Thursday, June 9, 2011

If I told you/UPDATE - please see asterisk

If I told you that I woke up yesterday and baked off croissants for my children's breakfast and then sent the boys off to school and belatedly fed Sophie who had a huge seizure while eating and I had to hold her in a weird horizontal position, my legs dangling, painfully from the stool, shielding my face from her flailing arms and arched back and the drool dripped down my arm and I shouted STOP but it didn't stop at least not for a couple of minutes and I cried a little, like I always do, alone and said the usual god have mercy christ have mercy lord have mercy but no mercy comes and I took her to school anyway and dropped her off with the Angel Renita, and drove back home to finish the strawberry shortcake and the two dozen mini-muffins picked up at noon, and then fed lunch to Moye, my dear friend, Moye, the only bit of peace for the day, her dark eyes warm and so civilized, the comfort of a shared childhood, a bit of personal history, the thirty five years we've known one another, the salad from our garden with bread and tomatoes that summered up the June gloom --

If I told you that I opened my door next to a financial advisor debt counseling retirement planning education planning who suggested that I perhaps go into training to do such advising myself and I contemplated it for the next six hours while I baked four more dozen cupcakes, each one a different flavor with a different frosting, picked up the boys from school and the carpool boy and drove them home to catch Sophie's bus and shuffled her right into my car with Oliver and took him to a tennis lesson for one hour and walked Sophie round and round the park and then back in the car and over to Verizon where I picked up the Blackberry phone that I left there yesterday when I got my new phone and marveled, again, like yesterday at the astounding obtuseness of the service "workers" there who drew cartoons, bad ones, while they talked to me and debated the merits of Fruity Pebbles versus Cocoa Pebbles, really were these servants of the free market any better than those much-aligned government workers (my point, and I digress, being that all this bashing of the government employee is just so much politics) and then back in the car where Oliver waited with Sophie not so patiently to pick up Henry hanging out at a friend's house and it was all on the way, all so organized but dinner was not --

If I told you that I drove through the drive-in of Burger King much to the surprise of my sons, Oliver who said I haven't been here in a year, Mom, can I have a soda and a double cheeseburger and fries? And I said Yes and I picked up the food and drove around the corner and back into the parking lot and changed places with Oliver who found this as exciting as the meal so that I could sit in the back seat and feed Sophie her disgusting cheeseburger and if I told you that I always, always feel guilty when I feed my children, especially Sophie, fast food, even though I know in the scheme of things it's no big deal --

If I told you I then headed home and brought Sophie inside while the boys cleaned out the car I don't want to see a speck of garbage in there from this meal, I told them and they did it, happily stuffed with the crap and then running inside an early dark from the June gloom while I busied myself baking four more dozen cupcakes each one a different flavor with a different frosting but I'm not complaining not at all because I can do this, I can make money doing this and it's relaxing in its way but difficult so difficult especially when I'm called on by the middle school principal and I have to figure out a way to help with the arranging of the end of school community gathering in a park? in the school? at all? --

If I told you that The Husband came home from The Mistress** for a few minutes to hear Oliver's presentation on Lance, the cyclist, presented in a silly voice that drove me nutty enough to say I'm not going to sit in here and listen to this unless you do it seriously, like you'd do it in school and it didn't happen so I stormed out of the room and back into the kitchen to make another batch of cupcakes saying from gritted teeth that you're wasting my time and I just can't do it and then felt bad when Oliver went to bed so knelt by his bedside and told him how much I loved him and that tempers were short because school needed to be over and we were all getting on each other's nerves and he said you mean I don't have to go to school tomorrow? And I said yes you have to go to school tomorrow but soon it'll be done and we'll all relax and I went back to the kitchen and pulled another batch of cupcakes out of the oven --

If I told you that Sophie didn't go to sleep, her brain a scrambled mess bumbling through her room in the dark, knocking her head on the wall and standing, staring, until I put her back in the bed, over and over --

If I told you that when I pulled out the last tray of cupcakes from the oven after 11:00 pm and placed them on the rack and looked, again, at the peonies sitting on my dining room table and felt pleasure, a surge of wonder --

would you believe me?

**The Mistress is my husband's job, his business and not a real woman. I love, though, that some of you thought I was tolerant of that along with the all the other shit I put up with!


  1. No. Well yes, I have to believe you but how, Elizabeth, do you do it? How?
    Lord have mercy.
    I love you.

  2. I too love you.

    and I am torn between spending the day on my knees thanking the powers that be for the chance to try again because I don't try hard enough

    and printing this out and showing it to some very lazy people that I'm ticked off with right now who just don't get it . and who have no idea how good they have it . life is so not fair . not that it's supposed to be , but still.

    and Elizabeth? being a mother has been crazy hard for me lately, all for very different reasons, but all so much better because of your honesty.

  3. P.S. We were commenting on each other's posts at the same time again and
    P.P.S. I am so glad you buy flowers.

  4. I marvel at this sort of stuff. I even marvel at myself sometimes when people say "how do you do it". Then I feel so worn out at times that I wonder - am I just killing myself here. What we are doing is just so far removed from the norm. I can't even do the norm anymore. If I have a day to myself (extremely rare) I just don't know what to do with myself. It just feels so basic - and that's the norm. That's what my work colleagues and friends get to experience every day. I vaguely remember those days of my youth. How self focussed was I! What if we're just wearing ourselves out to quickly? I don't want to suck the life blood out of myself. Don't the statistics say that mothers of disabled children die younger. Is that true?! It would be good if life could be a bit slower and simpler. I'm sort of over this pace. I'm losing my steam.

