“Each small task
of everyday life
is part of the
of the Universe.”
~Saint Therese of Lisieux
Having been sick for a week means that my center of operation has been bed. It’s almost as though nothing in the outside world is real save the birds I hear outside my window and the voice on the other end of the phone at night.
I am bored and restless. Mystery zits are on my face and my hair is a pile of twigs. My muscles ache not only from the flu but from all the laying around. I feel like a slug. A healing slug, but a slug nonetheless.
Today, after being served a delicious omelet in bed by my 9 year-old, I invite her to come in and hang out. She brings a huge stack of books with her. She wants to read a couple of them to me and I tell her to wait until I’m done with the script my director sent me.
“Okay, fine,” she says, disgruntled. She asks what the script is about. I tell her it’s about a woman who abandons her daughter, leaving her with her grandmother. The grandmother has a stroke and eventually dies and they are reunited. She looks into my eyes and says, “You would never do that, would you mom? You would never abandon us, right?”
“Of course not. I love you too much.”
We settle in and I pull her into my arms and smell her hair as I always do. I comment on her hair being greasy and her needing a shower. “Tomorrow,” she says. (She often says that.)
She begins to read The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss quietly to herself as I read, my hand resting on her head. She interrupts my reading to show me a picture of a machine that knows when you’re asleep or awake. I tell her it looks like it’s made of noodles. It apparently peers into your house at night when you’re sleeping. We agree that that is kind of creepy and that we don’t like the idea of something spying on us at night. She begins to sing, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness’ sake.”
She says, “What’s that supposed to mean, anyway?”
“Fuck Santa,” I say then make a comment about how that’s probably not a “good mom” thing to say.
She puts her arm around me like she’s going to hug me sweetly saying, “Oh, mom,” then shoves her fingers into my armpits and begins to tickle me viciously. I tickle her back rather mercilessly.
We laugh uproariously and mangle the script, kicking the books all over the bed.
She leans over and whispers, “Santa’s not real,” into my ear.
“I know,” I reply and we both smile at each other with mischief and delight.
My director is challenging me to be more in my everyday moments and to notice details of my own life for the sake of my writing. I’m realizing that as I do, I sink deeper into my own truth and into a new acceptance of who I am and how I’m wired. I realize that not being all that conventional is not a curse and not really a blessing. It just is what it is.
That’s enough for today.