Enoughness. Part Two.

Ok, let’s see how quickly I can write this thing.

The list for this morning:

  1. I slept in my bed last night. By “my bed” I mean…. MY BED that I slept in as a wee young child up until I left for college. You know? It was pretty comfortable. That was the bed where I would lie and dream about my life…. you know…. the dreams where I become an alcoholic, then recover, then get to write two books about it? Those dreams.
  2. These conversations:

 

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I am pretty sure Brian KNEW that I didn’t mean “cat.” He is rather smart. And yes, I am not kidding about the feeding thing. In my “brian notes” it does NOT mention stopping to actually FEED MAH SWEET BAHBIES while I am gone, and Brian sees food as a willy-nilly experience punctuated pizza distributed at weird times… so. Let’s hope they’re alive when I return. But then… he just sent me a text promising that he would not forget to FEED THE PETS and I am really starting to question his parenting.

Also, feeding the pets is a no brainer. All Steve has to do is sit in front of his dish and look sad, and food will come. It’s impossible to avoid. He’s that good.

BTW – he is “working from home” while I am gone. This narrates to: “watching ESPN and typing once in a while” but no judgment. I write blog posts while binging on Project Runway, so yep.

3. Oh, I didn’t explain the “gone” thing? Well, here you go:

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4. This is where I am heading:

 

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5. Also: I have really good hair today, so here’s hoping it holds on for tomorrow too. One never knows.

6. And this:IMG_8134-1.JPG

My pops drove me to the airport. Y’all, he was talking on the phone to his office, zipping in and out of traffic like the Boss of it All, and I only had to pray once for our souls at a rather dicey merging into traffic situation. The man is a BEAST, I tell you. A very sweet beast.

As we unloaded at the terminal, he told me, “Have fun. Try to be in the moment and actually enjoy it, you know? God is giving you all the gifts.” (I know, Dad, that’s not EXACTY what you said, but it’s close and I haven’t had enough coffee yet. #writerslicense).

 

I will. I will enjoy it. All of it. It’s such a crazy life.

Do you know why I get to do this? Because God is awesome. And I did what he asked, after a lot of whining and fighting and nutty behavior. I got sober.

#soberblessings

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See you in New York!!!

 

 

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Situation desperate but not serious.

So, it was May Day yesterday.

Which is fitting.

I kind of feel lately that I’m an Ace World War I fighter pilot, and I’m in a plane hiiiiiigh up in the sky, and I’ve been shot down by the Red Baron and WE ARE GOING DOWN. MAY-DAY. MAY-FREAKING-DAY.

Ok, relax, it’s not as serious as it sounds. Desperate, though.

So, a few months back I was all, “Wow, the days pass twenty-four hours at at time and whoa, there goes another one,” and then April came and BOOM time has now decided to fire itself at me and just kind of shut my eyes and try to steer through the shrapnel, all ablaze and screaming a little.

Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little but let me just show you something:

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Ok, when did my son on the left become a middle-aged man in marketing?

Ignore the one on the right. He’s basically been the same since:

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Look. He has my chins.

But wait. No, look at pic above (how can you NOT because holy cuteness. If your ovaries aren’t exploding I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Unless you’re one of my five male readers then, yes, no ovaries. No exploding.)

My goodness people, WHERE, AND I MEAN WHERE EXACTLY, DOES THE TIME GO?

Just last week I was putting away Christmas decor because it was still snowing and now we’re signing them up for summer swim lessons and Blonde, evidently, is now thirty-seven and investing heavily in low-risk stocks (see above pic).

Cue: “Sunrise, Sunset” music.

Also Cue: “Stone Cold Crazy” by Queen. Obviously.

There is something about the month of May that unleashes the hounds of crazy at our house. I mean this is a two-fold way because crazy is nuanced like that and deserves levels.

Crazy, Level One: The calendar is exploding and no one knows how to make it stop.

