17 Dec Today…

In addition to completing some writing work for a client, today I…

…stopped by B’s school to attend her holiday pinata party, which was basically a non-specific celebration full of sugar and smiles and parents sitting on teeny tiny plastic chairs.

…Multi-tasked while the kids napped in the afternoon: more work and baking biscotti for teacher gifts. I had to make two batches, because, incidentally, I found that biscotti tastes much better when you remember to add the sugar. (further proof that when you multi-task, one task suffers)

…Once the kids woke up, it was basically an exercise in keeping them alive until bedtime. Miles is a MAD MAN. Every time I turned my back, he was climbing on something. Tables, couches, boxes. He’s a gifted climber, but he stinks at getting down safely. I took this photo with my iPhone on his 4th or 5th attempt using the end table to launch himself onto the back of the couch. (This was also after I told him for the 15th time not to chew on the Christmas lights.)

Not long after this, Bronwynn opened the gate leading downstairs and prodded Miles to the edge, cautioning “Feet first, Miles, feet first.” I grabbed his arm a split second before he would have gone tumbling down head-first. I saved his life, and I saved Bronwynn a life of devastation and shame over having killed her brother.

And then I screamed. Not at the kids. But I screamed near them. No words. Just a barbaric yawp that was so loud it made my throat hurt. I screamed because my head was about to explode and I had to let some of the pressure out, and I didn’t want to say something or do something I might regret.

If you know me, you know I am not a screamer. In the last moments of my drug-free labor with Miles, the nurses were forcing me onto the bed (I was trying to give birth in the hospital Jacuzzi, which is apparently a no-no. It’s for laboring only, they kindly informed me as Miles’ head was crowning underwater)….In THAT moment, the most I could do was yell “Baby, please come out!” Which made all the nurses laugh, because that’s the precise moment they expected me to scream at them to leave me the F*** alone.

This scream today came from a deep place. Sure, there was the immediate frustration and exhaustion of the work day and the kids being kids and testing limits the way kids do. It rained today–a blessed, beautiful desert rain that nonetheless kept us inside, stir crazy. But it was so much more. And though it startled the kids and I wouldn’t want to scream like that in front of them again, it sort of felt good. Voicing a little pain. Or maybe a lot…It felt like I screamed for all the times I should have screamed.

And, just as rain makes everything fresh and new, that primal yawp cleared the air for laughter and fun the rest of the evening. …Until B dumped her milk into the fish bowl at dinner and I declared an early bedtime. 

My throat hurts, but my heart feels lighter.

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