Overly Honest


This was the view right outside my door, if you walked out and turned right- from one of our rare snowdays last winter. The snow had already pretty much melted, but there was still a certain drama to the sky.


at this point in writing this I paused. There were three directions I could follow my thoughts out with, but I wasn’t sure.


I don’t know. I think both the shy and the bold feel the danger of talking too much. My daughter has branched more and more toward her grandma this summer. My mom’s been providing things- at a time when my income took a hit of sorts.

I have gotten really good at not showing what a hit to my pride it is, how undermining it feels to have so little fun to offer. There’s a job offer for me in a town two cities away, and I’m torn. Cus Sierra got into the really wonderful school, the school I wanted, but if I’m to make decent money it means either starting her again somewhere, or leaving her with my mom, or I could just keep struggling by and pretend not to mind that someone else takes over, goes away with her, plans things without telling me but tells her so I can’t turn it down, etc.

The regular ambushing techniques.

We’re reading this book at night. It’s the only plan I had for us this summer that didn’t get derailed,- we’ve been reading the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Two chapters a night- no more, no less. I’ve never read the book, but I trust the book, it’s what came to my hands the day my daughter said she wanted to go to the fair with grandma ‘cus she can buy tickets’. I needed a book right then so my emotions wouldn’t show.

I’m holding onto this book like a principle. Maybe if she remembers something of this summer, it will be the story. The language read the way I needed to feel that first night I opened it up. Calm, cool, with a certain singularity to the order of the words as if they each well up and exist, unto themselves one by one, and take their time about weaving together the emotional fabric of a story.

I don’t know why it’s so important, but it is, so I’m trusting the book to unfold and be what it’s needed to be, slow discovery by slow discovery for the both of us.

Now wait, though, before you pull a frown or nod your head, part of what’s so wrong with this aspect of the summer is that the summer itself is not so bad. I said before, in a post how you build a persona around the one that’s closed down. I liked that idea, cus sometimes I’ve felt that in past years, that I constructed a sort of ‘interface’ personality out of the thin topsoil of what was left after the big hurt, and the worse failures that transpired in my early twenties.

What happens now though is there’s changes. Top soil can get swept away pretty easily, so it’s as if in the last year or two there’s been cracks in that closed down part, and what rises to the surface is pretty stubborn stuff. I made a choice, recently about what I wanted, and even after writing about it (which sometimes sort of- oh, I donno, self-sabotages in a way) that chioce stuck. And it was a hard one, but it bore fruit. It made a difference.

Somewhere along the way in the past months my little self enclosure broke down, and I can’t really retreat the way I did then. I don’t think I ever will be able to again, which is scary in a way, cus the world is still the big-hurty, wild, random place it ever was, but it’s also good.

You do get tired of being lost; of being separated from the basic core of who you are. I have a little confidence that, though she can’t see it now, maybe someday my child will understand and appreciate how much I bit my lip so she wasn’t drawn into the power struggle that waged across her middle childhood. And something of what I feel is important does seem to come to the surface in her, just usually when I’m not looking for it.

I’m so grateful for that.

For the longest time, I didn’t even think that existed anymore in *me*, but if Sierra has some of that in her, it must not of really gone away.


So again,
I don’t know if it’s all going to be okay. It might all go to shit tomorrow, but I have a little confidence that if we survive the coming changes, we’re both going to find a way to figure it out somehow.

Here’s a phrase I never ever say, couldn’t say for the longest time, but I can say today:

I have faith.


6 thoughts on “Overly Honest

  1. “I have faith.”

    There you go. That right there is a major success. Things will even out in the end. If. You. Have. Faith.

    And Sierra seems like a pretty perceptive kid, judging by what you’ve written about her.

  2. The fact that you can say (or write) “I have faith” is a marvelous gift to your daughter and to yourself.

    So is reading a book together. I know because my sons have surprised me by remembering those reading evenings — when we read books together — in ways that I hadn’t expected. Good ways. :)

  3. It may sound repetitious, but “I have faith” has an immensely hopeful sound. And the book you are reading together she will never forget. I remember my oldest son begging me to read to him from the collection of tiny little books I had. The small size was the fascination at age four and I knew he would not sit still for Shakespeare. He wore me down finally and he did sit still, sucked his little finger and was mesmerized by the rhythm of the words. No, he’s not a thespian, but a very bright young man and good writer. It was good for us both. Once I started Othello I couldn’t stop. :-)

    Books are wonderful bridges with all my children and I’m sure they will be for you and Sierra.

  4. She’ll remember and she’ll love you all the more for it. She sees it now but somehow she has faith, too and so she’s letting it all happen and she’s sailing along in her faith, knowing that those who love her will take care of things and in the end, it will all be okay.

  5. mad- she’s both perceptive and oblivious… somehow.

    Robin- That’s encouraging. My mom insists that she read to me, but I don’t really remember it. But they were both great at *providing* books, and that’s all the more encouragement my brother and I needed.

    david- throw in some chocolate somewhere, and I’m sold.

    anhinga- i read that a few time before I understood that your four year old son wore *you* down about reading a small book of Shakespeare? That’s marvelous, and you draw such a beautiful picture of him sitting there with his fingers in his mouth, eyes sleepy-wide. I cannot imagine reading Shakespeare to Sierra at this point. She wouldn’t even sit still for Amelia Bedelia.

    Corina- I want her to have that sense, for sure. Even though I’m not entirely sure things are going well, or even okay right now, I want her to think they are.

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