Chilly morning

The morning’s cool air hits my arm, having breezed in from the open window and I tuck it under the covers, feeling a heat wave that draw my eyelids back down to their resting place. The sleeping bodies of my son and husband offer enough heat to keep me dozey for days. A little foot is hooked between my thighs and the sweet’n’sour smell of sleep waffes into my nose. I turn my head, re-open my eyes to the bright grey sky. My son’s hand is softly open on my pillow, holds no tension and I instinctively place my thumb in the palm of his hand, wondering if he’ll still squeeze it in his ripe old age of 3. He is so quiet when he sleeps. I smile at this profound revelation. He is so beautiful – looks like my grandfather, reminds me of my father, behaves like me. I don’t want to get up, I know that moving my body risks stirring him awake and then the quiet will end. After his 3 years; my daughter’s 9 years, I am tired. I am wounded and I react badly to loud sounds.

The cool air nudges me out of my nest and I breathe my last soft moments. I eye my husband lightly snoring on the other side of the bed, the cat curled around his head. When I get up I will put my socks and pants on in preparation of taking the dog out for her morning walk. I know that I will put my jacket on louder than I need to, that I will not try to stop the dog leash from hitting the wall and I will begin my day resenting that my husband is still enjoying the warmth beneath the covers. After 10 years, I am tired. I am wounded and I react badly to men lying in bed when there is a dog to walk.

Outside, the street is covered in a light frost, the bushes decorated with winter garbage. My dog lunges for squirrles. I’ve stopped reprimanding her.  I duck down the streets I am least likely to run into anybody, because I do not have the energy to discipline her anymore when she whines for the attention of other dogs she is desperate to play with. I walk through the chilly air and know my husband is getting up, risking the great threat of our son waking up to my absence and having an early morning tantrum. He must be terrified every morning. He precariously gets up, having already faced one of the biggest fears we carry, and he turns on kettle. He wakes up our daughter and he makes the tea. I bring the dog to her favourite place to do her business. He empties her lunch box from yesterday. I pick up dog poo. He makes one or two or three or four breakfasts. I stroll myself down an extra street, he makes a lunch or two. We meet in the living room before 7am and I drink my warm tea. There is little to say.

Convincing the kids that the morning is chilly, and therefore requires appropriate attire, is each and every day a shocking challenge. In the moments that I wrestle shoes on unresponsive feet I curse the chill that first woke me. When I’m hunting for the only sweater that my son wears, I curse the frost that refuses to leave our city, that forces me to lose my temper. I blame it for my lack of patience, for my quick swear words directed at my shitty kids, and I imagine a world that is warm and requires no layering of clothing.

Oddity: I am unapologetic about loving hot cars. It’s my favourite moment, on a hot summer day, to climb into a hot car and just suffocate in the heat for a few moments. I am always the last to roll down my window, ignoring the shouts and chides of my family who are pushing their faces to the down rolling window for their fresh air. I wait until I’ve sat in the dead heat just long enough and only then will I break the hot weight by letting the fresh air stream in. My love for hot cars is rivalled only by my hatred for cold ones. Like a cruel punishment, we have somehow managed to get to the kids up, fed, prepped and dressed for the day; we have managed to get them down the hallway of our building – our building filled with crazies who constantly leave signs about not running, not shouting, not toddlering in the hallways – without pissing anyone off; we have literally stopped to smell the dead flowers (dead from the persistent frost) … only to be met with a cold car.

Our daughter gets dropped off behind her school – a glimpse into her growing embarrassment of her parents. ‘Drop me off where nobody can see us together‘ her eyes hiss. Her only job when getting out of the car is to say good-bye to her adoring brother. My son keeps his eyes stuck on her from the moment she unclips her seatbelt until she disappears down the path. He waves with an exuberance that breaks my heart every morning – and he cries if he is robbed of a proper good-bye. My daughter knows this and exerts her power over him every once in a while by ‘forgetting’ to wave, by ‘smiling’ with her lips tight and her eyes rolled. When she does this, my husband and I roll down our windows and shout at her to ‘wave properly! Smile! Say good-bye to your brother!‘ It is exponentially more embarrassing for her but I am committed to making her life miserable each and every time she tries to shirk her morning responsibility.

Our son gets dropped off at daycare – and it can really go either way with him. Sometimes he runs into the arms of the workers and sometimes he clings to our legs in not-so-silent protest. The exit is swift and sometimes gut wrenching.

