For weeks I’d known they were coming. I knew I’d have a few days during the last week of school when I wouldn’t be working and the kids were still in school. (cupcakes and sparkles and unicorns!)
These were bonus days. I would write. But Attorney Jeff Sessions was testifying in front of Congress on the first bonus day. So it was CNN vs. writing and guess who won? I just kept watching and mindlessly eating chips and guac. So I basically lost that day. Plus, I wasn’t motivated. I had been reading a book about Lopez Lomong a Lost Boy from South Sudan who was adopted by Americans and then became a U.S. olympic runner. Um, what could a midwestern middle aged white lady possibly say that could measure up with that?
Bonus Day Two: Over breakfast all I could think about was how much Kamala Harris had been amazing in questioning Sessions. Kamala. Upon googling her name the search term that popped up right below her name was: Kamala Harris 2020. Ha. I wasn’t alone. I read that she’d been a federal prosecutor. Not surprising. She was amazing to watch. She really stuck it to Sessions with class and poise. I needed to channel that for my writing. I had to be the Kamala Harris of my day. And then there was the congressional baseball practice shooting. How could I not watch coverage of that. Who can get any writing, any thinking, done these days? So I kept CNN on but took my writing outside. Compromise, right?
Then I ate a lot of watermelon and thought a lot about how parenting is a complete land mine and how bogus and unfair it is that our kids carry on our worst traits. Every move is a bad move that will come back to haunt me later. Every move I make will detonate something it seems. Not only do my kids pick up on my anxiety, it becomes them. It’s inside them now–toxic poison. Venom I now have to extract out of them–with what? prayer maybe. And by the way some days it feels like I’m raising Emily Dickinson: internal, demure, creative, worried. I should be more nurturing and warm, more open, more gentle, more vulnerable, less stoic, less strong. Maybe less Kamala, less federal prosecutor, in that area of my life.
We put out the hummingbird feeder later that day and they came to it within minutes. It still would have smelled like us when we put it out there. So I’m still good with some of the living.