Bent Words

Bent Words

October 31, 2020

It’s finding the fucking needle jet in the haystack.

It’s buried beneath weeks worth of living. It’s covered by child’s play, dirty socks and all the skirts that were once folded nicely in a drawer but are now on the floor. It’s shielded from view by angry rage and virulent words. “I don’t care!” and “I hate you!” and “you’re the worst mom ever!” It is masked from sight by salty tears from all the times her sister and her friends ditched her while she was putting on her shoes to go to their house. All the pretending, all the tablet games and all the things frilly and pink have covered it from sight.

So, this morning, after completing more work that I missed from the week in which I primarily look after the Middle Child, after three more pairs of soiled undies I have cleaned in the utility sink because she’s afraid to go poop, after begging her through tears to sit the fuck down and push, after a mud slide of epic proportions for an adult and just before I found the missing Halloween costume, I nursed my son.

[He's turning my nipples into chew toys. I feel like he hates me because it feels like a million little paper cuts on top of a half hour’s soak in a bath tub of saliva but I’m not here to complain about that]

I sat down and I nursed my son to sleep and I listened to the phrases coming from every direction.

“I’ve literally searched EVERY WHERE.”

“It must not be in the house.”

“I cannot find it and you are NOT getting a new costume.”

All the while, Middle Child is spinning in the living room. Her little thumb in her little mouth, a look of angst on her face, worried she won’t have a costume to Trick or Treat in (when only twenty minutes earlier, she was telling me she could not go Trick or Treating because she was afraid to have an accident) when I declare, “I will find it.”

And I will.

I did.

I do.

Because I don’t give the fuck up. I don’t back the fuck down. I don’t throw in the towel or leave it at that. I am not great – the universe knows how true that fucking statement is – I am not impressive or important or wealthy or wise but I do not give up. I may make mistake after forlorn mistake (and I usually do) but it’s not for a lack of ambition.

I have spent ALL MORNING fixing a work problem that I could not figure out. I have cleaned seven pairs of vert messy Frozen underwear. I have not screamed or yelled or protested even when I felt like I was going to L O S E it.

Doesn’t sound like a lot and it isn’t really but I’m hoping that the neighbors aren’t paranoid about handing over candy because of COVID and I’m hoping we don’t (or do) have our whole bucket of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stolen and I really hope Middle Child doesn’t have any more accidents so that we can all go out and march in the freezing fucking cold, complaining we can’t feel our fingers in our stupid costumes so that my kiddos can grow up to remember the baller Halloween we had in 2020 despite the whole, huge mess of life happening around us.

The costumes aren’t NEARLY as cool as the homemade ones from back in my day (shout out to my mom for making me a BLT sandwich). My kids know everyone in my neighborhood so it’s not as scary as it was for me asking complete strangers for candy (which I literally did not understand because we always had a cupboard full of chocolate but did because I thought I had to). But times are super sketch-a-roo here. In this house, in this town, in this world. More questions than answers. More uncertainly than assuredness. More fucking pairs of underwear and face diapers to clean. Who would have thought?!


None of it is great and not all of it makes sense so I will cling to the tiny victories and march on and hope my kiddos see what it is I’m trying desperately to do.

I hope I’m at least good enough for them to see that.

Written at 2:39 p.m.