Thursday, April 28, 2011


I received our retainer letter from the lawyer regarding the class action suit against Citimortgage yesterday. We now have to sign it, and return it, and we will become plaintiff's in the suit. I am so relieved that this "problem" we had with Citi was not some strange, isolated thing, only happening to us, but actually, quite a common practice of theirs. I feel sick about the amount of stress and worry they have caused my family, as well as countless others. Not just my mortgage company. All of them. All of these banks took bailout money, and created these "programs" in exchange for TARP funds, agreeing to help distressed homeowners, when in fact, these programs were bogus, and their intention was to never help people effected deeply by the worst downturn in the economy in almost 70 years. There plan was to profit off all of us, as much as possible. It saddens me that all of the empty houses you see, didn't have to be empty. Banks have bullied homeowners, and a lot of them got scared, and gave up, unaware of the obscene fraud being perpetrated on them. I am no conspiracy theorist, believe you me. This is fact. This is what has happened to Americans, and will continue happening. All those foreclosed homes, and the ones in foreclosure, and the ones about to fall into that category, are effecting everybody. Homeowner, or not.

I shall now step off of my soap box, and ease into this rainy, muggy, steamy, day. I had not left the house in two days, and last night, when I did, I could not believe that leaves are out, and grass is lush, and green. Dandelions are everywhere. I love them. Thanks to Charlotte. I grew up thinking they were an awful, hated, nuisance. A plague upon my family's lawn. But as I drive by green fields, and see bright yellow splotches, dotting the landscape, the colors are just gorgeous. And the potential wishes held in each dandelion are endless, as pointed out by my girl. Last year, she made us picnic in a dandelion filled field, and had us blowing our desires into the wind all afternoon. It was magical, watching my girls, through all that fluff. Molly couldn't even walk at this time last year. Olivia still had gaps in her mouth, where her front teeth once were. Charlotte was poised to start kindergarten, and was filled with anxiety. I could only guess what wishes her dandelion fluff contained as it blew away.

A year can make such a big difference, yet goes by in the blink of an eye. It just feels like we put our deck furniture away for the season, and suddenly, David is planning on getting it out this weekend. Sweaters are being put into the back of the closet, and shorts and T-shirts are replacing their spots. Summer dresses of years past are being unearthed for Molly, and while she looks adorable in her sister's hand me downs, there is no baby to come who will ever wear these again, so I am feeling bittersweet. The girls all need shoes and sandals. Even underwear is getting tight. I love saving a dollar, and would love to pass Olivia's barely worn underwear on to Charlotte, but I have lost this fight before with David. (Although, I have sneaked a pair or two into her drawer!)

Change is all around me. Change that I can see in how much the girl's have sprouted since last years dandelion picnic. Change that I can see in the forward motion of things around here. And change that I can sense, right out there, somewhere.

Some place that my dandelion wishes flew to last year.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Slept with fresh air gently blowing in through the sliding door all night. Why does that make you sleep better? No heat on. I am so happy not to hear the constant whir of the compressor outside of the house. One less thing to constantly worry about. No more ice. No more snow. Clear, dry roads. And now, a full return of the time of year that makes living here, so worth it. The trees are fluffy green with baby leaves about to emerge. Flowers. Birds. And ants. Ants all over my house. I don't like that part very much. The girls wanted to catch them and free them outside. I tried explaining they would just return, and I could see they looked disappointed when they realized our plan was to eradicate as many as we could.

Payday is Friday, and we are down to not much money, so I will be hanging around the house for the next few days. I have a lot of work to do here anyhow, so it's OK. The girls are going back to school today, after their Easter break. I lost all patience with them yesterday. By day 5, I am usually done. I am usually done by Day 3. Yesterday was tough. I kept wishing for bed time. When it finally came, after watching a family movie of Frankenstein, Olivia was spooked, and crawled into bed around 11:00. I don't remember the last time I went to bed, and woke up in the morning, uninterrupted.

Oddly, after staring at the Hummingbird camera during my morning coffee, I saw the first hummingbird of the season, last evening. We were watching the movie, and I heard what sounded like a giant bee. I saw something flash by the sliding glass doors. A second later, it reappeared. A small hummingbird, hovering, looking in at us. And then it quickly darted away. I practically shouted. Hummingbird! David didn't believe me. It is about a week too early.

