just now writing the previous post

anja came up w/the audiobook on iPhone

and hung out near me

asking ‘when is daddy coming home?’

i said it might be 2 and a half hours

you might be falling asleep when he returns.

‘sometimes when i wait too long for something, my head feels funny.’

i suddenly felt so sorry for being nonpresent

for sitting there typing.

she was waiting for daddy to make hot cocoa w/her

b/c mommy had said she was too brain fried to do it tonight.

i dropped what i was doing

carried her downstairs.

we made hot cocoa.

she barely drank any.

we ran out of enough sweetener to make it good.

i realized she was t i r e d.

needed to be tucked in to sleep.

carried her up. last pee. brushed her teeth.

cuddled her.

she’s out.

her eyeballs rolling back and forth beneath her eyelids.


and i cry.

i cry that i was not totally present w/her

available for her



i cry w/the sadness

the guilt

the push pull

of this standard i have inside

of being totally available to her

a lot.

and not

of course

ever meeting that.

in point of fact

we had many many ‘quality’ moments today

i spent the entire day w/her

from 8:10am when i got back from yoga

to 9:10pm when she konked out.


yes she was on iPad and iPhone a bunch.

but we went to the butterfly garden

i spent hours lying on the twin bed in her room

keeping the energy in the room

keeping her vibe on Legos

dropping in w/attention and conversation when requested.

i bathed her

brushed her teeth

dressed her

carried her

fed her

a bunch of times

prepare – set out – clean up

the seemingly endless cycle.

i wonder if one day she will see a therapist

and cry that her mother was a narcissist

a narcissist ‘artist’

who never gave her the full amount of attention she wanted.

but i never asked for so much attention from my mom

but i was also not an only child.

she comes into this world

her own thing

under our auspices

for care

for food

for love

for a roof over her head

for boobie, in the early days.

but she is her own being

realizing herself.

i see qualities in her

i am curious how they will play out when she is an adult.

today driving us home from the hallberg butterfly garden

i was suddenly paranoid

about that feeling of slight pressure inside my skull,

of internal bleeding

that would suddenly

cause disability

or stroke

or death.

i imagined us pulled over.

anja going through the trauma of mom dying.

or becoming brain-impaired.

the missing-ness.

that flicker of fear during hide and seek the other day: “mommy – i don’t want to play anymore!” when she couldn’t find me for just a moment too long

in the plaza in santa rosa.

i thought of that segment in rachel zucker’s poem Long Lines to Stave Off Suicide:

“on Thursday at pre-K

I make pancakes with Abram’s class and he asks Ami

and the teacher chose Luna and Derek cried and cried and I

let him measure flour because he kept saying,

that’s your mom? your mom? I love your mom! it was weird

so I gave him butter and a blunt knife, hoped the teacher

wouldn’t mind and later found out Derek’s mom

died in the towers

I couldn’t breathe when I heard it or believe what a good mother

I’ve been just by staying alive.”


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