Five things: a summoning. Twenty-one.

1. Graph the equation , the question reads and I am reminded, yet again, why I hate math.  

Also? Fractions suck ass.  

2. I’m the mom in the pick up queue bumping Biggie, and I don’t even care if it garners looks. If you don’t turn up 2Pac or Biggie when they come on the radio or up on the playlist, we can’t be friends.  

3. I’ve been crying daily. I don’t know if the world is crueler, if I am softer, if it’s a mixture of both, or if maybe I am just exhausted over all of it. In any case, it feels like my heart is an open wound, and I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the privilege of being able to feel this way. 

4. It feels like winter in SoCal, and I wonder if the Japan earthquake in 2011 adjusting the earth’s axis means it shifted what we know to be the cycle of seasons. So, maybe February is now the start of winter instead of December, and so on.

Maybe the combination of global warming and the shift is what is creating weather that seems unseasonable. 

5. Here. And isn’t that some sort of gift.  

Five things: a summoning. Nineteen.

1. I'm not sure whether or not being here is a sign of moving on or coping, and isn't that a fucking luxury.

2. I woke up at 5AM this morning, having forgotten to turn off my alarms, and let myself watch a movie on Netflix.

Things still feel hella heavy, but I'm trying to be aware of just how lucky I am to be here. To have my children safe under my roof. To not be in mourning.

3. Study runes.

4. I don't know what to say.

5. Maybe you don't, either?

Five things: a summoning. Eighteen.

1. I made my bed this morning as my children readied for school, and wept for the parents who had empty beds last night. 

2. I learned about ALICE—Alert. Lockdown. Inform. Counter. Evacuate.—today from this post, and openly wept at the gym.

Our children should not be sacrificial lambs.

3.  I commented The longer I live, the more I understand why people storm the castle, and I meant it. 

No one is coming to save us when lined pockets take precedence over lined coffins. So, my friend, we have to save each other.

4. As a parent, I promise my babies I’ll always keep them safe, but how do we do that when the entities put in place to ensure our safety turn the other way while gunshots ring out?  How do we do that when the entities put in place to ensure our safety gun us down in the streets while our schools become the stage for some sick fuck’s rage fantasy?

5. I am afraid. I am enraged. I am despondent.  

 

Five things: a summoning. Seventeen.

1. She stole my formatting, and then replied with some condescending nonsense that basically regurgitated what I had already shared.  

I wanted to reply Don’t come for me unless I call you, but tried being more tactful instead. 

I hope she read between the lines.  

2. Happy Gooey Hearts’ Day!

May today be but a reminder of how you are loved daily rather than the one day you feel loved.  

3.  Spaghetti for dinner, and I’m just not feeling it, you know? 

4. It was gloriously grey all day and now the sun is out. I wish it would’ve stayed away a little longer. 

5. Clothing designers really don’t design for curvy, petite women.  

Five things: a summoning. Sixteen.

1. It’s chilly today. The kind of chilly that makes us open all the windows in the house. The kind of chilly that feels like relief in our lungs. 

I don’t miss the sun.  

I often think we live/I was born in the wrong state.  

2. Fleur de sel caramels. Their perfect chewiness. The way they melt on my tongue.  

3. Eucalyptus in the shower. It scents the air and, if I’m being honest, just looks really pretty against the white tiles.  

4. Research projects in the school queue. I just started and already I’m ready to be graduated.  

5. Dear Universe, I would love to work in a local library or bookstore. Please help me make that happen.  

Five things: a summoning. Fifteen.

1. Is it weird to not want to wear pants? I feel like it is weird . . .  and, yet, it feels cathartic, too. 

2. He dances in the kitchen for me, then irons the boys’ clothes so I can sleep in a little longer tomorrow morning.

Acts of love.  

3. Playing Tooth Fairy, and wondering how long before he, too, stops believing.  

4.  Two loaves of banana bread with chunks of walnuts and salted butter, fresh from the oven. Warm water with lemon.

5. We stop to see the puppies again. I want that Saint Bernard, sweet little girl that she is.  

Five things: a summoning. Fourteen.

1. Grey skies and an open moonroof, my hand reaching for the mist. 

2. I walk in the door and he’s already insisting on making me something to eat.

He crisps the ciabatta perfectly.  

He always does. 

3. She looks so grown. My heart sort of hurts and soars.  

4. We can sit under light blankets and wear hoodies and have the windows open. This weather, it is glorious.  

5. Homework can wait. Right now, I just want to snuggle.  

Five things: a summoning. Thirteen.