Childless, my husband and I often drift glazed-eyed over to the coffee shop down the street. We order our resuscitating coffees and dreamily listen to the banter of the staff behind the counter. We remember the days that we had the energy to worry about social graces, exams or something else more promising than financial woes, pre-teen development and tantrums. Their life seems so meadow. Ours feels so back laneway. No Entry. Private. No Trespassers. Coffees in hand, minds heavy, we head to work. By going to work we leave the morning behind and talk weather, make jokes, run errands and make good impressions. We know the evening is waiting for us.
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Being An Adult

Sometimes I forget that I’m older then when I last checked 10 years ago. I seem to eternally hover in my mid 20’s, and often it’s surprising to see my friends celebrate their 30-something birthday and then realize I’m next. It’s not that I don’t want to age, it’s that sometimes I feel that I’ve missed it’s happening. I look in the mirror and I look older. I come home and there are two kids waiting for me. There is evidence that I have been adulting, but the things that I thought would make me an adult while in my youthful 20’s are perpetually out of my reach. I wrote out the list, ad lib, and realized that not only do I seem unable to check off the items, but I can’t seem to make a new list, one that is probably more realistic. Here is what I’ve been banging my head against, in all it’s miserable glory:

Signs of (Unattained) Adulthood That Plague Me On a Daily Basis

  1. I need a big(ger) apartment. No. I need a house. I need a house so that I can have people over and cook dinner for them and tell them it was no trouble at all!, and then it will look like I’m doing okay.
  2. I need matching sheets and sham pillows so that my adulthood is validated, like I’m winning at this adult game. Also, those matching bedside tables. Maybe an accent wall. Definitely a dresser.
  3. I need at least one piece of leather furniture, Miriam Come on!
  4. I need to stop using cinder blocks and wood planks as shelves.
  5. Laminate flooring is for losers.
  6. Towels that are older than 5 years is a sign of life dysfunction.
  7. The filling of my pillows must match. One feathered, one foam? Jesus, when did I become such a failure?
  8. The cupboards are disorganized. Tea and medication on the same shelf? Spices and a cheese grater? Canned food and a cat brush? This is an all time low.
  9. I need to start planning for a successful life right now. Why didn’t I start right now 10 years ago?
  10. Google has the answers. “What should I be when I grow up?” There are a surprising number of hits. “Changing careers”. Too broad. My husband tells me I’m too vague when I Google. “Best careers for Miriam”. I end up taking an aptitude test that has 71 questions of multiple choice and then I have to pay twenty dollars to get the results. Hang your head and go back to scrolling through everybody else’s PPL (projected perfect life).

I try to conjure up my blessings, a quick substitute for a new list of what it actually means to be an adult. I mean, if there’s one thing Western Society is great at reminding me, it’s to Be Grateful asshole – accompanied by photoshopped images of somebody’s zen travels and tanned skin hiding under GAP Body underwear. It’s hard to fail daily at the one piece of advice constantly thrown at me over newsfeeds, petition emails and viral ad compaigns. But I keep trying. So I made a list. I’m good at lists.