  5. Of course I believe you. And I try to take your wisdom and apply it to my life. xo

  6. I absolutely would believe you. And I believe you because of the amazing ability you have to take the detritus of your day and create such art - the baking, the writing, the photography, the family.

    I see it is hard,but at the same time I feel such beauty in the telling of it.

  7. I would believe you, and then, I would wish (I DO wish) that I could step in now and again and take even a tiny one of the many hats you wear, and wear it for you, just for a bit. Just one hat, any hat, for a little while. But I cannot, so I am with you in spirit - more than you know. You are very dear to me.
    Thank you for your prayers. They comfort me.

  8. has been a bit since I have popped by and said glad I did!
    Hon ...I get asked all the do I do it. Run a daycare at home and afterschool program, run two online businesses and now with Jim in a single parent. I am always surprised by the question..cause it is what it take it day by day. Then....I come and read about your day hon..and I find myself asking..OMG how does she get through it all..and I am thankful I know you hon! Cause you are amazing..has anyone told you that of late..AMAZING!!
    Everytime I create a mermaid..I think of Sopie and her beautiful face!
    Hang in there Elizabeth..we are pulling for ya hon!
    Hugs, Sarah

  9. I would believe you, even though I would be in awe. And I would wish I could get through a day with half as much grace and love and grit as you.

    And I would say thank you for keeping it real, and for buying peonies and for being in touch with wonder in the midst of it all.

    And I would want to hug you, too.

  10. I'm still stuck on the part about the husband leaving his mistress long enough to stop by. Been there.

    When I sent her an email, years ago, that said "I don't know who you are, but do you know that the man you're seeing is married and has a disabled child?" She replied, "Maybe you should worry more about your son than what your husband is doing."

    Wow. That is a memory I will never forget. He's my ex now, but I gave him so many chances despite the girlfriends.

    Be gentle with yourself!!

  11. I believe you. I also wish that I could take you away for a few hours to a cool and delicious spot for a nice lunch and talk of things light and beautiful.


  12. oh, dear God!
    bless you, Elizabeth, many times over
    yes, i believe you

  13. I would believe you, and I would cry with you, as I just did, in pain and in beauty.

  14. Certainly. Did the financial advisor say, My, your house smells wonderful?

  15. Lord have mercy, lovely friend. x

  16. I would believe you then wish it weren't true. Then I would snatch with wish back because then there would not be a Henry, Oliver and Sophie. And then there would be no peonies.

  17. oh Elizabeth, this made me cry again, the part about kneeling beside Oliver, Sophie in her room and then the end with the bright peonies and cooling cupcakes and amazing, wonderful, loving, real, creative, fabulous you.

  18. Yep I would,and I am just tired reading it,as well living a bit of all of it myself, up here in Camarillo.

    Sending love and all good stuff your way my friend.

  19. I'd believe every word. Here's to calmer times.

  20. I'd believe it! Those moments are so strange and wonderful. Thinking of you xo

  21. Well, if your husband did have a mistress it would be nice if she would at least take up some of the slack - bake a few cupcakes, watch the kids, maybe earn some money for the family. Sort of like in the show Big Love (which- for a couple seasons- actually made me reconsider polygamy as a viable lifestyle).

  22. Um golly gulp! Yep, I believed every word and it sounded like a helluva day. Power to you for having gotten through it relatively intact, with much grace and with a whole lotta cupcakes (I lost track of number, flavours, and icing). x

  23. i knew all along what you meant by the mistress. I think it is so funny! It gives me pause, though, because he's a chef, and my girl wants to be a chef, and it makes me think she will have no time for herself. would you say this is true?

  24. I'm thankful that you wrote about storming out of the room and being angry with Oliver. It's nice to know I'm not the only mom who has been pushed to the very edge and then had to apologize for being so very human. I do it still.

    And the peonies, love em, miss mine.

  25. I believe it and it took me three days just to read it.

    Undoubtedly the school called you because you are a "stay at home" mom with nothing but time on your hands.

    I lost track. How many cupcakes was that.

  26. I believe you can do anything. Maybe not flying, but other than that you are pretty much wonder woman. The Mistress thing cracked me up :)

  27. Oh, I believe you. And I believe that this is not an extra-ordinary day. A regular day, right?

    I love this post and love this writing exercise and just love you for sharing it.

  28. yes. sending you love. and a hug. and prayers. glad you had those small moments of peace and wonder, even in the midst of it all...

  29. I just discovered your blog this morning through Carrie's...and yes, I believe you. It is those moments of beauty through our insanely hectic days (and evenings) that bring us fully into the present moment and open us to gratitude for the preciousness of life, despite the suffering we and our loved ones experience.

    I am so grateful to have found your begin reading your story, your families story. I will add a link to my blog...I want others to meet you.

    Thank you for sharing a single day in your life...I am inspired and encouraged.

  30. You are amazing, so amazing Elizabeth!

  31. Oh yeah sister I believe every word and the fact that you probably left quite a bit out as well because your typing hands were cramping.



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