Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Man in the Yellow Hat

This morning I woke up to seven year old boy breath in my face.  

He was staring at me...breathing on me.

In his morning voice: "You have to pack my lunch."

"Oh yeah...I forgot."

And he was gone...looking for clean blue jeans.

I heard him in the hallway in front of the dirty clothes basket, 

"I really wish these clothes were all clean."

"Yeah.  Me too, buddy."  

Note to self...wash the laundry today.

He came back a bit later...clean jeans and everything...and picked up the Curious George book we started yesterday morning.  

"Will you read it to me?"


George spills ink on the carpet and ends up with a medal in this story...how does that work?

Sometimes I wish I could be like George.  He makes big messes and gets into a little bit of trouble.  And then the man in the yellow hat bails him out and the story ends with a parade for George or a party or a medal or a picture with the mayor.  Lucky little monkey.

If I had a man in a yellow hat...

I could cook dinner and leave the mess and he would clean it up!

I could forget to wash laundry and it would pile up the wall in the hallway...then the yellow-hatted man would wash it all...and fold it and (gasp!) put it all away

If I had a man in a yellow hat, I could let a herd of wild elephants into my house and end up with a party somehow...or I could forget my wallet and he would come chasing after me to give it to me.

Heck, if I had a man in a yellow hat I could pretty much do whatever I wanted all day and life would be a bowl of bananas!

My oldest texted me from school recently:

     "Can you bring me lunch and my fleece?  I'm freezing and starving."

And it's sinking in...I am the man in the yellow hat.

And that's not always a bad thing.

So I wash the laundry...cook supper...drive a forgotten lunch to the High School...find clean blue jeans...pack lunches...help with leaf projects...

All I need is the hat.

I already have the monkeys.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Well.  That was a long break in between posts.  I got lost a little.

Here's the short version of what I did during all that time:

I worked.  I worked hard.  

I woke up early.  I rushed.  

I skipped breakfast every day.  

I yelled at my kids.  I said I was sorry.  I yelled again.  

I panicked.  I fretted.  

I wore less perfume and more khaki slacks.  I bought sensible shoes.  I stopped wearing pretty scarves and necklaces.

I rushed my kids through homework...through the grocery store...through bedtime stories and afternoon homework and morning snuggles.  I rushed through prayer like a woman being pursued by demons.  Because I was...

I worried and ranted and cried.  I swore.  More than usual.  

I tried to run away from stress by eating myself twenty pounds heavier.  I tried to run it off and my body complained with shin splints and inflamed SI joints.  I ate more food.

I tried Yoga.  It was good...but missing something...

I washed countless loads of laundry and forgot to dry them...so I washed them again.  

I stopped cooking.  We ate like pirates.

I walked barefoot on crumbs in my kitchen and stepped over Legos and pencils and dust balls and soccer cleats and sheet music.

I lost the will to clean my house.  Instead we lived like lost children...like orphans and street urchins.

How long did this go on? For...like...ever. 

I finished that one degree and forgot all about learning...I forgot how to learn...forgot how to be still...forgot how to listen...forgot how to breathe.  I breathed in and in and in and in...and lost the skill of breathing out.

And then I hyperventilated.  And there was no brown paper bag that could fix it.

I filled my lungs with so much oxygen...filled my heart with so much burden...filled my mind with so much anger...filled my days with sharp words and quick movements...I was full...and I was lost...and I was breathless.

So I quit my job.  I resigned quietly.  I wrote a simple letter.  I shed some tears of sadness and relief.  I turned in my keys and my parking tag.  

And I went home.

I'm learning how to breathe again.  And how to be still...and how to listen.

I'm learning to stop rushing through life at this break-neck speed.

I'm pulling over sometimes to really see the view of the valley...or the mountain...or the rainbow...or whatever (whatever!) I want to look at that day.

I'm learning how to love cooking again...and how to really taste it.

I'm cleaning and rearranging and organizing here and there and every now and then.

There are spiders in the house...and a mouse too...I'm pretty sure.  The vacuum and I have made up...we're on okay terms again.

I made cookies for my kids.  And we ate them all.  Every. Last. One.

I read Curious George to the little guy this morning before school.  He liked that I had time to sit still with him.  I liked that there was no yelling.

I am home.  

And it is quiet here.  

And God...

He keeps on waking me up every morning to listen again...to see again...to breathe again.

So that's the short version...for what it's worth.