Before we moved here, I had never seen a hummingbird. Only in print, and on television. We had Olivia in May, and moved here, when she was just under 2 months old. David started working, my parents helped us move in, and returned home, and I was alone. A new baby. A new home. A new state. I was miserable. Overwhelmed. I never felt so alone. I had worked full time until my very first labor pains. To suddenly be home, everyday, in such a new place, with a newborn, was surreal. I was depressed. I had no one to talk to. When Olivia slept, I used to just sit, and look out the window, and watch cars pass, and think, will I ever have a friend here. Will this place ever be familiar to me. Will it ever feel like home. It even smelled different. No salty air. It smelled like the woods. And moss. And rotting leaves. And deer musk. And skunk. I felt like we moved to Mars.

I was nursing Olivia on the couch. I had just gotten her to sleep. I sat and was staring out the window. Suddenly, there it was. I thought it was a flying mouse at first. I remember thinking, why is there a mouse, flying? And then I realized it was a hummingbird. You would have thought I had seen a fairy. That is what it felt like. It was magical. I was really happy. The first hummingbird, I had ever laid eyes on. It lived up to my expectations. In fact, it was better. I couldn't believe how small, and sleek, and beautiful the tiny creature actually was. A bird, so fragile, and graceful. It was beyond description.

Each of my girl's has been born in May. When I came home from the hospital with Charlotte, the hummingbird returned. The same thing with Molly. It has meant something more to me each Spring, to glimpse the first one of the season. It made this place that was at first, so foreign, and strange to me, begin to feel like a home. And it is our home. The only home my girls have ever known. The place where David and I became so much more than we could have dreamed.

The hummingbird is a week early this year. Maybe it blew in from all the storms. Maybe it is on it's way further up north, and was just passing through. Whatever the case may be, it signifies something so much more for me. Even the Spring smells remind me of a time, that feels like so long ago, but when I look at Olivia's adult teeth growing in, it really wasn't. I have changed so much. We all have. And yet, each Spring, the birds return. Like clockwork. And each Spring, they surprise me.

Everything about this life surprises me. This place that felt like another planet still pulls out a new trick or two. I never thought it would feel like home.

But it is.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday calm

Watching a Hummingbird Nest

Obsessed with this. The girls love this too. A great way to relieve some stress. The mother, Phoebe, is my hero. She is always watching. Looking from side to side. Protecting her eggs. Those eggs are the size of tic tacs. Blows my mind.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


An American Goldfinch was just at my bird feeder. Two, actually. A male, and a female. I looked up because I heard an unfamiliar song. I hope they are making a nest somewhere around my house. I love hearing baby birds. Welcome Spring!

A few years ago, some House Finches made a nest in a hanging basket of Impatiens I had, hanging right outside our kitchen window. They took turns for what seemed like weeks, sitting on the nest. When the babies were born, they both tended to them. Each going off, bringing back food for them. There were five babies. The girls loved standing on their small wood chairs to get a peek at the small beaks of the babies pointing toward the sky, crying to be fed. I loved knowing they were there at night, all sleeping quietly, together. Even when we came and went each day, we were careful not to freak out the parents.

Every day, I fed my flowers. I watered all of the potted ones, and my beloved peony. The baskets were last, and I was careful to mist the basket with the babies. I didn't want the Impatiens to die, and expose the nest to the Hawk that lived high above our house. We heard him everyday. His screech was loud. You knew when he had taken a baby out of a nest. You could hear the mother and father birds cry. I watched them chase down the Hawk trying in vein to rescue their baby. After a while, they would give up. But the mother bird would continue to shriek, for just a while longer, and it always made me so sad for her.

One afternoon, after watering all of my flowers, I turned to the little House Finch nest, and moved close to it. I raised the hose, and gently squeezed the nozzle. I forgot to put it on mist. A blast of water shot out, and five little lumps flew out of the nest. They all hit the deck, and scattered like droplets. I panicked. I ran into the house, feeling that I had just killed the entire family. I felt like I was going to throw up. I ran into the bedroom, where David was, and I couldn't even get the words out to him. His eyes widened. We both ran back out, and he started looking around for them. I was crying. And then I heard him. The Hawk. Oh my God, the Hawk sees them, I thought.

