pretty things, therapy

I spent my whole childhood imagining what it would be like to be a mother. I would have three kids, all named after early 90’s sitcom characters: Blossom, Clarissa, and Tapanga, respectively. At least one would be a boy.

I was to be happily married, but also an ultra bad ass working mom, like an astronaut working mom. I’d tend to the children between missions to Saturn and stuff. I also magically was going to be there everyday when the kids got home from school. I’d bake pies for snack time, be the room mom and be the biddy basketball coach.

My babies were going to be five times as smart and a light year better at making good decision than me, but also have blonde hair and blue eyes because did you see me as a child? (Okay not those unfortunate ones where I was a morbidly obese infant the other ones).

Let me count the ways that I fabricated what I was sure would be reality: family vacations, family dinners, family meetings, family game night, family sized packs of fruit snacks, pretty much the word family before any noun makes it bigger and better, and who doesn’t like bigger and better things???

I now know that the word family not only makes you look like less of a glutton in the check out isle but it also allows you to share the burden. It creates a home. Relief on the hard days and witnesses for the great ones.

Absolutely none of those things happened. Happily married evaded me the more I chased it. Three artfully named children turned into one artfully named girl. Being an astronaut turned into being a therapist, though I’m pretty sure that I’ve had an alien or two as clients. I can’t even remember a single time that I wasn’t rushing around in traffic at five o’clock trying to pick Ev up before her after school care closed. Last but not least I have no time to coach anything, other than the rousing peptalks that I give both of us to crawl out of bed and even still our morning routine makes it into double overtime pretty consistently.

The moments of feeling like I’ve balanced single parenthood, work, school, romantic partnership, dog ownership (my eulogy to who I thought I would be as a dog parent is next), has been far from eloquent. I’m inclined to say it’s the hardest thing that I have ever done, but also that it’s never once felt impossible.

I haven’t yet gotten to be the mom I dreamed to be. But I did get to be Ever’s mom over and over and over again. Couldn’t have chosen a more majestic little creature to negotiate this family thing with until the day I die, and then some.

There’s a whole other part to this but I’m keeping highly classified information about the most beautiful thing that happened today, so I’ll wait on until the photo deal goes through with People magazine and the gag order is lifted (I’m impatient, you know this).

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precipitating events

Love, pretty things, soulfood

Trying to stay present. Soak in all of the glorious sensations of new love. Let go of my instinct to recoil when a man sings my praises. Silence the voices in my head ringing the warning bells of, that’s what they all say.

Somewhere deep down I’m confused as to why the beginnings are filled with eloquent soliloquies about how I’m an angel and so much of everything that they’ve ever wanted. The ends come riddled with stone cold projections about things that I have never been. We both know the truth, and it’s not their version of the story most of the time. But, I let go these days. Remember.

Today, the place that I live now.

Today, I dig claws into my reservoir of optimism, syphoned and over tapped some time ago. Just a woman naked under the full moon of lust. Dancing for heavy rains of abundant care. Prayers that this time, he really means it.

Tempering my heart with intentional inner dialogue: even if it doesn’t work out, I will be a better person for loving.

Just here, now, balanced on the edge of fear, attempting to translate this visceral feeling that somewhere between our mutual words of adulation is an incredibly viable promise of lasting love, and still, me, searching for words.

Living in incredible awe of you, of me, and the phenomenon of falling in love. Kissing good night my attempts to rationalize magic. I am so sorry for doing that to you.

Woke

Love, pretty things, soulfood, your body

This morning I woke up next to you over and over. I fell back asleep each time just long enough to lose track of reality, rustle, stir, and then find you on the other side of my eyelids, again. Letting the sensations of our bodies interlaced flood me each time.

You said the night before, our bodies are perfect for each other. I’m a four LEGO and you’re a three. Counterparts. Intuitive contortions. Harmony.

When I was finally serious about getting out of bed two hours later, and only because I absolutely had to, you said, “I’m probably not going to see you for a couple of days”. And then you kissed me all over. All of the silly parts, my armpit, my elbow, my ribs, my right knee cap, and all of the places in between. I squirmed, smiling so hard it hurt. You are pure delight.

