How Many?

How many days are there when you just aren’t making it? I survived but barely. I’m not talking depression exactly (although I need to pick up my prescription and I’m unfortunately out of refills) but I’m wondering when I can hide for some hours or a solid day.

Yesterday, I couldn’t cook again.

I do not mean that I have cooked so many nights that I just couldn’t possibly cook another supper. I have failed to make dinner for the millionth time and I wanted tacos. I can’t go to our usual spot because the line is looonnnngggg and it is hot and there is no way I can convince Mim to do Taq.

Taqueria Del Sol. Picture a longer line and hotter temps and Mim asking me to carry her.

George suggests Superica. Addy arrives first and chooses an outside table.

Superica. Picture it hotter than Hades.

She always chooses an outside table because she detests cold. After living underweight with anorexia, she cannot cope with what she calls freezing and I call air conditioning. It is hard to reconcile giving Addy ahard time. It isn’t her fault she had to live in a body that was absolutely freezing for years. That would be miserable. I hate to be really cold. But, it was 99 degrees. I am not being facetious. The car thermometer said 99.

It took us longer to get there because Dolly asked to drive. She has a permit. 5:30pm in Atlanta traffic. I say yes. (I am weak and driving makes Dolly so freaking happy. Since she was a tiny kid, I have always explained that Dolly was supposed to be the oldest child in a family somewhere and there was a incredibly lucky glitch in the cosmos and she became number 5 at our house. Driving seems to wipe away that strange misplacement. She gains the independence she has coveted and she is recognized as officially grown to the world of the road. George her older brother is riding in the back with our friend Lizzy and Mim. I should have been praying to Our Lady of The Highway that the nuns invoked on field trip buses throughout my childhood. ( I never understood how she “Our Lady of the Highway” existed. Cars and highways hadn’t existed when the Virgin Mary was alive.) But I felt a scratchy throat and a sinus headache so we were without a spiritual accompaniment and it was a tough drive. I may have grabbed her arm or the steering wheel. George may have held his breath. Leaves from bushes may be stuck in my passenger side windows. Dolly says “I yelled.”

We arrived none the worse for wear- unless you count Lizzy and George’s nerves, my hot flashes and Mim’s exhaustion. I kept bribing Mim with phone time for her beloved Netflix. She had lost phone privileges for two days- due to anger erupting- she ripped books, rubbed grass and dirt into her hair and broke her glasses. At the restaurant, she was willing to maintain an attitude without lashing out. In that moment of 99 degrees and a extremely slow waitress that was good enough for this tired mama. While waiting for food, BeBe face timed us to ask me about her FAFSA application and my tax information. I did not have that info on the top of my head. I miraculously retrieved the info later that night from a folder my Dad had made me before he died. My dad was really good at holding things together. Of course, I cried a little over the turquoise folder my dad had labeled with a mailing sticker and printed my full name. I dripped tears on the tax forms. The questions about my income and savings to fill in on the FAFSA were cry worthy, too. Most of the answers were zero. My dad never would have said zero. He always had savings. I am incapable of holding onto savings.

I reassure myself by saying I don’t have credit card debt.

When I was separated from Chad, a few years ago, I opened a fortune cookie and it said “You will never again have to worry about money.” What a relief. I bought some lottery tickets and waited for my windfall. It never came and eventually I realized that the fortune cookie was more of a mindfulness message than a paycheck. I never have to worry about money. I never have much money. But I don’t need to worry about that. My kids and I have air conditioned homes and blanketed beds and ice cream in the fridge. I need to pay bills and I don’t know where the extra money for the property tax will come from but worrying won’t do me much good.

On top of beginning of the school year exhaustion, new driver woes, Mim’s temper, and the heat, I learned that my ex husband who has been “couch surfing” since June- spent the night at “her” house. In between work trips, when he was in Atlanta for like 18 hours… “Her” is the original woman. The seven year affair from New York. The woman with the sock that ended up in my dryer. {I did not say “couch surfing.” Chad says he is “couch surfing”. I don’t think anyone over the age of 22 should ever use that term. I find the words vomit worthy.} Did I mention, “her” moved from New York to Atlanta soon after our divorce.

A year or so ago, she messaged me on Facebook. She wanted to know if I wanted to talk because she thought we had a lot in common. I never responded, because I have unbelievable self control and lots of chocolate, as well as some very good friends. I asked Chad- what the hell? Are y’all getting married or something? Is there a reason I need to talk to her? He assured me “Nope. She is crazy. I told her to stop contacting me and I am not even speaking to her anymore.”

I guess he lied.

If you are wondering who are all these people she is naming, you are welcome to read Cast of Characters to get all caught up. Click the link in bold and get the low down on each of my kids.

Black sock sounds gripping- please read The Sock. Just click on the title in bold and that piece of writing will magically appear.


  1. mumtwelve

    You are strong and doing an amazing job with life! Teachers and parents alike are exhausted from the first week of school. I can’t write for public consumption the feelings I’m having about Chad at this moment.

    You are loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Greco

    Love these detailed heartfelt snapshots you capture! Don’t know you very well, but you certainly seem to be making it. So, here’s to tacos, no credit card debt, self control and chocolate. And to you and your great year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

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