Husband and I took the girls to Miami for four days. It was a quick, wonderful trip and I will tell you all about it when I resume regular blogging here. While I was in Miami, I took oodles of photos and started doing these little nightly confessions on Instagram. At first, I didn't really realize what I was doing. I was just posting pictures and words, honest words. But then I realized that these little confessions are for me like evening cocktails, a way to kick back and unwind and process the day. Words instead of wine. Here are my confessions from the last six days:
I really wanted a glass (or 3) of wine earlier by the pool. I think I've been kinda smug @ times about how easy it has been for me to give up drinking. Well, today was a reminder that it's tough sometimes. Anyway, I resisted & we splashed in the kiddie pool & shuttled our sunblock-sticky sweeties back here & weathered a pretty chaotic bedtime but now they are snoozing & we are waiting on room service & are going find a movie. Guess I just felt compelled to come here & acknowledge a harder moment in this elusive experiment of mine. Not sure why I have these confessional urges, but I do & thanks for listening.
Sometimes, I miss the old Me. The Me before kids, before loss, before clarity. The Me who would come to Miami for a friend's bachelorette party & stay up to the wee hours swilling my wine, laughing, being young. I miss the freedom, the frolic, the foolish confidence, the feeling of invincibility. But what's interesting, and good, is that these moments of longing, though keen while they last, are fleeting and getting fewer & fewer. Oddly, I'm thankful for them, for the shocks back to a former time. But the truth is I'm happy to be Here. On the other side. With my man and my girls and my sometimes crippling awareness of what matters. My girls had the best day. They jumped in the pool & built castles @ the beach & ate the bluest ice cream after dinner. And, day after day, I get to be a part of all of this sweetness... These nightly confessionals feel happy & good. Almost like a little mint on the pillow before bed.
Sometimes I feel like there are 4 (or more) of me: Mother. Wife. Writer. Friend... Daughter. Sister. The list goes on, doesn't it? Can we be A+ at all of these things at once or does the privilege of having so many roles mean that we must settle for good enough sometimes, like a B+ or so? Is it better/more desirable to lead a more linear/focused life or a scattered/messy one? I'd choose the latter any day.
I believe in Selfies because I believe in self-portraits existential & other. Sure, it can get kind of silly, over-the-top. I've seen plenty of this exaggerated narcissism the last few days... Young women parading beautiful, buxom bodies, sporting mischievous "you want me" grins that attach keenly to youth & joy & naïveté. I watched these pool girls take endless shots of themselves & each other, pursing lips, sucking in, posing. And there's nothing wrong with this. Or maybe there is. But the kind of Selfie I'm truly interested in, the kind I will continue to take & to share, is the picture of person in place. Like this one. Here I am on my last night in a beautiful spot. The light is exquisite, magical & clear. And I am a tired, grateful mother & wife & person & I want to remember the hues of my happiness on this night, this trip with my good man & my sweet, zapping little ladies. This picture & these words? That's what they are all about. A little souvenir to take with me.
I have mixed feelings about being home. Our little getaway was honestly far more successful than I expected. The weather was kind & we had oodles of family bonding time. Last night at this time, the girls put on a silly show for us. They turned my clothes into dresses, wore undies on their head and sunglasses & backpacks & chanted "it's back to school. Oh yeah! Oh yeah!" Husband took a video & they watched it again & again & I've never seen them laugh so hard. This morning, we went for a final swim & when it was time to go, Big Girl was in tears. She told me she was sad to leave. I crouched down next to her, kissed away her tears, looked her in the eye & told her I felt the same way. And I did. After a flight delay & a quasi-smooth trip, we are now home. The house is clean & the girls are excited to be reunited with their 84 My Little Ponies & with our beloved nanny who made them dinner. Nuggets & sweet potato fries. I am tired & plane-greasy, but Husband & I are gonna duck out for a little date in the neighborhood. And this will be good for us, to sit down just the two of us & exhale & talk & share good guacamole. But I'm also sad that we are not still away, the 5 of us, in our own little family world. I know my ambivalence is par for the course; it's not simple stuff to balance family & self & marriage & the reality of back-to-school stuff, but then again it's an abiding privilege to try. That's what I tell myself at least.
I love my husband. I know it might be cheesy or uncool or annoying to say this, but I'm saying it. And I'm not saying that marriage is without complexity. It is a layered, confusing, inspiring thing. It is work to love someone deeply, thoughtfully, to sit across from them night after night, year after year & talk & laugh & dream together. But it is wonderful work, isn't it? Anyway, I love him. And I love loving him. And i take none of this for granted. That's all.
I will continue to post these ADR Confessions on Instagram and if you are interested in reading them in real-time, I encourage you to follow me there. The question though is whether I should post them here too, one by one, or maybe a roundup at the end of each week? Let me know what you think. Are these confessional glimpses something you'd be interested in seeing here on the blog?
P.S. - I've also been posting writing updates every morning on Instagram & on Facebook. Another question is whether to include those updates here too?
Thoughts on incorporating ADR Confessions here on the blog? Do you have any confessions of your own about where you are in this moment of your life?