My heart aches, but in a good way

There I was, all cozy in the bathtub this afternoon reading a book I pulled from my bookshelves, when out popped this:

Coupons my son had given me when he was how old, third grade? Fourth? I swear, I almost bawled. That same son is in his second year at Lewis & Clark College and towers over me by almost a foot. He’ll be home soon, his large feet stomping to and from the refrigerator as he consumes everything in sight. How can he eat so much and remain so skinny? (Or more importantly, how can I eat so little and still not reach my running weight?)

C is a good kid, serious and shy and kind. He’s also independent and very, very smart. He’s made the Dean’s List every semester so far (you go, C!).

It’s so bittersweet, letting your children go, watching them fumble towards adulthood. They think they know so much but really they are so clueless, so vulnerable. So determined.

Talking about determination, this is what I had to do to keep myself focused on writing:

Yep, tucking the ‘ol Netflix DVDs up out of sight so I won’t be tempted to watch any more episodes of “Ally McBeal.”

I had to tuck them waaayy up on top of the kitchen cabinets:

I don’t have a TV. The reason I don’t have a TV is because I’m supposed to be finishing a novel. Instead, I order TV series on DVDs and watch them on my laptop.

The mind is a terrible and clever thing.

The weather is also a terrible thing. High winds again today, so high I could barely walk the dog. No outdoor running, so I planned on hitting the gym after the town hall meeting. Imagine my surprise when I noticed the north part of town dark, all the streetlights off.

The wind had ripped down some of the lines and electricity was down, so the gym was out, sigh, sigh.

I told myself that I would be good. I would go home and do yoga.

I came home, ate a muffin and obsessed over why I wasn’t writing. Then I ate another muffin and obsessed some more.

Running and writing are such difficult things, aren’t they? Why then do I love them so much?

Running: Are you kidding?

Reading: I thought of that Adrienne Rich poem “Like This Together” as I fought to keep my car on the road tonight. I so love that poem. I got to meet Rich when she read at the University of Alaska a few years ago. What an honor!
Here’s the begining of Rich’s “Like This Together.” (Oh, to write such a perfect jewel of a poem!)

Wind rocks the car.
We sit parked by the river.
silence between our teeth.
Birds scatter across islands
of broken ice. Another time
I’d have said: “Canada geese,”
knowing you love them.
A year, ten years from now
I’ll remember this–
this sitting like drugged birds
in a glass case–
not why, only that we
were here like this together.

One thought on “My heart aches, but in a good way

  1. ajh

    Are you on the next season of Ally McBeal? I have it right here ready to watch. Yes, it is hard watching your children get older! Hard and wonderful at the same time.


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