I won’t say, “Just as I think I have the hang of it…” because I know I don’t. The closest I get to having the hang of it is having the wherewithal to keep my knees loose so that I can sprint, duck, twist or hurl myself in whatever direction the next moment demands. So, no, I don’t have the hang of it. I did for just a moment think I understood me.

I thought I knew what I held dear and what I didn’t monitor, whether it was nuisances, hurdles or possessions. I do know what I hold dear and I do know what I ought to not give a flying fig about, but there’s a catch. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding since December of 2003.

December. 2003. Count backwards with me…never mind. Let’s just agree it’s a long time. I’ve gone from 30 to almost 37. I’ve gone from newlywed to “Hi, we own a business and have three kids 5 and under and oh yeah, or house has been on the market for 5 months.” And that’s not even it.

It is something that makes me blush. It is actually something I have never understood but mother of pearl with three kids, a husband and staring down the barrel of 40 I should know.


My period*. Or, more embarrassing yet, PMS.

Damn, that was hard.

I remember being pregnant and having these coliseum worthy meltdowns over things like water platters from the iron dimpling a shirt and meat being the wrong side of char broiled. Sean would softly murmur, “Babe, this isn’t you, it’s the hormones.” I would seethe, the suggestion that my outbursts weren’t 100% rationale and within my control infuriated me. There would be much crying followed by snorty laughter as I’d say, “Whew, that really was the hormones, huh?” Sean, wise beyond his years said nothing.

Fast-forward all these years (and tantrums- mine, not the kids) and I realize that my monthly (duh!) inability to cope with certain things is simply a by product of a very predictable thing. Despite being a “grown up” and managing amazing things, without a little plastic disk and easily marked days of the week and month, I can’t track my cycle.

I still have a sheepish blush about the whole thing, but in the same way I am trying to stay ready for the kids, the house and my marriage, I need to stay ready for me. The good one and the bad one.

I’m thinking I’ll use a calendar and when the danger zone is approaching I’ll color a circle on my hand and on the other side I’ll write, “Breathe, this’ll all be over in about 72 hours.”

* I promise that I will never, ever write about that again.