ends & oddfamily & parenting

Second chances

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It’s been windy every day since I moved into this little lavender house. The tiny tree in the backyard bangs on my bedroom wall all day with its one stretchy awkward branch. It is clearly reaching out and growing crooked to drive me nuts. The old house is gone, sold, and I didn’t think to pack tree-trimming tools.

No cable and no wifi has left me a lot of time with my thoughts. This must be what life was like in the old timey days. I should be reading or painting the walls or writing a frigging book, or at the very least unpacking. But, I can’t seem to wrap my mind around anything for more than a moment. Everyone wants to know how the new house is and I say it’s great. And I say I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine. And I’m not fine. And, of course, I am essentially, because I actually believe that I will be eventually. But, for now, I cry a lot.

Maybe that’s the right way to do it anyway, shake through the ugly. I have great friends and they come by and drink beer with me and move my bookcase (twice-thanks) and so I don’t cry when they’re here. I have better manners than that. The truth, however, is that everything is precisely how I thought it would never be. When I was a girl growing up exactly two blocks over the wrong side of the tracks I thought my Mom had it all wrong, this life. I thought I’d get it right and I’d show her. I’d never let myself get bogged down by some job I hated. I’d never marry a man that would cheat and lie and run off. I’d never be a single parent struggling. Well, at least I lived a fairly crazy-fun haphazard life for a decade or so before I copied her every move.

And so, here I am, in the new house, fresh start. Trying not to be miserable over having to replan my entire life (I mean, you make all those plans, you know?). Trying to be a solid mom, a happy mom (he deserves a happy mom). Trying not to fall in love with the exactly wrong right guy, or trying to allow myself to fall in love with the exactly right wrong guy (only time will tell which it is). Giving up sleeping with guys I am not in love with for the comfort of closeness. Trying not to talk to my other single mom girlfriends about it at all. Because I know that we all know what no one really talks about. That when you have that family thing, bond or dynamic or whatever — even if the core of it was rotten — you miss it achingly. Not all the time, but in moments that remind you of what it felt like to have that sense of purpose you feel as a wife/mother. In fleeting moments that cut and sting but are small enough that you can hide them just fine. Just fine, thanks. And truthfully I know I will be. So don’t give me a hard time about all this crying.

Van only writes when things get crazy, she is inconsistent at best. Don't get hooked. She is otherwise busy being a mom, wife, professional tidying maven (yes, that's a thing for which people will pay money), and working at killing the cancer.

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2 Responses to “Second chances”

  1. I love your writing. It carries me… it is like watching cream being introduced into black coffee that has been stirred and allowed to slow before the white swirls into the blend. It calls out for a hug but then not. This made me feel sad and hopeful at once. It speaks to not just women but guys too who had the vision and the ethic and the love and were swept up in their partners’ growth away from ethic and noble trust. I can’t say that I have ever had a small tree punish me in the breeze but I so get it.

    Thanks Van


  2. Beautiful piece of writing.

    You will be fine, fine, just fine.

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