Hi, Hey, Hello!
Yeah there is no real reason for my radio silence yesterday other than the fact that I had no desire to write last night when I got from work and I kind of felt the same again tonight so I poached again. But hey, it’s the weekend…and also I have a playlist to compile. But back to today’s post.
‘I wanna sit under my own vine and fig tree, a moment alone in the shade’
The first thing I did when I woke up on my 30th birthday was cry. It was 5am, Josh was still asleep right next to me, Hayden too and it was a Sunday morning, meaning that Scott and Lydia were likely to sleep until at least 9. It was probably the only time I was going to get to myself.
And so I cried.
Silent tears that fell steadily down my face and dripped off my jaw onto the duvet below me. Tears that reminded me of everything I had lost since my 29th.
Weekly Thursday night phone calls checking in with Mom and Dad. The window seat in my bedroom that I did most of my work nestled in. Monthly visits to this very house where I got to eat plates of food handed to me with a smile and a look of concern. Where I was always the cool sister with the colourful hair and the tattoos and that was where it ended. I wasn’t “the worst” or “so annoying” or a “terrible excuse for a mother”. I wasn’t even close to being a mother.
I had a mother to do all that stuff. I had a mother who on this very day a year ago cooked me breakfast in bed because I was overworked and overtired trying to reach a deadline. One who had baked me a 3 layer chocolate chip and vanilla cake with salted caramel decoration and after she, and the family, had gone through the motions of singing me happy birthday had cut me almost a quarter of it and stuck it in a bowl with cookie dough ice cream. Who then manned the cutting of the cake to make sure that I still had some left over for the next day. One who never lost sight of the fact that she was just as much my mom as she was Hayden’s. One who gave love so freely and was nothing but gracious. Who I expressed outright rage at and screamed words of hatred to. Who I resented for weeks at a time because she only wanted what was best for me in the grand scheme of things. One who by the time she was my age had cultivated a life that she could look at and say she was mostly happy with. She had two kids and a dog. She had a house and her childhood sweetheart and a job she loved and friends who cared for and supported her. She had seemingly done the impossible and had her shit together by the time she kissed her 20s goodbye and entered a new decade.
Then there was my dad. Who was there. Who all my friends were jealous of because each and every one of them had been left jaded by their fathers for one reason or another. Most of them resented their fathers because they had left them, but mine was there. He talked me through maths problems that I honestly still don’t understand. He let me beat him at Scrabble for years until he realised that I could beat him without him coming at it at a half speed. He taught me how to drive and then cried when I got my licence. He took me to see many a rom com. He made sure that there was always ice cream in the freezer. He sat up with me while I wrote college applications and prepped for college interviews. He was always there when I got home from school, he never let me feel like I was an afterthought in the family, even though as it grew more and more that was all I felt like. He hugged me for a full minute when he left me in my empty college dorm. He was fearless and he never faltered but he never let me think he was invincible. And just like my mum by the time he was my age he knew what the hell he was doing and where he wanted him, and his family, to go.
And there I was sat on the bed I picked out at 15 crying my eyes out and mourning all the things that had changed since they had died. I was running on 3 hours sleep and trying to remember how to multiply fractions. Remembering soccer schedules, dance rehearsals, important school dates and assemblies. It felt like I spent more time researching how to deal with a growing baby then I did actually looking after the baby who was slowly becoming less of a baby by the day. I couldn’t remember the last time I properly washed my hair or actually made good on a girls’ night out because I’d fallen asleep when I should have been getting ready.
I couldn’t look at my life as it was and say I was happy with it. I knew I wouldn’t change it, and I knew it had flashes of brilliance that made the sleepless nights and the tantrums worth it. And I knew I lucked out with Josh who was so patient and welcoming of me and my shitstorm and Mia who had been a trooper through it all. But I couldn’t say I was happy with it. It hadn’t been what I wanted and I was still trying to grapple with that. Because I couldn’t correlate the girl who was sitting on her bed at 5:23am crying with the one I had been 365 days earlier being woken up by the smell of coffee and maple syrup on freshly made pancakes in the middle of the morning crying with laughter as Mom retold a story about Lydia in a dance class.
That girl could have said she was happy.
This girl needed the one thing she couldn’t get. A hug from her mother. So I settled for the next best thing, I swung my legs out the bed and went to Mia’s room. I crawled into her bed and snuggled into her back with an arm slung over her waist. After a few minutes her hand linked with mine and she squeezed my fingers.
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