Empty Pockets

My life is a pocket, being emptied before the endless parade of pants go into the machine.

A crumpled $20 bill. It’s enough for a day – a coffee, a burger, a pretty bobble from Target – but wouldn’t make a dent in a year’s worth of bills and car payments and mortgages. My worth as a mother isn’t paid in dollars and cents, so I am both worthless and priceless.

A rubber band. My patience being pulled and stretched and twisted further and further with each temper tantrum, each unwashed dish, each crying baby. Sometimes in breaks and someone gets stung, a hurtful snap I immediately regret and I vow that next time I won’t let it get so tight.

A paper clip. Holding it all together a day at a time. Doctor’s appointments, vet appointments, car maintenance, groceries, playgroups, laundry, dishes, bedtimes, start all over. Papers papers everywhere and that file cabinet I was planning to use still empty. I need an hour a day a month to organize before I’m buried alive.

A goldfish cracker. The compromise between having a hungry, cranky toddler and eating nothing but organic, locally grown produce hand-picked by virgins under a full moon. The place where doing what is “best” for my family meets doing what is best for ME when it comes to my family and the guilt I do or do not feel when I cut corners. Sometime delicious trumps perfection.

A band-aid wrapper, the band-aid long since peeled off a skinned knee. I cover up the boo-boos, deal with the pain, pretend it’s not a big deal. I’m glad the hurt is so small but the scars are still there even after the scrape is gone.

Lint. Dog hair. My hair that is still falling out by the handful thanks to post-partum hormones. Messes of all kinds invade my space. Bits of yarn. Crumbs. Pen marks. Dirty feet. Messy faces. Playdoh ground into the carpet. Drips of milk. The remnants of a day full of fun, sunshine and creativity.

A penny. For luck. We are all healthy, clothed, fed, loved and safe. So much luck.

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9 Responses to “Empty Pockets”

  1. Sarah-Anne says:

    i love this post. :) thanks for writing it, suzanne.

  2. Sarah says:

    That was beautifully written. I love the idea of being both worthless and priceless – it feels so very true.

  3. karmen says:

    aww, mama
    i never check the pockets before washing
    but i did wake up this morning
    tired of answering demands,
    feeding faces,
    mediating squabbles

    these kids have no idea what i have given up for them
    the body
    the whiskey nights
    the being funnier than everyone else

    it used to be i couldnt hear enough of my own voice
    and now
    i hate to her the things i say
    the frequency and tone with which i have to say it to be heard
    and yet we are so lucky.

    so VERY very lucky indeed.

  4. story says:

    This is lovely. Sometimes the simplest things in our lives can have so much meaning.

  5. Some Mother says:

    “…My worth as a mother isn’t paid in dollars and cents, so I am both worthless and priceless.” Love it. This could be a thesis unto itself. And I’m still laughing at “…eating nothing but organic, locally grown produce hand-picked by virgins under a full moon…” I forgot that goldfish are frowned upon in some circles. Now I buy the Costco 3 pack routinely. I admit that I stick with some organic items.. lollipops. I never go shopping with the kids without them. Don’t judge me.

  6. Heather B says:

    Wonderfully written Suzanne! I love this post!

  7. Jayme says:

    Wow, this is so lovely and such an honest description of what it means to be a mom!

  8. Kodi says:

    I think this is beautiful. You’re so talented.

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