David shouted to me to get the girls away from the window. He didn't want them to see National Geographic, happening right here in our front yard. I hustled them into the back of the house. David came in, and said that it's over. They can't be touched now. Now nature must take it's course. I started to really cry now, cursing myself for watering the flowers. I told David to call our friend, Anita. She is an expert on everything in the natural world. He quickly dialed the phone. She instructed him to quickly find the babies, and put them back into their nests. She said that it was an old wives tale that once a baby bird is touched by humans, the parents will abandon them.

We went back outside. We stopped speaking, and quietly started looking around. There was one. Hiding behind an Adirondack chair. David moved in slowly, and cupped his hands around it. It was the cutest little ball of down. He carefully placed it back in it's nest. We continued to search. There was another, and still another. They tried to run, but David scooped them up. By now, the Hawks screams were louder, and closer. Time was ticking. We could hear the mother and father bird in the distance. They were angry. David scooped up the fourth, and placed it back in the nest. By now, the girls curiosity had gotten the best of them, and there they were, at the front door. I let them come out.

Where is the fifth? We looked everywhere. Even the girls were turning over stones. I saw some pine needles on the ground flutter. Out by the street. There was number five, I screamed. David ran toward it, and it really put up a fight. He finally grabbed it, and rushed over toward the girls. He slowly uncoupled his hands, and there was the beautiful little baby bird. It's eyes were small, dark, glistening stones and it was breathing so quickly. You could see it's beating heart. We all cried, as David put the baby back in it's nest, with all the other's. The girls shouted and cheered. We all did.

We went inside, and felt relief, and worry. We all started to worry that the parent's would not return. We took turns standing guard by the kitchen window, waiting for their return. The Hawk was still out there. I could hear him. I was scared he was going to swoop in to the vulnerable nest. He didn't stop screaming. We could no longer hear the mother and father bird's anxious cries.

And then, they quietly appeared. They fed their babies. All, safely back in their nest. I went to sleep that night, relieved, and horrified at what I had done. The girls went to sleep thinking Dad was their hero. David went to sleep and told me he would take care of the watering from now on.

I got out of bed, and looked out into the darkness outside of my kitchen window, and focused my eyes on where I knew the nest was. They were all safe and sound. They were probably worried about the constant presence of that Hawk. He was always out there. A constant threat. But they were together.

Always aware of danger. But safe in their warmth.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Rain fell Saturday, so hard. I loved every minute of it. It was so cozy in the house. It made me happy and anxious all at the same time. Happy to be safe and warm with the people I love the most in this world, in our cozy little nest. Sad that this seems fleeting. That the future is uncertain. I don't like uncertainty. But every one's future is mostly uncertain, so I guess it would be silly for me to think that my own would be any different. For a moment on Saturday evening, it was like we were in a bubble. It was safe.

I finally got a phone call from my friend Nichol. Her baby is doing a bit better. She is stable, and in a children's hospital, here in the U.S. She sounded so matter of fact, like she was describing what she was wearing, when she told me about how close to dying her baby has been. She told me about the uncertain future her baby has. Some doctors have told her that the baby will be both physically and mentally disabled. Some have said she will be a bit behind. Still others have said, only time will tell. So now they wait. She said that there isn't a normal moment with her baby. She is constantly scrutinizing every look, and sound, and movement. Instead of gazing into her babies eyes, she watches how her daughter tracks things. She looks desperately for any sign that tells her, everything is going to be OK.

When David was unemployed, our future never seemed more uncertain than it ever had been. I was pregnant. We had no income. No health insurance. Every day was stressful, and laying in bed each night, wondering, was terrifying. I used to ask David, every night the same question. "Are we gonna be OK?", and every night he smiled, and said, "Of course we will". Some nights, I believed him. Some nights, I heard the fear in his voice.

I don't ask David that question anymore. I stopped a while ago. Even, when things got scary. Even with the uncertainty of what will be. What lies ahead for my family. These people that I am in awe of, everyday. (most everyday, anyway.) One day turns into another, and months pass. What I was worried about turns into another worry, and before I can realize it, what I was scared of has passed. It just keeps transforming into something else. And here we are. Still in one piece. Still healthy, and breathing. We seem OK. 