1. I send him two photos. One of me and O looking sweet, the other of me and O trying to look creepy. He replies, I’m a lucky guy, and means it sincerely. 

There are so many levels to his amazingness.  

2. Having a history of disordered eating is one of the best and worst things I have ever done for myself.  

This realization struck me on the way to class. Funny how an empty car can clear space in one’s mind.  

3. Why aren’t jeans made in half sizes, too? 

Fourteens are too big, but twelves are just a little too tight.  

4. Nitro cold brew.  

5. I start my kinesiology lab tomorrow and find myself looking forward to getting back to running. Which is both surprising and a little confusing.  

Five things: a summoning. Twelve

1. I wander around aimlessly before a shower. Bare skin covered in ink.

I’m beginning to hate having to cover them with clothes. 

2. What do I need to know, I ask the cards.  Strength, they say. 

I don’t know if their answers come from me or the cosmic dust or some deity somewhere taking an interest in me, but I can tell you they always have the answers. 

Even if they aren’t ones I want. 

3. The perfect cup of tea. 

4. Long conversations and the hoarseness after. Worth it.

5. Standing in front of my Health 100 class to introduce myself and feeling like I was running a race, my heart was beating so fast.  

I really, really dislike public speaking.  

Five things: a summoning. Eleven.

1. When you’re a fixer and someone you love has a situation you can’t fix. That feeling. 

2. He says, I never hit her or got physical or anything like that, but I knew I needed help.  Everyone E meets has a story they want him to hear. I hope it helps them to get it off their chests.

3. Power moonroof. Because I can go without sunny days, but the moon? We’re involved.  

4. Love is a verb.  

5. I am lucky. I am lucky. I am lucky.  

Five things: a summoning. Ten.

1. I don’t show up Saturday. The day is long and the time is short, and I could guilt myself about it, but I want to be here because I want to and not because I feel obligated.  

I am not beholdened to my words—this is a partnership.

2. Stop. Think. Breathe.  

Reminder to self.  

3. I looked in the mirror and thought, I wish I could go out with no pants on

This is what healing looks like.  

4. Do you think other couples are like us?, I ask him. I hope there are; everyone should be this known.

5. That Lindsay Vonn commercial.

 

Five things: a summoning. Nine.

1. Tea. Warmed up twice. Because it's been that kind of morning.

2. One load of laundry washed, one folded and put away. It feels productive, even if it doesn't look it.

3. Writing a graduation letter to J as a parent participation assignment for her English class. Writing a poem to O for a parent valentine submission.

Tearing up. A lot.

4. Kinesiology orientation still to be done, but by the time I get all three Beasties to school and get to campus, I miss the top of the hour which means I miss the orientation time. Yet, somehow, I have to also find the time to visit at least twice a week over the next 17 weeks, and still make it to three in-class sessions for two other classes and be home in time to pick up the Beasties, help with homework, and get dinner done.

Someone remind me again why this lab is necessary?

5. Twos.

Five things: a summoning. Eight.

1. Long day. Long.  

2. O asks what I’m doing and I explain I’m blogging. He wants y’all to know he’s cute and fabulous and beautiful. 😂 

3. They read Llama Llama Red Pajama without me for his book report. When I read over what he wrote, the last line reads I like this book because my mom reads it to me before bed. My heart melts. 

4. Is it still ritual if all I do is keep the moon in my peripheral as I drive home?

I’m thinking yes. In this case, intention counts.

5. I wonder if there is a word for that feeling one experiences when showering after a long day. It’s like joy and relief and un-becoming all at once.  

 

Five things: a summoning. Seven.

1. I don't know that I'll ever tire of the moon. 

I thought I missed her slipping into something dark and crimson, but I didn't, and what a gift that was this morning.

2. Making small talk with the moms in the neighborhood after morning drop off. In the middle of the conversation I say, I just have to get this out of the way: I'm a feminist, and they both look at each other with a look of relief and reply We are, too. And I wonder if we were all holding our breath, wondering if maybe we couldn't be friends after all.

3. It's tank top weather here and there are no suitable tank tops in the stores. This irks me more than it should.

4. I sit in the queue, waiting for my oldest son, and thank the gods for the hotspot on my phone so I can blog (hi!), and do homework. Not in that order.

5. There are dead leaves still clinging to branches, and, yet, each day I notice more and more green everywhere. That vacant lot was dirt just a week ago and now it is covered grass that looks as soft as suede.

Five things: a summoning. Six.

