Ten.One Hundred & Eleven

1. I sleep in an extra 30 minutes. Maybe it was the manchego that gave me such strange dreams.  

2. I make the lunches and offer fruit loops for breakfast so that I can empty the dishwasher and put in another load.  

3. When I drop them off I put the car in park, run around the rear and hug each one, tell them I’ll see them again on Monday. I feel the pang of mother guilt.  

4. Why is it that when we leave we have to be so accommodating? 

5. The ride to the airport is quiet. I am anxious about my travel. Because I am doing it alone. I tell him that I’m never nervous when he’s with me.  

6. As I inch along in the security line I realize I left my water bottle in the bathroom.  

7. I’m in the middle seat but can see bits of earth through the window. The mountains look like pointy stacks of cheap cocoa powder.  

8. I can feel the accumulation of too much dairy in my gut.  

9. I really hope the three of them are not getting on my plane.  

10. I roll down the window to type the code and then can’t keep my head inside the window. All the stars. I am here.  

Ten.One Hundred & Ten

1. I need to get used to these chilly mornings. 

2. I hear the crash of the recycling truck and snacth my robe off the hanger and run downstairs in my underwear. I’m not fast enough and I’m stilk half-naked.

3. I like that they like smoked salmon.  

4. I need hiking shoes, a canteen, lotion, and sunblock. And to do all the laundry. 

5. Memory card is clean. Camera is clear. Battery is charged. The large tripod fits on a diagonal. Ready. 

6. I’m getting better at this planning ahead thing. You’d have thought that after three kids I would’ve had this planning thing down by now. But I don’t. But I’m gonna keep trying to find the ways to make it easier on myself.  

7. I still haven’t bought any candy corn.  

8. The trees are turning and turning.  

9. I open up my bag again and survey the contents. I think about how I might capture the stars and the smiles and the cups of coffee. How the hiking shoes are not only good for the Arizona landscape but for the ground I will root into once we move to California. 

10. Gratitude.  

Ten.One Hundred & Nine

1. I wake up in the middle of the night—or maybe it’s early morning—and see something the color of amber that’s sparkling through the window. A star? Another planet? An angel? I am bleary-eyed and have to pee. 

2. The thin and cold air takes my breath away as I stand on the front porch and take in the sliver of moon.  

3. I have a vision in my head of a levitating apple.  

4. Tuesday. My favorite day of the week.  

5. I listen to the latest On Being episode with Joan Halifax. Everything she is saying is so applicable to my life right now. It makes me want to pull over the car and close my eyes and let her wisdom wash all over me. 

6. I should get back to meditating.  

7. He has me blind taste two wines and rate them on a 100-point scale. Research. 

8. The weather today. And the sun. How it’s rays are a slender shade of yellow that breaks through the trees. 

9. Culver’s Night for a school fundraiser. Do I need this burger? No. Do I want to do dishes? No.  

10. We FaceTime him to wish him a happy birthday. I’ve gotten out of the habit of having the kids call them. They joy on his face makes me want to do better at remembering.  

Ten.One Hundred & Eight

1. I can feel the cold creeping in over the top of my blanket.  

2. I decide to sleep in and then immediately regret my choice because now everything feels rushed.  

3. The moon is a shining white crescent in the indigo sky and I feel so lucky.  

4. I write the “thank you” notes, 14 of them. I hope they can read my writing. I hope they know how much I love them. 

5. Warm chips and salsa for lunch. 

6. The way the wind is blowing and how it reveals the lonely red leaf. I am sometimes that leaf, steadily changing while everything else is stubbornly staying the same.  

7. He asks me when I’m coming to volunteer in his class. Insert mommy guilt.  

8. Indifference.  

9. Beef stroganoff because I need some comfort food. 

10. Ready.  

Ten.One Hundred& Seven

1. I hear a shrieking sound and think it’s just a truck at the Home Depot before realizing it’s just one of the children downstairs.  

2. I keep miscounting the scoops of coffee and just say screw it and start it up. 

3. Her pumpkin bread.  

4. We gather around the island and feed the kids and talk about jobs and insurance and unions. 

5. I am missing her before she even pulls out of the driveway, standing with the door wide open, cold October morning air pushing in. 

6. I don’t really know what to do with myself so I sweep.  

7. Poldark. 

8. I make some matcha and journal at his desk.  

9. I’ve been stressed about the 6 mini photo sessions lined up but realize today that it’s not the shoots but the driving that’s at the root of the anxiety.  

10. Apple pie—the kind with the crumb topping—and vanilla ice cream. Her words “Defiant Magic” run through my head. The gravity of those words.