Between birthdays, my college classes and finals, choir concerts (see above), more birthdays, trying to actually garden something because we are still attempting to keep the whole Martha Stewart vibe/ruse going, feedings, baseball, soccer, baseball AND soccer on the same day, still more feedings, end of the year things for teachers and coaches and my gosh I’m just going to start handing out five dollar bills, and more graduations, and the random “Let’s invite so and so over today!” from the husband, which leads to a bit of muttering on my part but thank YOU frozen Stouffer’s lasagna,(deep breath):

MAY. YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN.

Seriously. Somebody needs to hand May a small snack to try and get its blood sugar under control.

And oh, then there’s also this:

Crazy, Level Two Because This is Me, After All:

My children. They keep doing this thing called growing. And part of me wants it to stop. And then that part realizes what that really would mean, and so we go on and live in reality. But there are times…. when I pass them in the hall and they are so BIG and gangly and when they hug me I don’t even have to bend down at all (which honestly is kind of a bonus) they just fit right in under my chin.

I remember you, sweet older lady in the Walmart line who chirped at me that one time, “Cherish the moments, dearie,” while both boys were whacking each other with some useless artifact that Walmart puts at child eye level just to make them whine and want. I remember you well, sweet lady. At the time I think my eyes kind of shot fire at you while my kids laid on the floor and begggggged for the plastic toy thingie made in China in the Walmart line.

Oh yes, I remember you like it was yesterday. 

I didn’t exactly cherish that moment, sweet lady. But, you meant well. I kind of wished you would get run over by an eighteen-wheeler loaded with plastic toys from China while you were wheeling your cart in the Walmart parking lot, but you know. I got what you were aiming at.

I never cherished the moments enough. But that’s parenting. We do and talk and fix and clean and cook and wipe and wipe again and we forget to stop and LOOK around. Mainly because 50% of the time the wiping involves some sort of bodily fluid and that takes hard core focus, y’all. It takes commitment to clean that stuff up.

And really? Even IF I had stopped and thought, “Right now. I am going to stop and really cherish this moment. LOOK AT ME CHERISHING IT ALL OVER THE PLACE.” I just don’t think I would have done it enough. Because that’s time, for you. And children. Neither of them stand still for very long.

It’s why my phone is full of pictures like this:

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If you look closely, you can see the eye. Just like in Jaws. Only less scary.

And here’s the magic of all of this: The other day, I was in the store, and a tired momma was ahead of me, putting her Gogurts and her GoGo Squeez and her Cuties and all her other kiddie-named food on the grocery treadmill thingie (yes, there’s a term for it but I’m tired and my children make my vocabulary smaller) and she had about four sticky children all smushed up next to her and around her (ok, maybe it was two but they seem to multiply, like rabbits who constantly ask for things) and she just looked so exhausted and I wanted to encourage her. I wanted to tell her to hold onto this time, and just savor it. To really just BE in the moment, you know? So, I smiled at her and said,

“Girl. You really are rocking the top bun today.”

And I left it at that.

Why do beer commercials get to have all the fun?

You guys. I just watched a beer commercial that made me all emotional.

I mean, I watched it? And it’s possible there was a bit of moisture around the eyes.

A BEER commercial.

You had me at slow-motion prancing, Budweiser Clydesdale.

The people in that commercial were all, “I’m having this really important, bonding, full of love moment with you other actors, out here on this hipster porch. And I have a beard. And look! There goes the Clydesdale again! And this is all so very very real and awesome and good. We are really talking and bonding and great gin and tonics, this commercial is a Norman Rockwell with BEER. And horses.”

What’s the deal, beer? You got to have Spuds McKenszie. He wore sunglasses, y’all.

Hamm’s had a bear, I think.

Dad, did Hamm’s have a bear? I know you’re reading this and you would know. Because, you were around then. 

And then, there was this commercial.

Watch, if you dare:

 

I know. I’ll wait. You go get your tissue box. Sad Doggie Waiting Face will wait too. JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON’T DRINK AND CRASH SOMEHOW BEFORE YOU COME BACK BECAUSE YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOGGIE FACE.

THAT DOG IS SAD AND I CAN’T HANDLE SAD DOGS. HELP.

But anyhow.

I think it’s high time I get an animal. I mean, I already have four, but where is the payout, little furry ones? Why does beer get to have all the fun?