I don't know where we will be in a year. But I was scared a year ago where we would be, and here we are. Some days, I can really paint a frightening picture in my head of where we will wind up. But after the rain on Saturday, and the black, sky that we watched cover our neighborhood last night, the sun is out this morning, and my coffee tastes especially good. Birds are everywhere, and my daffodils finally opened.

 All the bulbs that I planted long ago, are still hanging in there.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Easter is next week. David gets paid tomorrow, so this weekend, I can get the girls their candy from "the Bunny". The girls believe. Olivia, poised to turn 8 in May at least has me believing that she still believes. She had some Santa doubts this year, but all we had to do was explain that we would never be able to afford the gifts she got, and she saw the logic in it. I know this belief is coming to an end. I just didn't know how brief it would be. And poor Charlotte will lose that magic even sooner, by default of having an older sister.

I had no idea that S-E-X and the Easter Bunny would share some time together. That has been on my mind this week. The talk that I have been finding every excuse in the world not to have. Here it is. It is time. I thought there would be more fanfare. More time to prepare. Less questions. Much less awkwardness, and discomfort on my part. I am the mother. I am the adult. I thought I could be matter of fact, and teach my girls something I know they are already hearing frightening bits about behind green pleather seats on the school bus. Yet here it is. The simple word. Olivia spelled it. S-E-X the other morning. I poured my coffee, gulped, and turned on my heel, and pasted on a big, weird, smile. "Do you know what sex is Olivia?"

Did I really want her to answer? I thought my wonderful tale of her father and I falling in love, complete with birds tying ribbons in my hair, and a wish we made together for a baby was sufficient. Magically, the baby was placed in my body, and grew, until she was ready to emerge, and there you have it. She has bought it all these years. Or has she? She will be in 3rd grade next year. Oh Gosh....I have put this talk off way too long. I knew about everything by 3rd grade!! Everything!! I knew my parents did some sort of adult movements, behind closed bedroom doors, at least twice!

My mother gave me a book, entitled How Babies are Born. It was really cute. Pictures of puppies and kittens. A baby horse, and piglets. It explained everything. How the egg is fertilized. How the cell divides. Even the proper scientific terms. I got it. I more than got it. I knew more biological terms than any other 2nd grader. Yet my mother skipped one detail. I remember being in the living room. It was a beautiful sunny day. My mother looked so relieved, and pleased, at my understanding of every detail of how a baby was born.

"How does the sperm get to the egg"? I remember her smile, fading from her face. She turned quickly, and took a hard covered book off the shelves. One page was dogeared. There was actually pen marks around a paragraph. "Read this", was all she said. And I did. And I remember feeling so embarrassed. The kind of embarrassment that makes you wish yourself to shrink up, and disappear. My mother looked at me, and said "Any more questions?"...."No." That was it for me. I got it.

So today, I guess in my free moments, I will research how other parents have done this. I will see how much I should say, without saying too much. I will be thankful that Brownies is tonight, and put this conversation off another night, knowing the whole time that the perfect opportunity to talk to her, is when we are alone in the car this evening. And I will listen to her chatter about Easter, and what the Bunny will bring, and wonder, how did we get here?

Just when I thought I had hit a bit of a stride with my girls, they go and swith it up on me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lunch break

Molly is sitting with me, eating her lunch. I gave her leftover chicken, peas, and cheese. She insisted on the cheese. When I wasn't looking, she grabbed a pear, and is chomping away at it. Little sneak. I have to admit, watching her eat is pretty entertaining. Food all over her face, and she chews loudly, happily looking around, and telling me how good everything is. She is getting bigger by the minute, and speaking clearer everyday. She is adorable in every way. Except for the pear juice painting she is working on, at this very moment.

Two days. That is how long it has taken to scan documents into our hand me down, ancient, computer. All of our mortgage paper trail, now loaded into our hard drive. I cannot tell you how frustrating each minute of doing it was. And now, I worry that the whole thing may just blow up. After scanning and scanning, when I went to actually save the files, my computer kept sending me a fail message. On top of that, the space bar is going, and the whole keyboard has a delay when you type. David and the kids saw me at my best last night, when my frustration level had reached it's crescendo. Proud moments.

