but it turns out it was just a tumble down a steep trail

I’m with my oldest, and my mother. I’ve taken my first sip of the fragrant, spicy broth of my ramen bowl when the phone buzzes.

It’s my son. “Mom?” he asks. His voice, I could tell you a thousand times how well I know it. He has something important to tell me. “I fell off a cliff,” he tells me. In his mind it’s like a newspaper headline.

I ask a couple questions. Turns out, he’s okay. He’s called in part because he knows how much I would care, how much I’d want to know. And he’s calling to apologize for the very muddy clothes he brought into the house. “My hands are covered in scratches,” he says. I ask if he can hop in the bath, and I’ll come home and check him out. “Well not scratches. You can’t see them. Like scrapes,” he elucidates.

We bring him two fat burritos for lunch; my mom knows his favorite kind and I let her order while I chat with Phoenix. When we arrive at my house, there’s no way my mom isn’t going to come inside to check on her grandson. He’s showered and cuddled in a blanket by the time we get home. And he’s pleased to see his Grandma. A few minutes after she leaves, and he’s finished his lunch, he’s wrapped up in two warm throws and tucked deep into my bed. I crawl in next to him and breathe in his skin, the best smell there is. Our life can seem so normal but I realize it is rather spectacular. I get so much more time with my kids than most people do. I never want to take it for granted.

At home things have been – busy. Well. Rough, to be honest. My 40th birthday on the 11th was glorious; I spent the first part of the afternoon on a date with my partner, then had a yoga workshop. Home to my women’s meeting, then out with the family for a late dinner. Friends sent me presents and cards; another sent money from abroad. These things are spectacular gifts in an otherwise iffy few days. This week in my studio I’ve had one (minor) disaster after another. My main sewing machine’s foot pedal died – and I am in the middle of several projects. Half my sewing fabrics are in a huge, unsorted pile – they have not been sorted on the as-yet-unbuilt shelves. I have had several mishaps on the current project and each day I am a little further behind my hopes.

So tonight I’m not feeling it, as they say. But I did the things I should. I cleaned house. I give the dog a warm soapy bath – he needs it! – and some fancy dog treats. I let my oldest hold my hand, even though my skin is crawling and I am feeling unsettled.

Of course I put my arms around my husband, ask how he is. He’s also under stress: finishing up his Bachelor’s Degree this month. In a text today a friend asks me, What makes me feel alive? I say, “Accomplishment,” but I’m thinking right now. Maybe time is moving a little too fast, because I am doing a little too much.


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