Wherein I try to keep the seams from ripping apart, and fail.

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
Henry James

The Boy was riding his scooter, I was pulling the wagon. For nearly a mile the Girl had been screaming. One thing after another, just screaming because life is unfair. The world is totally unfair if you’re six. Or thirty-six. We waited at that terrible light, the one where the roads are shaped like a T, and we need to go from the top of the T across one of the arms to the base. And a man in a rattling POS went to run the red and then thought better of it, stopping with his back wheels on the crosswalk. A woman with her baby and I shared a knowing look from across the street.

Being in the box doesn’t matter to HIM, because all the cars need to turn.

But my son, who just starts going, my Boy needs to go around him, in front of the car like I’ve taught him–so that the car can see him–and is riding his scooter into traffic. STRAIGHT into the oncoming headlights.


I scream, and he hears me, my Boy stops, SOOO close to being a smear in the intersection.

MOVE BACK! You’re blocking the crosswalk.

I yell at the driver. He gives me a little wave and starts backing up without turning around.


The woman (with the baby stroller) yells, two inches from going behind him.


“I’m sorry,” I say, “I didn’t see you, I thought everyone went in front.” I didn’t mean it the way I can see NOW that it appears. I really was just terrified and could only see those headlights coming right for us. They are still there, my son a shadow between them. I am still waiting for the sirens.

“You would have killed us!” She was so angry at me, never looked at the car again. I don’t understand how I would have, since my foot was not on the gas.


I thought maybe now she was talking to the driver, but she was staring at me. I sputtered. I was still in shock. And the driver met my gaze. “You still need to back up,” I said. He sneered at me. It’s the sneer I’ve seen everywhere. On the news, in the paper. It’s the sneer that all men lately seem to be making at every woman. It is the sneer that says, you are worth shit, and at least that other woman knows it. (You can pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. But before the election old men kept telling me “you’re what is wrong with this country,” with that same expression.)

And so I pulled us onto the sidewalk, near my favorite part of our walk, the part where we can look over the bridge into the water and throw leaves to watch them drift down stream, over the little waterfalls.

And I cried.

And my little Boy was scared, and my little Girl was eating her lunch which she is too slow to eat at school, and I couldn’t stop crying. And then I did. Because as I tried to think of my Boy, who kept holding my hand and trying to rub my back, I tried to think of how to explain what was going on, and somehow it made it better.

“I thought you were going to die,” I said. “And I was so afraid.

“That woman was afraid, too. And so she was very mean. We are all so very afraid right now. Every one of us is just terrified.

“Being afraid is not an excuse to be mean to each other. Having someone be mean to me does not mean I should be mean to someone else.

“Right now, especially now, when we are all afraid, we need to be as nice to each other as we can.”

And it was the first time I’ve ever meant one of those crappy Hallmark-card things I’ve said to the kids. And I am trying SO HARD not to be a bitch (which another mom called me last week, for asking her to turn down her music at the park) or an asshole. And I am trying SO HARD to make sure that I was not awful in these situations. But, honestly, I’m so socially challenged that I have no idea. But two moms, calling me these names, in front of their own young children and mine… Please, let’s be nicer to each other.

The Boy just looked at me and said, “are you okay now?” I didn’t have the heart to tell him no.

themartenmomma: I sit in my bathroom in the dark because if I…


I sit in my bathroom in the dark because if I turn on the light I’ll find all the things I can cut myself with.


I don’t know how to deal with emotions, especially frustration, without time to myself. I don’t know how to explain what I need to keep myself emotionally healthy. I am working so hard at building up these habits, but without help and time to myself I just … lose it.

Steep for no more than 5 minutes.

I’ve been a little down recently and trying to figure out why. It struck me this morning. As a mom no one is ever going out of their way for ME. Which isn’t fair. My husband does a LOT for our family and for the kids. And the kids are sweet, if occasionally monstrous. But I was putting together my husband’s tea for him to have something warm when he walked Levi to the bus stop at 7 (yes, see, my husband walks our kid to the bus stop, I really need to stop complaining), and I realized that from the moment I wake up I’m trying to help other people, I get out of bed and make my son lunch while my husband makes breakfast and sits down to eat with him. I make breakfast for Phalene and myself, mine gets cold and then it’s walking her to school, coming home and cleaning clothes or something, or going grocery shopping. I’m getting the things into backpacks or put away so they can be worn tomorrow.

I get plenty of time to myself (okay, I want more), but if the roles were reversed I would never sit down to eat. I wouldn’t be handed a tea when I stepped out the door. And it isn’t that he isn’t caring, it’s that he wouldn’t think of it. It’s compounded by the fact that I don’t get Christmas or birthday presents unless I buy them myself.

And I’m having a hard time because it isn’t fair to be upset over it. I don’t know how to explain the problem I’m having, because I KNOW I’m so overly blessed.

But at the same time, I really want someone to hand me tea. Or to put the hot water bottle in my bed on cold nights.