When the Words Won’t Come

Watching the cursor blink at me on a blank screen is daunting. It’s torturous to construct the first sentence. It’s like starting to workout. You know, that moment right after you lace up your tennis shoes and seconds before you start moving…. that blank second in time where your brain and your body fight over what you are about to do. Writing is like that for me. I know I need to. The ache is bruising my soul, it squeezes me so tightly. But as I stare at the blank white screen determined to just begin, my mind drifts away.

One of my favorite song lyrics ever is a 90s crap song called Just Breathe by Anna Nalick. The verse says something about, “It’s 2 am and I’m still awake writing this song just to get it all down on paper so it’s no longer inside of my threatening the life it belongs to, And I feel like I’m naked in front of a crowd and these words are my diary screaming out loud, and I know that you’ll use them, however you want to.” I don’t think there’s ever been a lyric that’s hit me like that one does.

So I stare back at the cursor on the blank page. I think over all of the good things that are in my life now. The struggle the last year has been, but the amazing things that have happened over the course of it as well. I want to write about it. But I want to bury it all too. I squirm in my chair. I’m not ready to write about it. I refocus.

I see the sunlight pour through his honey colored hair and spill into his storm blue eyes, and I can’t help but smile. His sweet face brings me back to the light. Our journey has been a long one, yet it’s just beginning. It’s a happy story.

I stare out of my office windows across a Navy base that’s been quiet and deactivated for almost as long as I’ve been alive. The door is open and the last of the cool night air is already burning off as the Florida sunbeams pour across the floor. It’s going to be hot today. My insides burst with the thrill of Florida warmth.

I can hear the echo of the service men and women that have walked these sidewalks. There’s definitely a story there. The National Anthem is streaming through the airways now over the base loudspeaker, to no one in particular. It’s going to be a gorgeous day. And I’m ready.

She Doesn’t Have to BE

11903946_10204705465500842_6486131563214077616_nMy daughters are my whole world. They are 13 and 16 now, and the days show no signs of slowing down at all. As the years have unfolded, our lives have endured many a twisty route, both extreme good and a little bit of bad. Their father and I divorced in 2004 when they were 3 and 1. Since that time, of course we have both moved on.  The first summer my youngest called me bawling her eyes out because her dad’s GIRLFRIEND had made her clean her room and wash a dish, I was enraged.  I was a whole bunch of emotions that I wasn’t sure how to label. Mostly though, I was nervous to think of someone else in my daughters lives.  How dare some other woman make my child fold a blanket. Who did this GIRLFRIEND think she was?

17796120_1426719260692970_21785208591364947_nWell… let me tell you who she is…. she’s someone who in the last five years has taken my daughters to soccer practices, drama rehearsals, doctors appointments, school when they were late, movies, dinners, photo shoots. She is someone who never tries to impose on my role as their mother, but loves them like only family can. She doesn’t complain about hanging out with them or time that their dad spends with them. She doesn’t tell them they aren’t important to her. She doesn’t neglect them because they are not her own children.

13529045_641102126042541_5500849715280343824_nShe’s someone who makes me want to be the best step-mom I can be. She’s someone that my daughters appreciate having in their lives. She’s someone they can call when they’re too nervous to call me or their dad. She’s someone that loves them very much. She takes pictures of them, and is proud of their successes. And part of their success is having so many people in their lives that love them, when they didn’t have to. She doesn’t have to take Faith to soccer when I can’t. She doesn’t have to bring Hailey lunch money when she’s  forgotten, and I’m already at work. But she does. And because she does I think she should know I am proud to share Mother’s Day (just a little) with her. More than honored. Amber, I hope you know how much the girls love having you around all the time. And I hope you have a very Happy Mother’s Day!!