Right before I left, we were standing in your kitchen, I’m pressed heavy into your chest. It is the most solid and reassuring place just I have visited in some time. I’m not sure if it was just the sensation of pure trust, a deep knowing that neither of us are going anywhere, or if it was just the way the light danced all around you, but, in that moment and in every moment since I have simply known that you are home.

silly rabbit

Love, pretty things, silly goose, soulfood, therapy

Ya’ll know I’ve been kissing frogs, for a while. I’ve officially been single for a year. Let me do some finger counting like a 1st grader realllll quick…. I’ve been on dates with TWELVE different men in a year. Of those seven made it to second dates. (That’s actually way more than I thought, now that I review the facts). Surprisingly decent odds, but I’m also just a really nice person who likes to give people ample opportunity to let their pretty little personalities shine. For only three of the seven was there any real potential for a meaningful relationship. One out of twelve made it to official boyfriend territory that quickly corroded into a land mine of manipulation, deception, and horrors, but who’s counting.

And then there was lucky number twelve. 

Twelve is an auspicious number meaning that this dude if wholesome as fuck. Someone that I look at and think, now here’s a man who stands up to the grandpa test. 

So, what’s the grandpa test?
My Papa who is absolutely the love of my life. The corner stone of positive male influence for me. The man, who when it comes down to it, I’ve been desperately trying to find. (Uhhh huh, that’s how attachment to our opposite sexed caregivers work, if you’re lucky, you try to recreate healthy relationships in your life and not toxic or disregarding ones… been there too.) I’ve been working on my daddy issues like it’s my job for years, ’cause it is.

This past summer I had the absolute blessing to spend a few days with my Papa. Time crawled by, I savored every moment of it. One summer Kansas evening, we were sitting in lawn chairs on his back porch, and my Pops was telling me about how he had made a number of loans to people who blatantly did not pay him back based on their agreement. My grandpa is savvy, it’s not that he didn’t understand that there was risk in loaning friends money, it was that he couldn’t fucking believe that people were systematically so God-damned shitty these days. Long held acquaintances. Family friends. People from his tiny close-knit community. Ohhhh you gonna do me like that. (That’s what my grandpa sounds like in my head, not reality).

He just explained it all really sadly. Like right in front of his eyes as the decades ticked by he watched as morality completely eroded. Disbelief. But, still he shows up to the next person ringing his doorbell in a terrible bind, with the benefit of the doubt. Still helping people. Still hoping that there will be a few more someones that behave honorably.
That conversation has been a lump in my throat ever sense.

Maybe that’s the word, the sentiment, the everything: honorable.
For a year I have been searching high and low for an honorable man and I didn’t even know it until it was just right there staring me back in the eyes.

I’m learning and learning and learning to listen to my intuition. To stay tuned into my senses. To be careful about getting ahead of myself, be careful about having too many drinks, being careful about over sharing, over promising, over fantasizing about how wonderful it all could be. Learning because the reverse of all of those things is like playing with matches in a kerosene bathtub. And I’ve taken many a self-induced fire bomb bath over the years.

Number twelve, who I shall now rename to number one, because it’s a new year, and a new even more intentional and present me, truly seems like a really good person.

My mantra/prayer/manifesting process before meeting him had gotten super clear:
I just want to find someone who is good to me, consistently.

That’s all. Time will tell. But you know, I’m me, and he’s probably the one.

utttttt oh

Love, pretty things, soulfood

Just there. Always. Last year. Next weekend. Today with 30 minutes notice.

What do you want to do?

Let’s explore.

Opened door.
Up a mountain.
Side of the road, head thrown back, star gazing. Beaming blinding moon.

His arm must have been just floating behind my back. Asking sweet gentle permission, is this okay?

Okay, well there’s the Big Dipper you know that. And then where there would be a line that goes to Polaris. The North Star. The one that all of the other ones rotate around. But that’s some old time sailor stuff.

Over there, you see that cluster of stars with the bright one in the middle, that’s the one on the Subaru logo. Pleiades.

There’s Orion and those there are his belt of course. And the one that looks like a sigma that’s Cassiopeia. And then there’s this one and I know I was supposed to remember the shape, but I’m not sure anymore.

Later he would say I’m not very good at stars. I’d say you did pretty well.

Christmas Day

Love, pretty things, soulfood

I’ve found God in this forest over and over again.