I spoke to a lawyer on Monday. I read about a class action suit that has been filed against my mortgage company. My eyes popped out of my head, for a brief moment, when I read it. I know they did. The press release that I read, on line, on The Street, said this:

Philadelphia PA, April 5, 2011/PR Newswire
"The Law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. has filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all Pennsylvania homeowners whose mortgage loans have been serviced by Citimortgage Inc. and who, since April 13, 2009 (1) have entered into a Trial Period Plan Contract with Citimortgage and made all payments as required by their TPP Contract and complied with Citimortgages requests for documentation, and (2) have not received or have been denied a permanent Home Affordable Modification Agreement that complied with the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Home Affordable Modification Program rules."

It went on to say that if you feel that you have been denied a loan modification improperly, contact the law firm. It also stated that the complaint alleges the following:

Citimortgage accepted billions in government bailout money, earmarked for struggling homeowners, to help them avoid foreclosure. It stated that "Citimortgage systematically slows or thwarts homeowners requests to modify mortgages, depriving borrowers of Federal bailout funds that could save them from foreclosure. The bank ends up reaping the financial benefits provided by TARP funds and collects higher fees and interest rates associated with stressed home loans."

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eyes popped !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could not dial the phone number fast enough. The lawyer called me back, and we chatted for quite some time. So the scanning began. And will continue. Hopefully, my computer will not begin smoking.

I feel some comfort in knowing that we are not alone. But it makes me so incredibly angry that they have not helped countless people who lawfully deserved it, when they could have.

When they should have.

It is criminal.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


No word from Nichol. I kept checking my e-mail and jumping every time the phone rang. No news is good news for sure, in this case.

 I went to bed, and had one of the worst sleeps I have had in years. It was interrupted by two of my three girls. Nichol was peppered in there, in the brief spells of sleep, where dreams, and awakening walked a fine line together.

We were on a beach. There also was some old friends from college there. There was a thatched roof hut set up on a beach, with drinks being made, and food being served. The sea was raging, and the sky was black. The waves kept crashing in closer and closer to us, devouring more and more beach with every pound. The wind was whipping, and my hair kept getting blown in front of my eyes, and into my mouth. The horizon had the blackest sky, with lightning flashing and the slow groan of thunder approaching. Everyone was laughing, and having a great time. They were trying to light pillar candles, and giggling over their futile attempts to light the match. I didn't understand how they all could be smiling, and carrying on with themselves, when right behind my shoulder was such danger. How could they all hear themselves laugh over the crashing surf, and pelting rain, and howling wind? How could they not see what was happening all around us? Did they not see the ominous sky, right before them? Could they not sense the danger?

Open drawers, and the sugar canister left out. Every morning. Half open drawers on the dresser, and some mornings, the medicine cabinet is ajar. Why can't David close these things all the way? Every day, I push drawers in so they are flush with furniture. Every day, I hang damp dish towels, that I find in wet lumps on the counter. David is a selective perfectionist. Some days, it makes me swear under my breath. Some days, it makes me smile.

The deer here are inbred, and mangy looking. There are too many of them, that should  be hunted to thin them out. They seek shelter in the woods here. No one will kill them. They are safe. Protected. So they are everywhere. They eat everything. Plants, flowers, even right out of your garbage cans. They are unafraid of people. If you get too close to them, they stomp their hooves, and blow hot air out of their nostrils.

They don't eat daffodils. The daffodils come up every spring, and they steer clear of them. In the small rock garden in front of my house, daffodils come up each year. Planted among them, years before I lived here, is a peony. I noticed it the first year we lived here. I thought it was a weed sprouting, but I let it go, to see what came up. The deer found it, and ate it. The following spring, it returned. This time, I was sure it was something other than a weed. I sprayed it with the awful deer spray we must constantly spritz on anything we want to see thrive and not be chomped to the stump. It is a stinky mix of eggs, and garlic, and mint. The deer don't go near it.

The weed turned into a plant, and the plant grew a flower bud.  A tight, perfectly round golf ball. The first summer, it was one, fluffy, tissue paper flower. In the years to come, it yielded more. I spray it religiously, each week, every year. Some people in my neighborhood have fences around each plant on their property. Large nets encasing the flowering plants they love. I always think those plants look kind of sad. Delicate blossoms behind bars.

