After Briar was born I rigged both visors and the rear view mirror so that I could see her. Three different angles, if I could have figured out a fourth I would have done it. When Avery came along, and then Fin, there was even more to watch. The other day, I was driving and as I looked in the rear view mirror I saw something different. There were no little girls in the back seat, no husband sitting next to me. I smiled at my reflection, not out of relief to be alone, rather it was just having the freedom to simply examine my crow’s feet.
Everyday I look in that mirror, checking on little faces, watching their long curls get caught in the wind, shades of blonde and brown whipping around dancing blue eyes or making faces of my own, calling to them to look at my face in the mirror.
My face in the mirror. I rarely see it, or maybe it’s truer to say, rarely do I stop to look. Nothing is stopping me, I look through it every day, and yet it isn’t for me. And therein lies my confession.
I don’t do for myself, or I do less. Sean and I have talked about this many times, his worries about what I make myself do without. Despite his intentions being completely fueled by having my best interests at heart, I have always bristled. I cut the conversations short and tersely assert that, “I’m fine” and “I’ll take care of it.” Of course I never did.
I’m not sure why, but the other night I turned to Sean and said:
“You know what? I won’t buy razors. I just won’t buy them for myself, too expensive.”
The look he gave me was a mixture of shock and “I told you so.”
“It’s like I think that as the grocery bill stacks up, adding that much just for me is too much. But you know what? I want razors. I’m going to start buying them.” He was smiling at me as I gained momentum, “I’m also going to get back to writing, really writing. Not for work, not for the blogs. I’m going to write my book.” I said it all in one breath, as if I’d been somehow blocked, unable to speak aloud. I rushed because on some level I feared I’d lose my nerve, talk myself out of it.
“Where is this coming from?” he asked, voice soft and slow, fearful of breaking my revelatory spell.
“I don’t know, but it feels true. I’m going to work at this.”We smiled at each other.
So, here’s a first step, a list of things that I wouldn’t allow my daughters to do:
I won’t buy things for myself that cost more than $5 at the store.
I won’t take the last one – cookie, pop, gum, chair, anything.
I cannot end phone calls or simply let the phone ring, even if I am elbow deep in something.
I never finish getting ready if someone needs something.
I rarely just sit, must fold, research, clean or something.
I don’t nap (see the previous confession).
That’s enough for today. I think I’ll go have the last cup of coffee.
How about you? What don’t you do? Or what are you trying to start doing?