I have these two:IMG_7932.JPGIMG_7929.JPG

Surely, there’s some way we could make some money off of them, right?

I mean, omg. Look. At. That. Butt.

If beer gets to inflict us with a puppy’s need for therapy after a life story that could be its own Lifetime movie, then I get my own animal.

And he is THRILLED BEYOND BELIEF.

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Steve refused. He was my first choice. We had a very short casting call where I grabbed him and clutched him to my chest and rocked back and forth and said, “I love youuuuuu my preshusssss” but he said he is not selling out. His butt is his own.

Hosmer had no issues with any of this because he never understands much anyway.

And also this post is not making much sense at all, so he’s on board with that.

I haven’t really figured out how to do any of this, but if a duck can sell insurance, then I can make it happen.

 

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Steve’s behind is so large it is its own “Insert Ad Here” space, with fur. I couldn’t resist.

He informed me that he felt cheap, and used. I offered to pay him with Whisker Lickins, tuna flavor, to which he blinked, and said,

“If we downsize the font, there’s also room to put a link to your book on the Amazon.”

 

The end.

 

This post was sponsored by:

Nobody. I really need to up my game.

 

When the routine is all we have.

Linking up with my people at Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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There are days when I get up, I get dressed, I swig some coffee, and I sashay on out to the world and say,

“World, greetings and salutations! I just had some coffee and my kids are dressed with 75% of their clothes facing the right way, and I’m PUMPED. Let’s DO this!”

Today friends, is not that day.

Today was a wake up, stare up at the ceiling, wish for more sleep, more coffee, more time when my brain didn’t seem to hurt so bad, kind of day.

I was not ready to face it, the day, or anything else for that matter.

I just wanted to pull my covers up over my head and hope for sleep and chocolate and perhaps a Corgi puppy. A puppy would help.

That would get all messy, though. And you know the puppy would also eat the chocolate which is bad and there would be stains on the bed and UGH WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO HARD EVEN PUPPIES.

And that’s when I start in on the whole exhausting mental checklist of Doom:

  1. It’s sunny, but I’m still sad.
  2. My children are healthy. Yep, still sad.
  3. Chocolate is in the house somewhere. SAD. SAD. SAD.
  4. We are fed, watered, have a roof… and still there is this horrible dreadful SADNESS. GO AWAY.

I have no reason for this sadness. And I really hate that. I want it to go away. I want to fight it. But the more I do, the more I get stuck in the sadness. Do you remember that verse in the bible about temptation? It says not to engage. Don’t make eye contact. Just RUN DA HECK AWAY? Well, that’s what I need to do, I think.

But I’m too tired to run.

I hate this sadness SO much that I have a tendency to hunker down and listen to a sour, angry voice inside my head that I like to call my “Inner Asshole” (sounds so inappropriate and kind of gross, but really? It’s just who he is). And he says things like:

“You’ll always feel this way. This day is gonna suck so hard it will just be impossible to even MOVE and your kids will hate you and everything is awful and why even try. Nothing matters except that you know that you are a failure for feeling things so hard that they make you immobile, so for the love of Pete, MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MOVE THEN. It’s super important when feeling immobile to KEEP ON BEING THAT WAY.”

But this morning, I did this:

“Hey, Inner Asshole, shut it. (Again, kinda gross.) I gotta go teach a bunch of college kids how to write good.”

And I got up, got dressed, even brushed and flossed (win for me AND the college kids) and got to work.

I didn’t want to.

I really just wanted to stay home.

I kinda hate parenthetical citations, really.

But sometimes? The routine is all we have. And we get up, and floss, mutter the serenity prayer six times, and talk about parenthetical citations, and we hold onto all that stuff as a tiny, bobbing life preserver.

Not a big pink floatie in the shape of a flamingo, folks. Just a tiny, yellow, beat-up life preserver. That’s it. That’s all you get.

The sharks are still out there, but by goodness, I am going to float the heck out of that preserver and paddle on. 

NOT TODAY, SHARK.

NOT TODAY.

 

 

Ultimate Chicken Horse

 

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So, there’s this game that my kids like to play called Ultimate Chicken Horse.