A List of Things To Be Grateful For You Ingrate

  1. Keep it Simple: You have a roof over your head. You eat fresh food everyday. You take hot showers, and cold showers, depending on your mood. You have family, you haven’t experienced deep trauma and you aren’t isolated or alone physically or emotionally. Simple. Stupid.
  2. Your son thinks you know everything. Proof: “Mommy, how come you know everything?” (I will shamelessly nourish this delusion for numerous years)
  3. You have 2 beautiful healthy children, and a handsome, hilarious husband. (Screw white picket fences, you tell yourself while staring at real estate listings and comparing the impossible with your bank statement)
  4. Your husband makes you laugh to the point of tears running down your cheeks or legs at your expense, his expense, your kids’ expense, and neutral life observations. He knows you so well it’s scary. Honey, please remember to read the labels when buying things; I always know you’re wrong when you say your 99% sure about something; No matter how amazing your life is, I know you’ll only post about how imperfect it is. Too true honey, too true.
  5. You have wild, beautiful friends all over the country. Some are artists, some are new mothers, most are more successful than you. All of them are unapologetically authentic, which is really your only criteria for friendship, and one of the hardest things to find. All your friends seem to really like you, which gives you tremendous strength while you forge ahead on this adult path.
  6. How many more of these do I need?
  7. You have a job that is in the arts – and as a graduate of one of Canada’s top theatre schools (out of…5?) this is huge. As a trained actor who has made people laugh and cry (remember when I made you cry Jessica?) because of your insane talent on the stage (your words KShaw, not mine – also she never said that but she was thinking it) it is a miracle that you are working in the arts. You’re not the artist, but you’re part of that world. Yes, you are doing more admin work, more IT support, more stamping and mailing, more supply ordering, but still. You get to say you’re working in the  –  Never mind, can I move this up to my first list?
  8. You still need to listen to music loudly, alone, dancing, singing to ground yourself. You still have fun moving your body in different ways to music and are slightly convinced it keeps you young. In spirit. Nothing is stopping the physical decay.
  9. No major health issues – you know how quickly life can turn around when you suffer from light illnesses. Kids continue to need you, money still needs to be made – there is no amount of gratefulness that can sufficiently amount to how grateful you are for this. Should probably be #1 on the list you numbskull.
  10. Despite a visceral aversion to parenting, you do have some excellent mothering qualities. Mostly just being present and honest. Your kids won’t have memories of veggies cut into little shapes in their lunches or super organized birthday parties (See blog post titled ‘Let Me Invite You to (Judge) My Birthday Party!’) but your kids are emotionally intelligent because of your emotional demand, will ask you tough questions and have a sturdy self esteem. Take that adulating!
Ultimately, I have the unnerving feeling that I might be wrestling with these lists forever. Maybe there is no ‘ah ha!’ moment when an adult finally becomes an adult. Maybe adulting is just multiple lists of what you are failing at, and what you have to be grateful for. In my true youth, I wouldn’t have thought to make these lists. My youth was a blissful ignorance of lists. I can’t imagine the other lists waiting for me around the corner…I should stop now, or I’ll start making a list of possible lists that I’ll be making in the next 10 years.
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DAY ? A lesson in Tomorrow.

N :Mommy, is this tomowow?

M: Hmm, no, this is today.

N: But we go to bed a say ‘See you tomowow.” So it’s tomowow.

M: Right, but that’s because when we wake up, it’s not tomorrow anymore. It’s Today.

N: So there’s no Tomowow?

M: No. Tomorrow is always the day after Today.

N: Do I go to Daycare today?

M: No, you’ll go to Daycare tomorrow.

N: Oh. And when we wake up it will be tomowow?

M: Yes, but we’ll call it Today when we wake up.

N: So we go to Daycare today?

M: No. Tomorrow.

N: What?! Why?!

M: Because it won’t be tomorrow anymore. It changes to Today. The Day. The Day we are in.

N: It changes?

M: Yes, the words change.

N: I want to make a dinosaur.

M: Okay. So is this today or tomorrow?

N: Today.

M: And when is tomorrow?

N: I don’t know.

M: Hmm. I guess that’s true.

N: It’s true? You don’t know when tomorrow is eefer?

M: I guess I never know.

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DAY 11

I wrote this yesterday, on Day 11, when I was feeling particularly fond of my children. Currently I am sitting with my back against the door of the bedroom and the toddler is yelling out in the hallway because he wants the computer. I have barricaded the door with my body, and feel especially proud of myself for not swearing yet today.

An entry on Love

I spend a lot of time griping. To be honest, it’s my comfort zone, and I’m largely irreverent. I don’t hold much outwardly dear, which can be judged as lacking sentiment, or perhaps lacking respect for the sacredness of parenthood, but you would be a judgmental tool if you continued to think that after getting to know me. My inability to view the world with a sense of awe is part of my intelligence, and while I have been deeply moved by art, friendship, love, and parenthood, I do not function with the lightness of a butterfly wing, marvelling at the dew in the morning and watching the miracle of the sun rise. Barf. That’s simply not my style.

My sense of the world, my sense of humour, and sense of self is dipped in vinegar and if you are lucky enough to see me be moved, you will know I am capable of awe. If you are not so lucky, I am just kind of funny, kind of insightful and mostly sarcastic.

So that’s my preface to why my writing might not be very gushy, or very generous about my feelings towards to my immediate family. But something interesting has happened over the last 11 days.

I have found myself quietly surprised at how wonderful my kids are. Yes, there are loud moments, some naps on the counter, maybe even some sleepless nights, but overall, my children have been kind, cooperative and positive about this experience.

