like a sealed letter they could not plainly read

Today marks my ninety days in sobriety. This probably means fuck-all to anyone not in Recovery but it sure means something to me.

Tonight I sat tapping my foot at a dance in an old chair in a corner but I was too shy to run out and join the small group, although it was a song I enjoy (mostly because it’s a well-known and most excellent sleazy rock anthem, and points if you can guess it in the comments). I sat there like any wallflower and when I got over worrying someone would think I looked foolish I started to feel all sorts of things. I acutely felt the sunburn I got from two hours exposure in the sun today and I felt a fierce joy that today I’m too shy to run out on the dance floor. And my reticence and the pain between my shoulder blades and my calmness and my sadness and my joy and presence and anxiety, I just felt Alive like, This is a part of it.

At any point I can take a deep breath and make contact with myself and my spirit, and look to my husband or my friends and know I’m Alive.

Ralph, Nels and Phoenix joined me a few minutes into the dance and the kids ran out on the dance floor and started wiggling and jumping around immediately. And I thought how precious my little family is to me and how I managed to hang on to that and to them throughout all kinds of Hell (of my own making) and all kinds of difficult times.

Yesterday I was gone for several hours during the day and evening, and during this time my daughter scheduled a sleepover at the neighbors’, with her friend L. I heard later Phoenix was packed and hanging out across the street and as evening fell she kept looking out the window at our house. Finally L. said, “Do you want to go home, Phoenix?” and my girl said Yes. She came home and unpacked and wouldn’t talk to Ralph about anything – except to say she’d been homesick. Ralph asked her a question and she sat for a moment, and then a light came in her eyes and her shoulders lifted and she said, “When does mom get home?”

And when I did get home at 11 or so I got loved up on by both kids. And I put my face in Nels’ blonde hair and thought how much I love the way my kids smell and have known it since before any other knowledge, and I know it’s no coincidence but one of the most incredible blessings of my life.

Sometimes I forget how much my children deeply love and need me. I am rarely apart from them for hours, and when it is a long venture it’s usually of their own design. Take a half-day away for myself and I come home and I discover how much I’m appreciated and loved.

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