This is the world we live in. Ultimate Chicken Horse. It’s a thing, people. And as much as I would LIKE to try and explain how this game works to you, gentle reader, I realize two things:

  1. It’s called Ultimate Chicken Horse. Where does one even start with that.
  2. No adult ever really wants anyone to ever explain a game to him or her. I mean, really. Your son wants to discuss Minecraft? That’s your cue to get explosive diarrhea. Every time. I know how this works.

Let’s just say… it involves farm animals and a raccoon and something called a “Party Box.” It sounds like something that would air on late night Showtime, in my opinion. But, let us proceed.

I experienced Ultimate Chicken Horse, in my own household, Sunday night. And so, let me tell you the story. (Please, really, it won’t take long and I haven’t posted in ages and this is the best I’ve got):

Game players:

Blonde: wee one, moaning on couch because he has horrible Chicken Pox virus that he should NOT have because we DID vaccinate him, so don’t email me.

Red: wee one number two. Sucker for all sorts of punishment.

Hubs: Tall, older one who should really know better.

Cat: gray assorted.

Cat: white assorted.

Dog: neurotic type.

Me: angry and tired. But what is new.

 

So, let’s begin the game, shall we?

BLONDE: MOANING.

ME CALLING FROM KITCHEN: WOULD YOU LIKE A SHAKE?

BLONDE: NO.

ME: JUICE?

BLONDE: NO.

ME: SOME WARM MILK, PERHAPS?

BLONDE: NO.

ME: A SMOOTHIE?

BLONDE: NO.

ME: HOW ABOUT A SHOT OF TEQUILA?

RED: MOM. MOOOOOM. MOOMMMM!

ME: RUNNING TO BATHROOM, RIGHT PAST HUSBAND WHO IS “DOING SOMETHING,” ON THE COMPUTER SO IS UNABLE TO HEAR.

ME: WHAT?!

RED: MY WOUND! MY WOUUUUUND! IT HURTS! IT HUUUURTS! (Red is in the bath. Red also has half-inch scrape on tummy and likes to repeat himself when dizzy with pain). THE PAIN! THE HORROR! THE PAIN! THE HORROR!

ME: WELL GET OUT OF THE BATH THEN. OH, BUT I’M SO SORRY YOU ARE HURTING. BUT NOT REALLY BUT I’M JUST SAYING THAT BECAUSE THE PARENTING BOOKS SAY EMPATHY IS THE THING SO YES, SORRY.

RED: I CANNA GET OUT OF THE BATH THE PAIN IS TOO MUCH. MOVEMENT WILL KILL ME. SO WILL SITTIN HERE. AYE.

ME: YOU ARE USING THAT SCOTTISH ACCENT THING YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE FREAKING OUT. SHALL WE PAINT YOUR FACE BLUE?

RED: NO JOKING. THERE IS NO JOKING WHEN THE PAIN IS NIGH.

BLONDE: MOMMMMMMM.

ME: WAT

BLONDE: I COULD PERHAPS HAVE A MOUNTAIN DEW. WITH A TWIST OF LIME.

ME: NO. SODA IS NOT ON THE TABLE UNLESS PUKING.

BLONDE: I COULD PUKE.

ME: YOU NEVER MENTIONED PUKING BEFORE.

BLONDE: I COULD THO.

RED: MOOOOM. I DINNA KNOW IF I CAN TAKE IT MUCH LONGER. BUT HERE I WILL STAY, TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT.

CAT, ASSORTED GRAY: I THINK NOW IS THE TIME TO PEE IN THE CORNER OF THE LIVING ROOM.

CAT, ASSORTED WHITE: I SHALL WATCH.

CAT, ASSORTED GREY: NOW I WILL START SCRATCHING AT THE FLOOR AS IF TO COVER UP THE CAT URINE BECAUSE CLEARLY I AM AN IDIOT.

ME: GOOD GOD WHAT ELSE?

DOG, NEUROTIC TYPE: HERE I AM! I SHALL-

ME: RHETORICAL QUESTION, DOG. GO OUTSIDE.