1. Finding shortcuts. The good kind. The kind that mean I don’t have to sit in stop and go for ten extra minutes.  

2. I wonder why he thought he needed to hold such a loud conversation in public.  

3. The architecture is so pretty outside MD-157. I wish that area had been empty so I could’ve taken a better photo.  

4. Textbooks are ridiculously expensive. It’s a travesty, really, the way higher education has such a high mark up.  

5. I’m pretty sure I was the oldest in class, save for the professors, but I’m hoping that doesn’t mean I’m the most studious. Please let my group be people who want to learn.  

Five things: a summoning. Five.

1. He's less sad about being sick and more upset that his friend, who has been sick for two weeks, might return to school today and he's missing her arrival. I feel badly that he's missing her, but the hacking cough is enough to tell me he needs this rest day.

2. I don't feel ready.

3. He suggests I focus any new purchases on clothing instead of makeup. You're not going to want to wear the same thing all the time; I know you, he says. I tell him I plan to wear athleisure wear every day since I have that kinesiology class anyway and no one to impress. He smiles, shaking his head at me. Or you could do that, he says.

4. Am I overthinking this? Probably. I'm not sure if it's the Type A, overachiever or the Capricorn in me or what. Can I blame my upbringing or the stars for the way I feel right now?

5. She says, Wow, your skin is looking really nice, Mama. And then I wake up with a spot right in the middle of my eyebrows. Do witchlette daughters inadvertently jinx us? Should I thank the gods she didn't mention chicken pox?

Five things: a summoning. four.

1. I think it may be time to add to my capsule wardrobe. 

Keeping the colors, but adding a few pieces. It’s time.  

2.  Lemon pasta and the way sometimes the simplest of meals are just exactly what is needed. 

3. GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! A sleeve of Thin Mints went straight into the freezer.  

4. I am officially a college student (again) tomorrow.  

I am also more nervous than I care to admit.

5. Dreaming of snow.  

I am so over this warm weather.  

Five things: a summoning. Three.

1. Almost twenty years later, and I’m still finding new ways to be enamored with him and his generous heart.

Watching him play with our youngest and our nephew, on all fours to be a roaring dinosaur, made me wish we could make more babies.  

Like, really really. 

2. Pizza. Hot and covered in mushrooms. Fresh, not canned, please. 

3. The ritual of coffee and the way it tastes better when someone else makes you a cup. Why is that? 

4. The heater. For the first time this season. And the gift and privilege of that luxury.  

5. Oversized, down-filled couches. I want all our couches to be this comfy.  

Five things: a summoning. Two.

1. Answering an old question with new answers.  Because growth takes time. 

2. Vigil candles. Is that what they’re called? I always called them Saints’ candles or Santeria candles.

They make me think of those little, old Catholic ladies, black scarves draped across their hair as they recite Hail Marys at the other end of the pew. The way the footrest dips a bit as they finish praying and get off their knees.

They make me think of my sister, and the way the wall of candles looked in their red glasses at Christ’s feet. The birthday wishes we sent toward heaven for her. 

3. I wonder if doctors from days of old were on to something with bloodletting. Maybe they took it too far (probably), and maybe they used the treatment in the wrong way (likely), but maybe they weren’t wrong.  

I bleed with each tattoo, and each piece has brought me more healing than any therapist, psychiatrist, or medication ever has.

4. New sheets. Microfiber. Luxurious and soft; the kind of soft you want to rub your body against over and over again.  

And only $18.99 at Target. 

Go figure.  

5. The clouds rolled in yesterday afternoon, heavy with grey.

Every time I wonder why we stay in California, born here or not, she reminds me. Of all the states, there really is nowhere else I’d rather call home.  

Five Things: A summoning. One.

1. Water. After seven hours of having it shut off to our home while they fixed a leak at our main water line, I will never take the privilege of water for granted again.  

2. The way he kept looking back through the crowd until he found my face. The way he smiled and waved, then made his way to class.  

3. Figuring out my face. Realizing my full cheeks compete with heavy eye makeup, aging me needlessly. Falling in love with my skin, caring for it and nurturing it. 

4. I want to live in leggings and high top Vans. Is that weird? I feel like that’s weird. Shouldn’t I be dressing my age? And what does that even mean? 

5. Butter chicken and mini naan. The way their hands will keep reaching in for more. The conversations and laughter. I hope they keep the tradition of family dinners with their someday babies.

 

* Inspired by the ever amazing and talented Alisha of Sommersalt.com.