Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I read something the other day that absolutely felled me. It was simple, maybe a little stupid. It was this: There was a day your parents put you back down and never picked you up again.

I thought about that obvious little sentence for the better part of a day, turned it over and thought about how one day I will put my children down and never pick them up again. And then I lifted Zoey who is almost as tall as I am and kind of cuddle-dragged her to make a sandwich with me, hummus and greens, lots of mustard.

I know. How can I be gone for over 3 months and come back with no explanation, talking of mustard?

We'll get to that later.

Today was the first day of school, so there was also this:
 And this:
 And of course:
Third grade and preschool, the smell of fresh paint and new backpacks, things that make me feel clasped and familiar.

But that. The other. I know. I don't mean to be coy--I detest coy--I swear I will tell you soon. For now I will just say this: there was a day I was put down and never picked up again, but I am trying very hard to pick myself up, and I thank you for your kind comments and emails. In the meantime, let's make friends with the elephant in the room. He's really quite nice.



Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're back...I'm sorry if you have been hurting (are hurting).

I was hoping you were just having such an amazing summer that you couldn't be bothered to blog.

Petunia Face said...

Thank you 10pm Anon. :)

And I just want to clarify...I reread my post and I think it sounds like something is wrong with my husband and me, but that's not it. Just don't want anyone sending stink eye over the www to Bryan--he's awesome.

Molly said...

JUST last night I was lying in bed thinking of you. In a completely not weird way.
Hoping you're okay.
Can NOT believe how enormous that baby boy is ...
Maybe the day your parent puts you down for the last time is the day you start to learn to pick yourself up?
Thank you for coming back.

Anonymous said...

So happy you are back! I've missed your writing so much!!!!!

Nancy Fastenau said...

You were missed. I love the pictures, they are the most precious. I can see you picking them up when they are 30.

Gretchen said...

Happy to see you again. You've been missed. No stink eye here, but I'm ready to launch it if needed.

Heidi F said...

Am I the only one thinking no explanation is necessary? Give that elephant a cup of coffee and then show him the door.

So glad you are back!

brenaugusta said...

I'm SO glad you are back!! You have such an amazing family! I've missed your stories and your humor.

Mr. X said...


Q: What do you call an elephant that's an expert on skin disorders?
A: A Pachydermatoligist

Sorry. That's about the best elephant joke I could find.

I'm guessing you're under a great deal of stress, Susannah. Whether physical or mental, real or imagined, stress is "double-plus un-good." I have a good bit of familiarity with this fact, both past and present.

Anyway, I hope you're able to direct your thoughts toward something positive. I struggle with doing this, particularly on days when my body is in pain. But, when I am able to focus my attention, it does make a difference.

I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts. As evidenced by the comments in this post and the prior, so are many others. Please remember the affection we all hold for you. Even strangers like me. We're all connected.

Best always,

A friend in the Carolinas

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs time sometimes!! Nice to read you again! (:o)


Anonymous said...

you're back!!!! you've been missed!!
just last week I forced my boyfriend to watch the prisencolinensinainciusol video and, of course, thought of you.
when my son was a newborn, I would wake up during the night to feed him. sleep would elude me and I would read your blog's archives. your stories would make me laugh when I desperately wanted to cry. I feel like you are a part of my history. when I think back to my son's first month of life, you are there too.
sending positive vibes your way to help get you through whatever difficulty you are facing.
ps. please search youtube for the jimmy fallon/joseph gordon levitt lip-synching skit. you will not regret it. promise.

Allison C said...

I am a newish reader, but I'm always excited to see a new post by you. You're a great writer, funny, honest and real. And, your kids are adorbs.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!

It is amazing to see how tall Zoey has become....and Ozzy is in pre-school(which is amazing because I could have sworn he was born a few months ago)

Thank you for posting and sharing the photos.

And thanks for mentioning everything is okay with your marriage; I totally went there.

Assuming.....ass being the operative syllable in my case

much love from marin

kacey2004 said...

You don't have to explain....ever.Just that your back at all,and even if it is every 3 months is enough for me.Welcome back!I understand what its like to fall down a rabbit hole and have to crawl your way back up what seems an impossible abyss,i've been there,more than once.Zoey looks so grown up for her age,and beautiful of course and when did Ozzy get so big?Wasn't he just a baby?Sigh,time just goes by so fast.Hugs,Peace and Love,Keely

Kirsten said...

I have been thinking something similar very often lately. Having a second (last) child and knowing everything I do with her will be the last one. The last nurse, the last potty training, the last little curled up next to me snoring softly with an arm draped across me and a hand on my chest, just to make sure I'm here... it's all very heartbreaking to me. Makes me impatient a tiny bit less.
I'm glad you're back and I'm wishing you all well. You deserve some really good luck.
-Ol' Neighbor Kirsten

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back! I only read a handful of blogs and yours is by far the funniest, purest, and heart warming (even the dark stuff, so don't be afraid to share). I still check every day in the hopes you have written something new.