DOG: I AM NEVER TAKEN SERIOUSLY. THEY WILL RUE THE DAY.*

BLONDE: MOM? MOOOOOOM?

ME: WHAT?

BLONDE: NOTHING. JUST CHECKING THAT YOU WERE STILL LISTENING. MY THROAT IS STILL AWFUL. SO CAN I HAVE SOME HARD POINTY CHIPS AND SALSA?

ME: UH IF YOU HAVE A SORE THROAT THEN SALSA MIGHT- OH JUST FORGET IT. HERE. MAYBE THE CHILIS WILL BURN THE VIRUS OUT OF YOU.

RED: WHY IS HE GETTING CHIPS? I WANNA CHIPS! HE GETS THE BURNING AND I DON’T. IT’S NOT FAIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRR.

ME: GET OUT OF THE $##* TUB. YOU CANNA EAT CHIPS IN THE TUB. NOW I’M DOING THE SCOTTISH THING.

HUBS: HONEY? OH HONEEYYYYYYY?

ME: WHAT.

HUBS: I HAVE THIS FILE FOLDER HERE WITH ALL OUR TAX APPRAISALS FOR THE HOUSE AND I AM DOING OUR TAXES BUT REALLY WHAT I AM DOING FIRST IS INPUTTING THEM ALL IN A SPREADSHEET THAT I WILL THEN FORGET ABOUT BUT BY GOD I HAVE TO DO THIS RIGHT NOW AND SO I AM WONDERING, WE HAVE ALL THE APPRAISALS EXCEPT FOR 2014. WHERE IS THE TAX APPRAISAL FOR 2014? FOR THE HOUSE? BECAUSE IT’S NOT HERE IN THIS FILE AND RIGHT NOW I REALLY NEED THIS. LIKE RIGHT NOW.

ME: YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE TAX APPRAISAL FOR 2014 IS?

HUBS: I NEED TO KNOW. RIGHT NOW.

ME: YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE TAX APPRAISAL FOR 2014 IS? RIGHT NOW?

HUBS:…

ME: IT’S IN YOUR BUM. WHY DON’T YOU GO LOOK FOR IT.

And that is how I won Ultimate Chicken Horse.

 

*DOG HAS SO FAR NOT DONE ANYTHING TO MAKE ME RUE ANYTHING. SWEET BOY.

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Slow Is Smooth and Smooth is… Still Slow.

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I think the military owns that saying, the “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” one?

I think they came up with it when they were training the army people to carry big exploding things over bunkers and not drop them on their foot or trip over a shoelace, which is totally something I would do.

You can thank me now, that I never joined the military. You’re welcome, America.

Anyhow.

One of the greatest paradoxes of mankind is a child’s inability to move fast under request, when five minutes ago they were skidding up and down the hall in their underwear and socks, shouting, “I’M COMING FOR YOU, AND YOUR TORTILLAS!”

I know. I really have no idea, either.

Let me break down this paradox for you:

If child is left to own devices: running, shouting, skidding, flying, sometimes the splits, and also loud thudding will occur regularly.

If child is asked to “hurry up” : the sloth cometh.

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This book was a favorite at our house.                              For some reason, that other classic, “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!” Yelled the Mom, was not as popular.

 

This morning before school, I watched Red push one arm through the sleeve of a jacket. My eyebrow started to twitch. I had to leave the room because it was like watching a sloth try to put one arm through a jacket, which is pretty hard because sloths have those weird claw hands that don’t fit through jackets very well.

I went into the kitchen. Poured a cup of coffee. Added cream. Rinsed off my spoon and put it in the dishwasher, like a boss. Took a breath.

Walked back into the living room. And there was Red, still trying to put THE SAME arm through THE SAME SLEEVE.

The other eye started twitching, so now I have a matching set. And then, there was the talking:

Punctual: “Red, it’s 7:58, you need to take it up a notch here.”

Organized: “Red, why don’t you put on your coat before your backpack?”

Wheedling: “Red, perhaps shoes are a good idea now.”

Military: “RED MOVE. JUST MOVE NOW. MOVE OUT. GO. GO GO GO.”