Some weeks ago, going through old papers, I found a tattered newspaper clipping. My mother cut it out of Ann Landers, many moons ago. I used to love someone very much, for many years, who never quite returned my feelings, but always led me to believe, that one day soon, he would. He never did, and I spent far too many years waiting on the day that was never to be. It is a corny poem, when I read it now. Yet, I held on to it for years. Literally years. It meant so much to me, that each time I changed purses, I put the poem in with the other contents. I referred to it constantly. It always, always, made me cry. I felt that it was speaking right to me. That the author wrote it for me.

It is called After a While

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between holding a hand, and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans. And futures have a way of falling down in mid flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden, and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn.That you really can endure. That you really are strong.
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and you learn.
With every goodbye, you learn.                                                     

-Veronica A. Shoffstall

Bumper stickerish? Yes. Sappy as hell? Yes. Yet, as I read the words for the first time in many years, I felt, both sad for the young girl I was, so long ago, finding comfort in those words, and thinking how slowly, yet beautifully those words have revealed themselves to me. Like the peony, out in my rock garden. It took a while for me to notice it, and it didn't quite get off the ground right away, but with care, and protection, yet free from fences, to bask in the sun, even with the threat of deer, it grew. And it is lovely.

I look around, and know that life is happening all around me. It is almost as loud as it is visible. These girls. This man. Oh this man, with his half opened drawers, and soggy dishtowels, and shower curtains left to the is all here. Like the beautiful beach party. They are all lighting the pillar candles right in front of me, and laughing at the strong wind. They are making the party so much fun, and they don't even notice the dark swirl right behind their backs.

So, while I am standing on the sand, I think that instead of running, and hiding in fear, from the frightening dark sky, I will dig my toes into the sand, and enjoy the crashing of the waves. And smell my hair as the wind whips it in front of my face. And listen to my babies giggle, while they are still this small.

I sense the danger. Every day, I feel it is too close. But the storm clouds must pass eventually. It cannot rage on forever.

You do learn.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Reality checks have a funny way of smacking you upside the head. Hard.

After feeling sorry for myself yesterday, I showered. I missed a phone call, from my friend. I saw the blinking light on my phone, signaling a message. What I heard on the other end of the phone, broke my heart.

Her voice was panicked. She was screaming and crying. She could barely catch her breath. My friend, my dear friend, living so far away, across the ocean, was out of her mind. Her tiny baby is dying. She is not even four months old. She has been sick and in the hospital since she was born. Her condition is deteriorating.

They are flying back here, today. They were going to take the baby to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, but have been told that she should be in a hospital, close to her family, and the people who love her.

I cried, standing in the kitchen. I was making black bean soup, and I left the kitchen, littered with cans. I went into the bedroom, and tried to wrap my head around what my dear friend must be going through. Molly came in the room, and saw me. She said "Kay?" She was worried. Charlotte came in, and handed me a miniature piece of paper. On one side of it, it said "I love you", and on the other, was a drawing of a sun, with long sunbeams radiating off of it.

Huge smack in the face.

Please help this baby. Please help my friend. I prayed. Chanted. Whispered. To something. Someone. Anything.

I miss you Nichol. So much.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sick day

Today, I would like to call in sick. I can't stand Molly's cry today. It's like nails on a chalkboard. Charlotte has been sick since Thursday. She had a 104 degree fever last night. Her eyes were rimmed red. She was out of it. I want her to get better. I want sickness out of my house, once and for all.

I wish I could walk through the woods, alone. I want to hear quiet. Stillness. I want to hear my own breathing, and sticks cracking beneath my feet. But I am scared of the woods. I am scared of bears. So I would never be alone in the woods. Maybe I would just like to be brave. That is one character that I do not posses. I am afraid of everything. All of it. Some days, it is paralyzing. I am tired of being so fearful.

My girls should see a mother who is strong. Not one who cowers at a thunder storm. Not one who fears strong wind. Not one who panics when the lights go out.

They should see a mother who walks in the woods. Happily. Without hesitation. Not one who fears animals. They should see a mother who swims in the ocean. Not one who imagines murky creatures beneath the waves. Not one who is too petrified to go in, past her knees.

Today, I want to call in sick from being me. Just for today. Because this fear is just too much to take sometimes.