Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What She Will Miss

This has nothing to do with everything. Or everything to do with nothing. (I speak in zen koans when I don't know what to think.) On Monday my maternity leave is over. Gleeptum, glopton, glooptum, I think Frank Zappa said it best when he sang broken hearts are for assholes. There is no need to go into the Mommy Wars and the ubiquitous joke re: having it all. Freedom is the absence of choice, my dad likes to remind me, and Janice Joplin sang about nothing left to lose, Mercedes Benz and some guy named Bobby McGee. I am neither here nor there, instead a few days from going back to a job that I love but leaving the children that I love more. There's that which makes me feel numb with something, like I want to punch it or fuck it or eat it up whole.

Instead I volunteered for lice check at Zoey's school. Spent the morning poking through children's hair with something called giggle sticks which just looked to me like sharp wooden things, I don't know. The other moms all pony-tailed blonde hair which has even less to do with anything so I forced myself to swallow it, the fact that I volunteered for lice check because after next week I will not be available for the Bookmobile.

There is this woman that I know-ish, not really, but this: she has a daughter Ozzy's age, 3 months, and she just got deployed to Korea for a year. Why can't your family go with you? people ask, but the military base has no family housing and the area is too dangerous anyway, she says. For a year. While I am on the bus commuting home at 5 o'clock.

Ozzy watches my mouth when I speak. Oooo! he says. Ooooo! He's got this little sharp top lip like a bird sometimes. Ooo! And so I say it back to him, oooo, like when your brain is backed into a corner and you cannot think of the word, the edges of everything blurred from moving too fast. I was disappointed that we didn't find any nits, although just the thought makes me feel itchy. Still. All that poking? For nothing? And the children's faces--every one of them so goddamn serious while they sat with my fingers sifting through their hair.


A Perfect Gray said...

loved that piece.

Caroline said...

That post just made me feel like I have a fire in my chest.

I'm knocked up with my second and I starting dreading the end of maternity leave about 10 minutes after I took the pregnancy test.

Also, why don't sad stories make me feel any better??? Why can't I just be happy I have a job and insurance and a house and food and medical care and clothing and that I don't have to move to Korea. It could be so much worse.

Because nothing can fill that hole. Maybe time (or the teenage years) will close it.

Rolerkite said...

funniest note ever.

jennifer said...

i can't imagine it. sounds like a real stinger.

Christie said...

That note is the best thing I have seen in a LONG time. I needed that laugh! Tank you!