I know. It’s a sickness. The words just come out of my mouth, all slippery and desperate, because watching my son try to move from one end of the room to the other IS GOING TO KILL ME.

You’ll find me, one day, dead on the floor. Laid out. Done. And all because my son did something like this:

Puts one arm through sleeve (FINALLY THANK YOU SWEET FATHER AND JESUS TOO) and then, he proceeds to bend down and start patting the STUPID DOG ON THE HEAD BECAUSE NOW IS THE TIME TO BOND WITH THE DOG. NOW? NOW. NOW IS THE TIME.

He bent down, with me looming over him like an angry clock, and it was like he had never even noticed we had a dog before. “Oh! Hi Hosmer? Who’s a good doggie? Who is a good pupper? Rub you behind your ear?”

Only one sleeve on, no shoes, and a really sketchy understanding of how to put one foot in front of the other, and he wants to go all Bless the Beasts and the Children on me.

Well, I tell you.

I finally resorted to physically herding (pushing) both boys towards the door. They were chattering away and then, at one point, Blonde STOPPED to TURN to RED to TELL HIM SOMETHING. Like, all of a sudden he was practicing polite cocktail party chit-chat, only it was about Minecraft chickens. Which is a thing. Don’t ask.

I would have none of it. I just wedged myself behind them and kept moving them along, the Mom Barge, saying things like, “Move out. Press on. Westward ho!” and that sort of thing. It was very motivational.

Last I saw, they were both wandering in a serpentine pattern, in the general direction of the school. The serpentine is nice, because they’ll be protected from any sort of siege. Safety first.

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Timeout for Mom

Do you know, whenever you look up “Mommy’s Timeout” on the great internets, that this comes up?

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For some, this is good stuff. It’s harmless. It’s even pink!

For me? This is the kinda stuff that snuck up on me, lied a whole lot, tied me up, very tight, and then nearly put me in the ground.

I’m linking up with my favorite people today at Five Minute Friday.

Today’s theme?

 

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Five pm. Did you know, it happens, like, every day?

Seems to me, we need to skip five pm and just go straight to seven thirty. That’s when the babies go upstairs for baths, which is when the angels sing.

‘Course, we do have to eat in there somewhere. Perhaps they can dine while bathing? It could work, right? Barbecue chicken pairs nicely with soap and water. And I can just have Reeses for my supper.

There’s protein in them.

Anyhow.

You know how they say, “It’s five o’clock somewhere”? Well, I was, once, a big fan of those “they” people. They were on to something. A huge tumbler full of boxed Chardonney at my “somewhere” was a solid antidote to the Five O’clocked-ness of the world.

Until it wasn’t. Until, five o’clock nearly killed me.

Now, around that time, I pour about forty La Croix and cut a bunch of limes and wonder,

Why must five o’clock keep HAPPENING. IT’S, LIKE, RELENTLESS.

At times like these, I give myself a mom timeout. No wine.

Five minutes. It’s all the time I have, and it’s good enough.

Five minutes, me on the back stoop, dog sitting next to me. Hosmer quivers as a squirrel races by. And I watch as the squirrel races around the backyard like it’s had too much coffee and not enough brain cells to cover for it.

And I kinda feel for the squirrel.

Let’s face it, sometimes I AM the squirrel.

But, squirrels don’t take timeouts. I don’t think so. And yes, somehow this post has ended up about rodents with fluffy tails, but you know. That’s momsie.

Anyhow, I am pretty sure I have never seen a squirrel pause, put his little scritchy paws on his knees to take a breath, and say,

“I think I’ll just go read a little teeny tiny squirrel book, have some decaf, and take five.”

Five o’clock. Five minutes.

Five extra limes in my swanky sparkling water.

Whatever it takes, mommas. Whatever we need, because it’s a tough gig, momhood. It’s kinda relentless. But in a, soul-stretching, God-leaning, daily-praying, progress, not perfection, kinda way.

For me? “Whatever it takes” means taking my sober afternoons very, very seriously. Just thought I’d put that out there, to battle away the “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” demons. They can be pretty squirrelly.

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