From my storm door I fog up the glass watching my middle son race around on the neighbor’s lawn. Our neighbor’s daughter is with him, but of course she’s in long pants and a winter coat and he’s in a pair of shorts, beaming as he crunch, crunch, crunches over the frozen grass. Last winter of course, we went through the same. It’s a thing, my older sons tell me, but looking around all I notice are appropriately dressed kids. Not that this is something I stress over. They wear their hoodies. And if they’re cold, well, they know the draw to pull.
My youngest boy wearing pants and a jacket (clearly the smart one) lingers in the house with me, timidly watching the cold from the inside and waiting for that strip of yellow to rumble up the block. Usually my middle son screams, “Bus!” and on his signal we bolt through the door, out into the street where the belabored vehicle idles, creaking its doors open, panting exhaust fumes.
They step on and I follow their little faces and wave, almost immediately losing my 5th grader to his posse in the back seats. But my 2nd grader hangs with me, his brave smile pressed up against the tinted or possibly just very dirty windows, barely concealing his anxiety at leaving his home and me before the bus heaves up, heavily turns and makes its way to the next stop.
On a cold day like today, I am back in my house within seconds, relieved, closing the door to the outside, hunkering down in the quiet and sweet comforts of my steaming coffee, a pile of clean laundry to fold and hopefully a warm voice on the other end of my phone. I spend a lot of time hiding myself away. I used to say that I needed the time and space to write and while that’s true, a writer needs to write, life’s injustices have kept me on hiatus for months keeping a steady force field between me and my computer.
I haven’t been happy about it, although my son has. He is now free to play his Minecraft while I am free of his long faced, soulful pleading. It’s been a relief of sorts, to not feel the pressure of myself to perform. In the beginning with all the other stresses going on, I welcomed it. But quickly that free space got gobbled up with new and old problems and people… cousins with BRACA diagnosis, one fighting cancer and the other going thru a preventative double mastectomy and hysterectomy, friends who needed an ear and of course my unwell father. And just like that, day after day slowly slipped through my fingers and I lost myself as I focused on others.
So I guess that’s where I’ve been all these months, if you’re even wondering, fogging it up on the inside. But lately I feel the crushing weight of my father’s immeasurable needs has lessened because I lessened them, and here and there the inklings of misplaced energy and discontent sparkle through me. It’s time, my dulled senses snap, to say hello again and find my focus; to get invigorated, get out and feel the fresh air.
But I’ll be doing it in pants.
And in case you missed, here’s the essay that secured that my middle son will never wear anything but shorts in winter. Read What’s up with Boys and Shorts in Winter.
And also, if interested, here’s the last article I wrote for On Parenting on Washpo. They Grow Up so Fast, so What’s my Rush?
Yay! I wrote something. 🙂
Yay! I’m so glad you are back. Getting the motivation to begin to write again is hard. Best of luck with your family. Sounds like your hands are full these days. (PS: My boy wears shorts too until the school told him he couldn’t anymore.)
Thank you! I hope I’m back. It’s funny how once you change your routine it’s hard to change back, even if you want to! Thanks for still reading! 🙂
Woot woot! I am so happy and excited to read your words again. Sending you all the good thoughts, sweet friend. Also, that picture up there of your little guy makes me want to add an extra layer, and I’m not even outside.
Thank you!! Good to hopefully be back. It’s funny with the shorts, I’m at the point where I’m like, Oh, it’s just 30. Of course you wouldn’t wear pants! Ha!
Really happy to see you writing 🙂 n
Sent from my iPhone
Good to see you here again!
My 24 year old still grumbles when he has to wear long pants to work … oy!
Thank you! Good to be back! I don’t think it ever changes. My husband also immediately puts on shorts when he comes home and is very comfortable in colder weather wearing them. I’m the one in two sweatshirts in the house! 🙂
I was just thinking about you yesterday! Wondering if I may have just missed something in the rush of my own life, but here you are again! Glad to see you back…;) ~Elle
You were thinking of me!! So nice to know that I wasn’t totally forgotten. Thank you! It’s a crazy life, isn’t it. 🙂
Yay!! She’s baaaaack!!! Big grin as I read the final words. Looking forward to the next one.
Glad to see a post from you in my email. It’s hard to parent and keep track of your own needs. But we need to do, if for nothing else, to show our kids how to manage it all. 😉
Thanks! I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. Not that I was ever out of baseball swinging! Ha! Can’t get away from that one. 🙂
Welcome back! Thanks for the links to your other articles. I have to “flip the laundry” but am enjoyably spending time on your writing! Be well 🙂
Thank you! And thanks also for sticking with me. I’ve been writing but have been selling the essays so I’m trying to figure out how to do both. I am mid flip too!! Always mid flip…. 😉
I enjoyed reading “the short of it” segment on Washington Post online. My 6th grader tells me that it is hot in school so no need to wear long pants or long-sleeved shirts. I’m tempted to donate all of his cold weather clothing to charity – keeping an item or two in case we really do get 90 inches of snow (or whatever the latest amount is). Thank you for writing – I will look for more! Now to get to the 90 inches of laundry to fold….
I had to literally go shopping to by my middle son pants – he had none and we had a freaking blizzard this week!! Snow thigh high! Appreciate you reading! I’m flipping right now. Which is not really coincidental since schlep flip fold is 1/2 my life. 🙂