My daughter is, simply put, phenomenal. She is wise beyond her years, spunky and independent. Yes, her sense of humour is developing which creates some very awkward story telling, joke telling, and other forms of telling, but her understanding of humour is quirky and solid. She is sensitive, inclusive and knows when another kid is being a shit. There are so many shitty kids on the playground, and I marvel at her ability to put words to the actions of others and to her own reactions. Nothing makes her more mad than when somebody says a girl can’t do something a boy can, and she is equally satisfied and disinterested in school to assure me that she has her head on straight. Over the past 11 days my daughter has stepped in when I sound exasperated, and she has gone to bed 15 minutes earlier than her regular bedtime without complaint when I need to be alone. In return she has asked for a non-negotiable schedule of sleeping in my bed every other night, a jean jacket, and to make tea for me on the weekends without any help. I’m not sure I will come across a better deal than this one. Ever.

My son is, in the best of sense of the word, an imp. He is cheeky and intelligent, mischievious and kind, sweet and strong. He wrestles till he takes you down, begs to be tickled and is thirsty for new things. He is handsome, built like a tank, expressive and snores. He is so young, there are no stories yet to tell about how he functions socially, he just wants to play with his buddies and to build guns with LEGO. But he has a sensitivity that I will cultivate, an awareness about others that is remarkable for his age. He has feelings that get hurt, and he understands when his actions have hurt others. His sister is his most important compass, and I thank my luck every day that he is able to learn from her.

I consistently feel conflicted about my role as mother. Sometimes I feel like I do really well at it, and sometimes I think there is nobody less suited to the job than me. But if the last 11 days are any indication of being on the right track, I will take it, and try to remember that when I want nothing more than to plunk my kids on a bus and watch it drive off into the sunset.

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DAY 9 and 10

DAY 9

International Women’s Day.

Don’t spend money. Don’t go to work. Strike. Do march. Do wear red. Do not acknowledge supportive men. Do acknowledge supportive men. Celebrate the strength of women, but also remember to include those that need support. Be strong, be loud. Post, share stories. Be sexy, but not too sexy. Be be be be be FUUUCK YOU.

Day 10.

Sometimes I’m Bombaloo is a children’s book about a little girl named Katie Honors who is a great kid, but sometimes her little brother pisses her off and she throws shit and punches things and becomes ‘Bombaloo’. She doesn’t care much for what is good behaviour when she’s Bombaloo, but after she has calmed down, her mother hugs her and helps clean up the mess Bomboloo made, and then she can play with her brother again.
It’s a great book. It helps me remember that kids are not really themselves when they lose their cool, and that everybody needs help cleaning up the mess they made after Bombaloo has come to visit. Even adults. Especially me.
A time out is a great thing, and it comes in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Here are a few of my favourites:
1) A  bath. Or two or three, depending on how severe the need. I often need to be immersed in water to cope with the outside world. Bubbles are just for show, I don’t think they do anything but cause one to slip. A book is good, but a beer is better.
2) Some stretches. It can be hard to find the calm to stop and sit and try to touch your toes. It be hard to stop, and it can be infuriating to try to touch your toes. What a way to make things worse, when and you can’t even touch your fucking toes. It’s a real testament to the deep level of failure when your body is stuck in a hunched or hanging position and you can’t breathe. Often I feel worse about myself as I change positions, moving from the impossible goal of toe touching to the even worse challenge of sitting straight while keeping my hip flexes loose. Call me crazy, but that position makes me want to throw up and I’m literally just sitting there. True to it’s shape, I sit like an L and think of Lame, Lack, Loathing, Loser. It’s a real doozie on the self esteem, that position. And how is this a time out? Oh, because I spend so much thinking about my own worthlessness, that I forget  whatever created the need for a time out in the first place.
3) TV and chips. Speaks for itself. Turn on the tube and turn off the world.
4) Social stimulation. Obviously when the going gets tough and all you’ve been asked all week is for bowls of yogurt, it’s imperative to reach out and beg for friends to provide company. Be bold, swallow your pride and ask to be invited over.
5) Read. From the latest FB status to the Huffington Post, to a glorious novel about dysfunctional marriage, it’s all good.
6) Colour. I’m not trying to make you feel bad, but my colouring skills are epic, and while I have yet to figure out how I can make my fortune with this talent, it’s enough to have my colouring books and special markers to clear my mind.
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The Chronicles: DAY 8

Passing the time so I don’t give my kids the stink eye every time they ask for something means I have to pay attention to the little things. Not always the nuances of how precious they are, but also the nuances that life presents to me and that make me feel equally crazy and sane. I’ve compiled short a list of things that are holding my attention and pass the time efficiently.