I’ve sat just as I am now on the side of a mountain and sobbed. I’ve looked at the sun beaming between the tree tops, painting lace all over the pine needles and prayed for strength. I’ve laid on pine cones and mourned the loss of the things that I could not control. And today, I walked over rock and ice in tremendous gratitude for the breath of life, the elegance of divine timing, the ability to change.

Grounded and flying.
Alive, every cell of all of us.
Surrender.
Trust.
Promise.

My sweet Lord.

Perfectionist

Love, pretty things, silly goose, soulfood, your body

These bodies that we’re in. What a funny device. All of this ambulating. The arch of your back on the inhale. The way that you kiss the top of my head, and then the center of my forehead. The back of your thighs.

 

Sometimes I get the urge to wrap your body around mine and take off down a rolling grassy hill. Sort of sure that we’ll gash our knees open but so delighted by the joy of momentum and gravity and I could care less. Grass stained and out of breath, let’s do it again.

shot dead

Love, pretty things, soulfood, your body

In the eighth grade, I wrote this boy a note.
It said, “I don’t like you Brandon. Leave me alone.”

That came back to me today as I loaded the washer. I imagine now, that little boy just learning to stand in this world. Just letting the taste of love land on the tip of his tongue. Like all of us young and old no fucking idea about how to handle ourselves or to measure reciprocity when it comes to matters of the heart. Sitting there at the lunch table, breathing dreams of my adulation into the well pressed seams of my notebook paper. And there in jelly roll pen, my cold hard rejection.

Merciless.

That’s just who I am.

I learned that men turn their head and scan your body when you cross the street at the age of nine. I learned how to shut down a cat call with one side glance by the time I was ten. I learned that if you let them, boys and men will be so confused by the delicacy of your physiology, the charm of pheromones that silently radiate beyond your awareness and the safety of your smile, that they will think that they love you. And you them.

I let that boy walk me home from school. I let him drink my kool-aid. Hell I even let him think that I was his friend.

But when I don’t. I don’t. If that hurts well I’m sorry. I’m not the home for your bleeding heart. And I’m not the girl of your dreams.

Unless I am.

When I’m real sure, you’ll want to hold on. Maybe I’ll write it to you in a note. Or maybe I’ll spill my soul onto your lips. Drip respect over your collar bone. Curl amazement into your pelvis. Steadily showing you what it looks like when I love you back. Trust, you’ll know.

It was all so beautiful

Love, pretty things, soulfood, therapy

I met this boy with a big nose, a skateboard and a heart of gold. He asked me to be his girlfriend on a swing set. We would walk to the same pizza shop every afternoon that summer and then his mother would drive us in her old Saab to the movie theater. We were those kids in the back row groping each other’s bodies with the immediacy of learning sexual touch for the first time. It felt like Christmas morning and singing the hook from your favorite song too loudly at a stoplight. Every. Single. Time.

This boy and I. We didn’t know better. The only pertinent information was that we were both mild-mannered and utterly infatuated with each other. He would come to be my first great love. The one who would ruin it for every man to come.

What do you mean, men don’t buy you gifts just because it’s Tuesday? What do you mean, men don’t write whole albums of love songs for you yearly? What do you mean you don’t want to lie in bed with me all day exploring every bend and crevice in my body? What do you mean not every disagreement can be worked out be me batting my eyes and leaning in for a kiss? What do you mean?

Our love was sweet as pie and twice as nice. I lived in unadulterated young love bliss with that boy grown man, myself slowly losing my grip on girlhood, for five years.

I hope everyone knows at least once how it feels to be adored. What it means to wake up in the morning a fleshy temple for someone else’s devotion. The space between us, six inches, or six states, oozed with the divine nectar of love. Innocence. Joy.

What do you fucking mean it’s not going to be like that?

The past eleven years have felt like one long fall from that cliff. Hitting every boulder on my way down. Bruised, bloody, and gashed. You should never hike in sandals. Bring plenty of water. Tell your friends where you’re headed. It’s dangerous out there. It requires lots of perseverance. A steadfastness in exactly who you really are or you will be shaken. To your core.
Shaken.

In a crumpled pile at the base of that mountain again. I remember this place well. The rocks that at first looked ominous now glisten in the light. The little specks of mica call me to pull them in for a closer look. The dried pine needles can be gathered in around you, they make a descent enough bed.

Even that patch of cactus can be touched if you’re careful. There it is in all of its splendor, long lost hope for a heavy spring rain instead content with sipping from the morning dew.