Thursday, October 28, 2010

A start

At lunch the other day, my mom and I were reminiscing about some of my more ridiculous teenage behavior. She brought up the time that I glued 100 pennies to the windowsill in my room and how I was utterly perplexed at her displeasure.

I laughed and said, "You were very tolerant."

She laughed, but then stopped, looked me in the eyes and said, "Well, so were you, so we are even."

We looked at each order, both of our mouths turning up into slightly awkward smiles and our brains each conjuring up different alcohol infused memories. Although she had apologized when I visited her in rehab over 3 years ago, this was the first time she had ever made a statement like that. In that moment, my heart itched - not comfortable, but not bad either. I guess that's what healing feels like.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

7 Days Away

{ Elisa Nelissen }

The bell chimes announcing the tram is arriving. It pulls up and the doors slide open on the opposite side, letting the passengers out. Tears prick my eyes because I want to be arriving, not leaving. I only have two more days, but my homesickness is at it's peak and I'm having a hard time keeping it together. The last 5 days were intense; 18 hour days in front of clients, most of those hours on my feet and with a smile plastered on my face. I had to be on at all times- helpful, knowledgeable, "can-do".

I step off the tram onto my terminal and detour into the bathroom. I pick a stall far from the door and pull the breast pump out of my luggage. It's jammed into my carry-on, taking up most of the room, not leaving much space for clothes. I waste time on my phone while sitting on the toilet, pumping. Will is going to be one soon, but I'm desperate to breastfeed exclusively like I did with Finn. I don't get much milk, only 3 ounces and I feel frustrated. So much work and I'm barely keeping up. Such a theme of my life right now. Running nonstop, yet achieving so little beyond the daily tasks. I want to take pictures and make videos and write. But by the time the kids are asleep and the dishes are dry, sleep is the only thing that sounds good.

My pants are slightly wet near the pocket after I leave the bathroom. My fingers rub over the spot again and again. I trace the outline and think about my life. I drag my nail against the denim, and I can see the fibers fray.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I will start doing the things that scare me. I will take the chances that I know I am ready for. I will accept the amazing things that are being offered to me.

I am going to do NaNoWriMo, so excuse me if my next few posts are endlessly random, as I am trying to push myself to write. I have an idea for a book. I've HAD an idea for a book for months now, but have done nothing with it. So, fuck it. I'm going to get it out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

That Feeling

You know when you know it, in your gut? Whatever “it” may be. You just get that feeling.

We go to a home daycare about 10 minutes from my house. She’s an older lady in her early 70’s who shops at the grocery store my husband manages. She filled in during an unexpected daycare crisis, and it became a long term solution. We started 2 years ago.

About 6 months ago, Finn started crying when I told him it was a daycare day. I would ask him why, and he always gave reasons like, “I want to stay home” or “I want to be with mommy and daddy”. At first, it was only a couple of times a month that he would react like that. Then, about 2 months ago, it was daily.

She’s a nice lady. She’s has that funny old lady spunk. She ADORES the kids. When I was laid off, she didn’t try to recruit more kids, just waited patiently until I found another job. She’s flexible. She’s insanely reasonably priced. These were all the reasons I didn’t listen to my gut.
My gut said, “She never really answers your questions completely.” It said “She makes you feel uncomfortable when try to look around the house.” It tried to tell me, “Finn NEVER acts like he wants to stay.” But my brain consoled me. My brain said “What could she have to hide? So the house is a little messy. The kids are LOVED. And he rarely cries when you leave. I’m sure everything is fine. It’s going to be IMPOSSIBLE to find another flexible daycare situation for what you pay.”

6 weeks ago, I picked the boys up, and asked Finn if he had taken a nap that day.
“YES,” he said, with a weird sort of tone in his voice.

Naps were becoming a struggle at my house, hard to keep him in bed even though I could see so badly that he needed the rest. “Why do you always nap at daycare, but you don’t want to nap at home?”

“She gets MAD at me if I don’t nap,” he says in that weird voice again.

ALARMS. Heart in my throat. This feeling of I knew everything wasn’t right. I try to steady my voice and stay normal. “What happens when she gets mad?”

“She slaps me.”


“On my legs. Like this, “he says and slaps his shin, hard. “And like this,” he says, slapping the other leg.

My eyes well up with tears, and I stare straight again, my eyes darting between the road and the rearview mirror. “Anywhere else?”

He slaps various spots on his legs and feet. He slaps himself in the face, and I say with panic “She slaps you in the face?!” and he quickly says, “No, just on my legs.” I try to calm myself down again, hoping that will encourage him to be honest.

“Do you cry when she does it?” I ask.

“No,” he says, very matter-of-fact.

I’m quiet for a moment. “Does she do anything else?”

“She says, ‘Shut up, Finn!’”.

“How does it make you feel when she says that?”



The kids have been at their new daycare for 6 weeks. Finn gets excited in the morning when I tell him it’s a daycare day. I’ll never ignore that feeling again.