  1. Avoid phone calls from the City of Ottawa. The only business they have with me is an overdue children’s book. Their persistence is unsettling, considering the cause.  They leave voice messages, telling me I am accumulating fines and to please drop off the book at the nearest branch. Automated librarians are intimidating AF and I am not going to be the one to tell them my dog shredded the book long ago. That’s what husbands are for. About 30 minutes.
  2. Do laundry in the bathtub. I put myself in the mindset of the early pioneers and imagine the energy it took for women to scrub the family’s garments clean against a washboard. I run the water hot, dump in the detergent and EMPATHIZE. Whilst I do this, think of all the places the laundry card is hiding. Washing: 30 minutes Rinsing: 30 minutes Drying: The rest of the week.
  3. Pluck out leg hair with tweezers. Good for about 1 hour.
  4. Find cheesy work-out videos on YouTube and just do them. You might have to snap at the kids with a crisp ‘Don’t look at me!’ 30 minutes.
  5. Experiment with how far I’ll let the kids get away with just to avoid conflict. So far the boundaries being pushed have included but are not limited to a) not brushing teeth for 5 days b) not changing socks until they smell like Doritos c) letting them drink milk out of measuring spoons, shot glasses, ladles, tupperware, fuck it, the carton d) eating tic tacs for second breakfast e) ‘convincing’ me it’s pyjama day on a TUESDAY, and going to school looking like a person yet to be medicated for mental instability. Spread out over the week, about 1 hour.
  6. …and my most favourite pastime – lying unconscious for 6-8 hoursScreen Shot 2017-03-07 at 10.51.09 PM

 

The Chronicles: Day 3 – 7

DAY 3.

Slightly less patience today. Panicked that it’s all downhill from here. Gotta stay on top of things. Left the dishes overnight. Fail. Did them first thing this morning. Win. Boy didn’t want to wear pants, distracting him with LEGO was helpful. Daughter complained about carrying skates, didn’t make fun of her. I’ve come a long way.

A)  Either I’m getting better at making smoothies, or my kids are simply out of options and have to like mine the best.

B)  The boy ate 3 helpings of dinner. My dinner.

DAY 4. The Cup of Tea that Changed the World

Another night of musical beds. The traffic level in our little apartment in the middle of the night resembles rush hour.

The kid comes to my bed too early, I walk him back; I fall asleep in his bed, wake up and go back to my bed; He wakes up and comes back to my bed; I send the other kid who was already asleep in my bed back to her bed so that the two of them are together and I go back to my room; One of them sneaks back into my bed before the sun is up.

I can’t sleep with my son. I love his little body and I stare at his face while he sleeps. I touch him on the belly and smooth away his hair. I smell his skin and curl up to him. I love him so much. But the dude snores, and I am such a light sleeper that we are incompatible co-sleepers. I’ve learned that my sleep is precious, that without it I am a raging cussaholic, and it’s not good for anyone. Without my husband to be another warm body for him to wake up to, this will have to be the month that I break the cycle of him crawling into bed with me. I need my sleep.

Last night the traffic was bad. I didn’t sleep from 2am until about 5:34 and when I drifted off, so tired that I could finally block out his sounds, there he was at 5:55 telling me he has to pee.

Then go pee, I’ll be right here.’

‘No, I need to pee with you.’

‘Okay head to the bathroom and I’ll be right there.’

‘No, I need to pee with yoooouu.’

‘Oh for Fucks Sake!’ is my mature, delicate reply, and I know my daughter will begin her day with her mother’s cussing ringing through her ears.

It’s at 6:23am, that I hear the distinct sound of the kettle being filled and the click of the ON button. Could it be?

My daughter is attempting to make her first cup of tea after waking up to her mother’s poetic expression of exasperation, and brings my nauseas fatigue to its knees. I strain my ears as I hear her climb up on the counter and look for my morning mug. I hear the bang on the cupboards as she jumps down. She slides into my bedroom doorway and asks ‘How do you like it?’ I want to tell her that she could do whatever the hell she wants to it. Too much milk, not steeped enough, no sugar, lukewarm – anything, and it would still be amazing. Her gesture has woken me up and made me feel rejuvenated.

But I answer ‘Milk and sugar please’ – because it’s still my morning cup of tea for crying out loud.

A) The Tea

B) The Tea

DAY 5 and 6 – The Weekend

Lord help me.

It was bloody cold this weekend so I forced my kids to stay indoors and watch TV. A sleepover, a playdate, some adult time for mom on Saturday night and that was all I could muster. My painted rock looks like crap. A grocery shop on Sunday proves I am still keeping it together. Started to feel a little antsy, a little bored, a little deprived for adult conversation. An early night.

A) Dumped a mug of water on my cat at 5am to shut him up. Asshole.

