Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So, school is back in session, and my daughter is in First Grade. The curriculum has been giving her some challenges – not academically, but behaviorally. She doesn’t like to focus on a task for very long, and the writing assignments in particular are causing her some trouble. I find it highly ironic to hear my daughter say “I HATE writing!”

Books were my refuge from a very young age, and I was always reading far ahead of my grade level. By Fourth Grade I was reading at a Twelfth Grade reading level. But I was also a deeply unhappy child with a great need to escape, so you could say I was motivated. My girl, on the other hand, has been read to since she was born, and loves to have me read to her. We just finished the Little House series. She doesn’t see the need to read herself. She is not motivated.

Homework is as hard on me as it is on her. I kind of hate having my every night scripted by one more obligation. There is already dinner, bathtime, and bedtime that eats up most of the time after work. Add homework into it (and this isn’t stuff she can do alone) and my night is shot. Every single weeknight. I find myself counting how many years until she’s old enough to do some of these things herself. It’s not that I don’t think it is important for her to get the most out of her education – I do. It’s just that I have so very little time to myself as it is. And now I watch most of it slipping away.

I find myself thinking about my secret crush. He and I send each other emails throughout the day, and last week he asked me for my personal email address. Today he asked me to go get lunch with him. The truth is that he is my friend, and is acting like a friend. I am the one who, lying awake in the dark, lets his voice wash over me. I know there is too much time and distance between us; we’re at different places in our lives. He’s just so much the guy I should have been with if I hadn’t spent my twenties with the drug addict or my thirties in therapy. If those lost years could somehow magically condense into a smaller chunk of the space-time continuum, I could actually take the leap and try to have something with this man. This man who thinks I’m smart and funny and interesting, but thinks of me as his friend. This man who shares my taste in music and humor and is good at his job and is ambitious and talented. And who is nice looking and loves his son. I’m just sad because he represents my lost youth. It’s not a youth I ever had, and am nostalgic about, either. It is a youth I that was robbed from me, but see slipping away every time I look in the mirror. In the most self indulgent and pitying way, I feel sorry for myself because every day I am confronted with the realization that I am mortal and I have only a limited time left, and I have to adjust my expectations.

So there we are. I spend most of my time working and taking care of my daughter, and in the still quiet moments alone, I wish I could do over a couple of decades. I used to feel pretty impulsive and spontaneous sometimes. Not so much these days. I have a schedule and a reputation, both of which are worthwhile to maintain. Not Joan Jett any more.


  1. He might not think of you as just his friend, either, and there's no reason to think that love couldn't work between you. You're still young and pretty and I refuse to think otherwise, nor should you.

    *kiss* This too shall pass. I hope for such good things for you, my friend!

  2. I hope you don't let go of your dreams and give up so quickly. It may take time for things to happen, but that doesn't mean they won't happen. If you are interested in getting to know your crush better, keep open to the idea. Let it happen. Even if it doesn't develop into the relationship you are wishing for, it's always good to have another friend, isn't it? I understand how school and homework with your daughter makes your week nights busy, but lunches together are a good thing and perhaps you could get together on the weekend with this man? Hire a babysitter, or share a babysitter with him, or take the kids with you somewhere. There are options. Try a few of them and see what happens. Hugs to you. Hoping the best for you.

  3. You ARE still young and have your entire rest of your life in front of you. You DESERVE happiness!!!!!! Don't settle for anything short of that. THIS is the greatest lesson you will teach your daughter.

  4. Ah, Joan. This is so good. Brava, girl.