The Feelers

Shout out to the feelers.

Those of us who wear our happiness like a sequin, rainbow coat and our sadness like a 50-pound backpack.

We who become attached to just about everyone who passes through our lives, and get hurt again and again because we trust and we love. Who reap the rewards of letting people in. Who can’t ever completely let go.

Shout out to those of us who cry easily at movies because we connect to the characters and feel what they feel. Who really see the beauty in the sunsets. Who stop and smell the roses, and occasionally get pricked by the thorns.

We are the ones who can’t forget about it. Can’t bury our feelings in an ice cream sundae.

We have to dance. Sing. Paint. Write. Dance. Build. Laugh. Cry. Yell.

Sometimes our temper gets the best of us. We. Can’t. Hide. Anything. We are not subtle.

Love flows out of our every pore and sometimes our eyeballs. We need to hug. To love. To push people away and bring them back in.

We are the feelers.

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Morning Drives

*On the drive to daycare and work this morning*

3-year-old Josie: “Mama, when you’re done with your coffee can you hold my hand?”

Me: “Sure, baby. Why do you like to hold my hand so much in the car?”

Josie: “It’s just my thing.”

โ™ฅ๏ธ…………..๐Ÿ“ท by Josie

Monday

The special occasion for this new Calvin Klein dress I got at a steal and my late grandma’s pearls is Monday.

Because I just turned 37, and I don’t know how that happened, and I’m never again waiting to live life.

I’m not waiting for a fitter body or the weekend or a fancy dinner or a babysitter. All those things are nice, but so is Monday. ๐Ÿ“ฟ

Portrait Of A Mom Who’s Over It

This portrait called “Giddy Child With Dirty Brush” captures the horror on a mother’s face as she realizes her preschooler is brushing her hair with the filthy dust pan brush.

The mother was trying to eat her Taco Bell nachos in peace, when she felt her hair being brushed. She let the brushing continue, even though she was slightly annoyed, because at least her daughter wasn’t screeching or hitting, ya know?

The realization that the brush is in fact a dust brush and not a hairbrush brings a dark, unexpected and real feel to the work.

By Mom Who’s Over It (2019)

Letting Go

I’ve realized that when life feels like it’s moving too fast and I’m overwhelmed, I have this tendency to try to cling to some familar place or feeling or person or song from my past.

I’ll drive to my old elementary school and really inhale the sight of the old paint handprints on the wall out back, just like I remember them.

I’ll ask the Google assistant to play those throwback early 2000s jams from college. So much more convenient than downloading the songs illegally on a desktop computer at a snail’s pace.

Sometimes I’ll pull up old photos of my kids when they were tiny and let myself really grieve the loss of their babyhood.

As my husband and I scroll our phones on separate couches in front of some Netflix show we’re half-watching once the kids are finally in bed, I’ll long for the days we would snuggle on the couch and just stare at each other.

But you know what? None of this helps. The songs sound different now. My marriage is different now. Deeper. More loving. More real. Not as endorphin-inducing.

My kids are bigger now and caked in more grime, and are so interesting and surprising.

I’m about to turn 37, and I thought I’d have more answers by now and feel less afraid. More grown up. I don’t feel 37. I feel 3 and 11 and 23 and 31.

But you know what “growing up” has made me realize? Nobody is ever really grown up. We’re all just doing the best we can. All a little scared.

Maybe the trick to handling change isn’t to cling to the past at all. Maybe we should let go. Instead of seeking answers, we can let the questions hang like snowflakes frozen in the air, make them into a snowball and go have some fun while the season lasts.

Thank You, Food

*TW for food issues*

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I don’t say it enough, so I want to say it now.

Thank you, food.

You’ve been behind me everytime I’ve needed to speak strongly but rationally, and you were with me when I needed to make good decisions away from the impulses of crashing blood sugar.

From vegetables to chocolate, you have been there to fuel my body to face another day and to give me the mood lift I needed. You make me strong, capable, and pleasantly plump.

Whenever there’s a big meeting or a tough morning of parenting ahead, I turn to you first. Speaking of parenting, thanks for taking care of my kids. They are also their best when they’ve had their fill of you. With your help, they sleep soundly at night. Their round little bellies gently rising and falling.

I’ve used you as a bribe for the kids more time than I care to admit. But thank you for helping potty train! Your M&Ms have made that one slightly less of a doozy.

You’re definitely less fun coming out the other end, and you’ve upset my tummy more than once.

You have been a source of anxiety for myself and many to varying degrees and for different reasons.

But for me, you’ve more often been a comfort and joy. A cold dish of ice cream with all the toppings to bond over. A hot, melty grilled cheese sandwich on a cold, dreary day. A potluck to celebrate the best times. For so many of the big moments, you’ve been there.

You’re intertwined in my memories, slipping in and out of them like water through a tidepool. Spooning my babies their first bite of liquified carrots and laughing at their cute little disgusted face. Feeding my husband cake on our wedding day.

You have been a show of love countless times. Leftovers at work from my husband’s home-cooked dinner. A meal train when someone close to us has suffered a loss. Hot dinners handed out at soup kitchens to those in desperate need of nutritious food to fill their bellies.

You tempt us with your life-sustaining calories, and sometimes we go overboard with diets or become unhappy with extra weight.

It’s a fragile relationship, but still we need you. I know you don’t hear it enough, so thank you, food.

All-American Trash Heap

I have this burning desire to buy my 3-year-old daughter a brand new, way overpriced American Girl doll like the ones I had as a kid.

But there are my American Girl dolls lovingly handed down to my daughter and left naked and torn up from the floor up like they’ve been through the college rager of all ragers. These are the American Girls. Shouldn’t they be off raising funds to do their part on the home front during WWII or breaking down race and gender barriers or something? Anything more than lying naked in a heap. For God sakes, girls, at least comb your hair.

Some of the dolls have marker lines all over their faces and bodies. Honestly, I’d rather them go get a tattoo at a place that’s at least reputable and sanitary.

My daughter apparently feels doll accessories are best left in a pile at the bottom of the closet while the dolls are dressed the way nature intended, huddling together for warmth. Maybe they can spark heat with a bonfire made out of all the money spent on brand new dolls and accessories. Why ๐Ÿ‘do๐Ÿ‘ I ๐Ÿ‘bother?