B) Slept in until 7:30am. Score.

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The Chronicles: Day 2

2.i) Find a hobby. Ever since I’ve been a single parent, I’ve had this burning desire to paint. Doesn’t matter what. I sit in our living room and eyeball all the different things I could decorate with acrylic. Furniture, walls, magnets, that cow horn I still haven’t turned into a vase, etc. I made a joke before my husband left about him coming home to a totally different apartment, and I’m afraid I may have been using comedy as a gentle way to prepare him for the truth.

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2.ii) Find a second hobby. I already know that my first hobby might be destructive or at best an eye sore, so its probably a good idea to have another way to pass time in my back pocket. However, all I can think about is painting objects found in our living space, so I’m fucked.

2.iii) Set boundaries. I’m pretty bad at setting boundaries, but I’ve found that practicing with children is a great way to find what works, since children are smaller and less experienced. I can try out new tactics on them and see what works. ‘I need 10 minutes without being asked anything’ is great, but it’s never going to happen when we all collapse through the door after a long day and everyone is hungry. I find a choice sharp tone usually sends one kid in one direction, and a bribe sends the other in the opposite. Real world skills.

2.iv) Go back on promises only if it’s in my best interest. I started the month agreeing with my daughter that she could sleep in my bed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday ONLY. I thought it would be a good way to bond, and a good way for me to keep warm without my hot water bottle husband around, but I mean really – give me my space. Yesterday was the first night I slept alone and I decidedly hate it. I was cold all night, and I disappeared on the mattress. While my daughter lacks the same heat omitting skills that my husband has mastered and generously shares with me, she will get the job done just fine. Any day of the week.

A) Found the spiderman mask after months of being MIA.

B) Didn’t yell over spilt milk.

Day 2: mic drop.

The Chronicles: DAY 1

1.i) Do not compromise on cleanliness. Pick up, wipe down, wash, dry, fold and hang immediately so as to avoid feeling like things are falling apart. If the apartment is sticky, messy and smells bad – people will worry. Personal hygiene also applies.

1.ii) Stop whatever you are doing – driving, showering, performing open heart surgery – to take off the Power Ranger suit that is now unbearably uncomfortable for the toddler. By-pass all your parental discipline morals and just end the screaming. Hear the tsk tsk of others at your jellyfish spine and be thankful you know how to give in when necessary. You’re a winner.

1.iii) Carefully explain to your daycare provider that the bungie cord around your son’s chest was put there voluntarily and that the term ‘Hooker’ was conjured up by him, because of his observant nature and the fact that there are hooks on either end. Comment briefly that it was part of a Power Ranger suit and leave the establishment confidently, but quickly.

1.iv) Heed your husband’s advice and ensure the right element is on when you make dinner (it might take 3, or 4 checks). Use your newly learned skills to make a smoothie for the kids, and promise to play Horsie from the living room to the bathroom to get the toddler in the bath. Brace yourself for sore knees.

Day 1 was a complete success.

A) Enjoying the euphoric facade of Day 1, convincing myself that every day will be just like this one. Also, in bed at 9:30.

B) Grateful that my daughter is old enough and wise enough to sense my tension and knows how to diffuse any situation. I’m going to owe her big time after this…screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-7-01-00-pm

Chronicles of a Single Parent

INTRODUCTION

Successes, mistakes, regrets and lessons are the themes of this chronicle. It will be a month long project, aimed at keeping me creative and armed with a sense of humour. It’s not a long time, I recognize that and I’m excited for the challenge, I’m excited for the change. As my mother texted, ‘A change is almost as good as a rest’.

My goal will be to write every day, an odd thing to fool myself into thinking I will have time for. I will be transparent, ruthless and will record 2 things each day that were awesome. I am hesitant to make it more than 2 – anything more than that seems wildly unrealistic.

To set the stage, I dim the lights, draw the stage curtain and invite you into a minimalist scene, where 4 people stand centre stage. A family. Tired, but well fed. A slideshow of images, cataloguing the last few months plays behind them. The typical: family tensions, relationship woes, toddler power struggles. The unusual: a couple of car accidents, depleted bank accounts, a job laid off. The slideshow ends with an audio text of a young man asking the man of the house to leave for a month and help him with his new business. Lots of work. Good money. The man walks off stage, waving and downloading new apps on his phone to make video chats easier. The woman of the house and her two kids stand in the spot light. Their faces grow in tension and the light fades just as all three are about to wail into the darkness….screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-5-20-47-pm