You guys. Thank you. Thank you for all of your amazing comments on my last post, and on Facebook, and on Instagram, and pouring into my inbox, and direct messages, and even in person (!!). Thank you.
I wish I was able to respond to each of you individually, but there were so many! And I can’t begin to tell you how much that has meant to me. Knowing that there are so many others out there who feel similarly stuck in the abyss (thank you for sharing your stories) and knowing that there are so many people out there who have been through it and are calling back from the other side with love and support — well, it has been incredibly uplifting.
And, I think there’s something in the act of saying it. Of just admitting to it. Of releasing it. I am feeling so much better already.
The Sunday after I posted that “Not A Love List”, Jeremy and I had a day off together. And we had Waits. And that was the first non-holiday day off we’ve all had together in a loooooong time. Jeremy and I haven’t had a shared day off (non-holiday/non-special occasion) in over a year. But now, finally, we’ve hired someone to work on Sundays at Still, which means Jeremy and I will have a day off together. Like, every week! Like normal people!
So for this first shared Sunday, I wanted to have a family fun day. I wanted it to be lazy and fun and creative and special. And I wish I could tell you it was, but the truth is this: Waits woke up whiny. Jeremy woke up anxious, and had to go to the shop to get our new employee set up. I had promised a friend some child care, so I was juggling two cranky kiddos who each had wildly different ideas of how the morning should unfold. I waited too long to eat and I got HANGRY. Waits had a meltdown. I got frustrated and hid in the kitchen. Jeremy came home to find all this, and it just made his anxiety worse.
Super fun family day, right? Yeah, not quite what I had planned, and not what I had expected to report back to you guys in this post. I wanted it to be all whimsy and joy. But nope. I got mad. Waits cried. Jeremy stressed.
But then we had a little heart-to-heart. A real one. We sat in the car for like 20-25 minutes, hashing it out and trying to decide if the day was salvageable. Do we keep trying to have fun and risk being even more disappointed and devastated if it doesn’t work out? Or do we just call it quits, go home, and just each of us do our own things for the rest of the day?
In the end, we decided to forge onwards. Earlier in the day, we had each made these super cool newspaper boats, reinforced them with packing tape, named and decorated them – and by god, they should sail!
So we went to my favorite creek side park. We’d had a huge rain in the few days before, which meant our dry drought-stricken riverbeds finally had some real running water.
And you guys. Sailing paper boats down the creek is SO much fun.
And it was so magical for me. This is the park where my mom used to take me for picnics, when I was Waits’s age. The creek where I grew up catching frogs, and falling in love with biology. I remember this one day in high school when my friends and I decided to ditch. We came to this creek and we hid out under the old stone bridge and we folded paper boats. And we talked about life and love and all that stuff that matters so much when you’re 15 and green to the world, and I remember thinking back then “I have learned so much more about the world today, by floating paper boats down the river in the sun, than I ever would have learned by staying and sitting through geometry.”
It means a lot to me to be in this place. This place that peppers my past in so many different ways. This is the escape route we took when I was 17, and we dragged that old dry Christmas tree to the center of the schoolyard blacktop (well away from any structures, mind you) and lit that thing on fire. Christ, those flames shot up above the rooftops, we had no idea it would burn like that. And we ran out the back of the school and slipped into this very creek bed, traveling down river for almost a mile as we listened to the sirens flooding the schoolyard behind us. Such stupid things you do, when you’re 17.
Years later, when I was in my early-twenties, I fell in love with an Air Force officer who was stationed in Washington DC. And when he would come to visit me in Santa Barbara, we would always picnic at this park. And we would boulder hop up this creek, and look for critters, and take pictures, and mostly just make out to the sounds of the babbling brook and the birds and the bugs. Lost in our young love.
Life is so wild. And I mean that – wild. I think, if you’re living it right, life is untamed and unpredictable. And it should be, if you’re living it right. Because now I’m here at this same little creek, with my sweet son and my sweet Love, lost in our sweet escape for an afternoon, floating paper boats down this same little creek.
And I feel grateful. I feel so damn grateful to be living this untamed life.
So thank you. Thank you. For coming along with me, and reading along and riding along, and being a part of this community. Of letting me be untamed and unpredictable. Things are shifting and I think I’ll be able to be here more often now, and I’m really looking forward to that.