And then I lit a potato on fire

Do you ever have  one of ‘those days’?

Let me paint you a picture.

My son wakes up early, which is OK with me. It’s OK with me because it’s hard for him to go back to preschool after the weekend, especially a long weekend. That means I take a trip down inadequate shit mom guilt hell lane. He’s really holdin’ on to that “I don’t want to go to school” stance this week, so the trips down the lane just keep happening! Today my son wakes up early, angles for a snuggle. I fire up Netflix, cuddle up, post a bit of work and set off to wrangle Laila into a school uniform.

But pops. Poor pops.

Eli decides he hates dad today. He does this thing lately, where he snuggles me but screams when he sees Mark, probably because Mark’s the unlucky fellow that has to drop our unwilling toddler off at school.  It hurts Mark’s feelings. Our doctor said that kids do this sometimes, pick a favorite. It will go from one parent to the next. Except for the duration of Eli’s life it’s been me.

Eli’s screaming, Laila’s moving like a snail and I’m losing my mind, but we’re off.

The bell is ringing as Laila slips through a nearly-closed school door.

I get through the work day and the feelings of inadequacy follow me there, like the gift race horse I didn’t ask for. Some cheeky old-money matron named  him”Good fer nothin'”  All day, I couldn’t shake ‘Good fer nothin’ off my trail. Writers: Born to suffer!

Are you aware that vocalizing your insecurities used to be admired as a strength?

This I learned from the Washington Post’s Presidential Podcast series. George Washington was not up for the task. He was riddled with self-doubt and thoughts of inferiority. He told all of his friends! He plodded ahead anyway. Back then, people revered humility.

In today’s world, any expression of doubt in ones self is perceived as weakness. Can you even imagine Hillz or The Donald highlighting a single weakness-like EVER?

Buncha BS.  I went to a conference of nerds in July that was full of Pulitzer-Prize winning writers. All humble. In awe of what they didn’t know. I felt that. Writer after writer admitted essentially the same truth: They had no idea what they were doing, fumbled around any way, kept at it, and by some streak of luck, here they were.

I file an article and picked up my daughter – late.

A half hour late.The pick-up time changed from last year to this year.

The annoyed worker informs me of the change, looks at me like I should have known it and says I’ll be charged $30.

I do not have the energy to pick a fight.

I return home to my hot mess house, start doing the dishes and rifle around for something for Laila to eat.

Aha! This potato! Whole food. Potassium. I clean it, impale it with a violent jab of the fork, pop it in the microwave and head out back to check out my weed-infested garden.

There, I spot something glorious gleaming through the brush tangle: a ripe green pepper. It shimmers like an emerald in the sun.

The pepper makes me smile. The pepper restores my faith in myself! I…grew…THIS!

I walk into the kitchen, which is filled with smoke.

That’s because, in the microwave, the potato-turned-charcoal brick had erupted into flames.

I scream, opened the microwave door and watch the flame it flicker out, concurrently,with my soul.

I grip my green pepper. I hold it above my head.

“Tomorrow is another day!”











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