Noticing.Fourteen

Of SCUBA brain, baking experiments, and tickling.

  1. Cast removal day.
  2. More miscommunication. I lay down my resistance. I don’t need to be right or in control.
  3. I could probably qualify for a SCUBA license based solely on the amount of pressure in my skull.
  4. Substituting coffee for vanilla darkens the brown sugar and adds warmth, depth.
  5. Bath.
  6. Waves of urgency roll in and out throughout the day like a tide. Swells of confidence, troughs of worry, riptides of fear, currents of peace.
  7. She’s the only human I know who genuinely enjoys being tickled.
  8. Frozen blueberries didn’t work the way I wanted. But they’re juicy and delicious anyway.
  9. I can’t shake the feeling that I chose the wrong values. How did “creativity” or “authenticity” not end up on my list?
  10. “My Father is always working, and so am I.”

Noticing.Thirteen

Of pee breaks, clenched jaws, meal planning, and core values.

  1. EVERYONE SLEPT FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT WITHOUT WAKING UP ONCE PRAISE THE LORD.
  2. Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.
  3. Someone shouting that they need to pee in the middle of gridlock traffic three minutes after we pull away from the gas station. Now I know how Mom felt on road trips with us.
  4. I can barely look at these exhibits. My skin crawls, my head swims.
  5. The hardest thing about parenting isn’t sleep loss or barf. It’s sticking to my guns when I’d rather pretend I didn’t see/hear the consequence-reaping thing I just saw/heard.
  6. We each thought the other didn’t want to be friends anymore. But we’re not dead yet. There’s still time.
  7. Trying to compose a meal plan on a tight budget for one endurance athlete in training, one mostly-sedentary writer, and one toddler feels like the kind of thing they should’ve taught us in home ec. Maybe algebra.
  8. The headache and squinting tells me I’m clenching my jaw subconsciously all day again. Where am I secreting away stress beneath the waves of peace?
  9. Connection. Joy. Truth.
  10. Do not despise these small beginnings.

Noticing.Twelve

Of babysleep angst, dilated pupils as a metaphor, house smells, and Jennifer Garner’s baking.

  1. Up for an hour in the dead of night, comforting, tucking in, kissing on the forehead, snuggling. Again. It’s been every night for a week (two?). I’m giving her grace because of the casts and the bronchitis, but I’m worried about enabling bad habits, about how I might be causing her unsettledness with my own.
  2. There he is. Right where he should be. Maybe where he always was. But now I can see him, feel his weight in the fabric of the air–a tangible presence of his own.
  3. Fuck cancer.
  4. It’s similar to speaking another language before I’m fluent. I don’t know the words to explain what’s happening to me. She’s incredulous; I’m frustrated. But there’s a referral at the end, so something clicked.
  5. Dilated pupils as a metaphor. Opening up too far, perceiving too much at once, can hurt you.
  6. Lists of lists.
  7. I’m so cold my phone doesn’t register my touch. Time to go.
  8. The soul-exciting mustiness of summer clothes brought out of storage, the particular scent of a house that’s hibernated too long coming to life as spring warms the bricks outside.
  9. Jennifer Garner’s adorable baking gives me far more joy than it probably should.
  10. The tyranny of the blank Excel workbook.

Noticing.Eleven

  1. No, body. You’re not in charge.
  2. Every step of the day is begrudging. I coax myself through school, chores, dinner, work, my spirit tugging my soul along behind it. Just a little further.
  3. How easily I surrendered the peace I ran to receive.
  4. But when they ask how it’s going, I tell them the truth with a smile. A real one. One that doesn’t match the words I’m saying but surely comes from somewhere.
  5. I add a second curtain rod, cover her window, and pray.
  6. Her sensors pick up everything I feel. I spend a large portion of my day getting on my knees, down on her level, to hold her and help her say how she feels. Neither of us is really sure.
  7. The fear in his voice presses exactly the right(wrong) spot in my heart. I want to rush to his side, but the bitter truth is that I wouldn’t know what to do when I got there.
  8. Tomorrow is a day off–which means work. There’s so much I need to do, so much I could do, in that 7 hours, but I don’t know where to start.
  9. Ideas.
  10. Oh, heating pad. You understand.

Noticing.Ten

  1. She’s up at 6:30. I think it’s time to cover her bedroom window.
  2. “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” — AndrĂ© Gide
  3. I’m always the youngest person in the waiting room. I wonder what they think of me.
  4. Starting to think I have a mild flu. That would explain three days of headache and exhaustion on top of my everyday low grade cold.
  5. Sucker-punched in the middle of the book so hard tears spring into my eyes.
  6. “What unifies all of your work is the fact that you made it.” — Austin Kleon
  7. Another patient at the nurses’ station asks about a nearby painting. The nurse says it’s by The Group of Seven but doesn’t know which one. It takes me ten seconds on Google to find out it’s “Northern River” by Tom Thomson. I know nothing about the man but she’s so happy to know. We talk about the artist, how sad it is that the documentary focuses so much on his untimely and questionable death rather than his art. We smile and go back to our separate lives.
  8. Why did I leave my lunch in the car?
  9. The last class.
  10. I didn’t forget. But just barely.