It turns out I am not Super Woman at all. I am Regular Woman.

I fought with my boyfriend Friday night. Saturday I hoped we’d make up, but it barely happened.

Saturday night I had Doritos, pretzels, and ginger ale for dinner. By Sunday brunch, which happened well past noon, I was not my best. By Sunday dinner I was toast.

I fought with my daughter, who is a fine daughter. I walked out the door as my fine boyfriend heated tortillas with cheese and placed sliced tomatoes and avocados on them. I walked away from the table my fine son set, away from the asparagus soup I spent the afternoon making from asparagus that had traveled from Western Mass, which I had requested the day I did the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail with my boyfriend and his friend, who has become my friend. I left all that on the table and walked the neighborhood feeling something that wouldn’t let me settle down.

When I came back, I sat at the table eating my soup, my boyfriend across from me, my children gone, went upstairs, read my book, Without a Map, turned out the lights, gave up. The Mother’s Day that included a beautiful midday meal in a lovely cafe, prepared by people who cared, surrounded by two of my children and my love, who indulged us all with fancy drinks and food and smiles, ended in the dark.

I still couldn’t tell you why, except to say that I lost my super powers, the powers that last weekend I offered to my daughter, who was tired after arriving from her two weeks at her dad’s, with a cold, low energy, perhaps not up for the day we had ahead. I told her I had power enough for both of us, that I would get us through it. Halfway through the day, I wore out, my keys dropped in the rain on the way from her art exhibition at Mass Art to the parking lot, where our old van waited, emptied out the night before by my son and me of the bed frames I’d collected the weekend before and hadn’t had the steam to empty out on my own. The keys, and my ebullience were lost. Eventually, my daughter found the keys and we drove off to Western Mass to collect the mattress Richard and I had ordered the weekend before, after picking up the bed frames. Before we got there, the tank reached empty, the gps died, and I nearly lost it in the parking lot of the Yankee Mattress Factory, where the worker told me I should have brought a bigger truck and refused to help us shove the mattress into the van. My daughter and I did it ourselves, which, among other things caused me later in the week to think of myself as The Little Red Hen.

One week later, I spent a lazy Mother’s Day brunching, reading the paper my son and boyfriend bought because the two that were delivered were missing the Magazine, Book Review, Travel, and Sunday Styles sections, all my favorites, making soup, all in the company of my kids and man, only to lose it once the table was set for dinner over something that must have been other than no flowers, no gifts, and no card, though at the time that triggered it.

At one in the morning when I wake up noticing that clarity in my sinuses that comes in moments of clarity in my soul, I imagine writing my children and boyfriend each a card as loving and lovely as the one my son left on the bedside table in the dark with a bar of chocolate and a lilac from the bush in the yard grown from cuttings from the family lilac bush, descended from my mother’s and my grandmother’s before her. I imagine wrapping up the photo books still in their cardboard mailer in the dining room, which I had ordered for each of my children, and writing my children each a little note to tuck inside the books to let them know I hope they will always remember they are not alone, that I want them to know they are a part of a larger family, that all the Wests in the album made by my father’s cousin are their family, too. I imagine my children looking into the faces of those people, the stern black and white photos from the 1800’s and the faded color photos of the 1970’s and the more recent ones of my cousins and their children and grandchildren, and seeing themselves.

Instead of writing the cards or wrapping the albums or writing the notes to go with those, I get up and move the old bed frame that is propped against the couch where I sit now, the bed frame we took out of my bedroom last weekend, metal floor model from Crate and Barrel my children’s father and I bought sometime after we became parents, which I know because the first photos of my first son and I are in our futon with the frame low down on the floor. We’ve taken that metal bed apart and replaced it with a solid cherry frame, no footboard so the blankets fall off the end, unlike the old bed with headboard and footboard keeping things in place, replaced the mattress I bought several years ago to replace the one my babies slept on when they nursed into the night, and shuffled things around, so that my guy and I have a new mattress, my son has the mattress I bought a few years ago, and my daughter has the one we bought when we outgrew the futon. My older son, living in Manhattan on his own, has a futon and frame like I once had, passed on from a day care family and carted by him from home to college and back again, slept on in double futon style by his younger brother last summer, while he slept on an older day care futon in the back of the van as he traveled round the country climbing mountains and seeing sights, after which he posted photos on Facebook labeled Adventures of a Van Dweller.

So, here I am, back on the blog I’ve been away from for months, in the middle of the night, right where I started when this blog first took hold of me, trying to write my way back to sleep, wishing I had made it through dinner where the kids and Richard and I would have shared soup and salad and tomato avocado quesadillas, where we could have laughed and talked and planned the week, wishing we had watched the movie my daughter recommended and I was able to rent from Amazon.com after lots of figuring out, 20th Century Woman, a movie I imagined we all might have liked, on a rare night we all would have been home. But we did not. Super Woman lost her powers. She turned back into Regular Woman, or maybe even The Joker, not funny at all, even scary, and she couldn’t find her way back until the opportunities had passed, the day was done, the lights were out, the kids and boyfriend and I had given up, not until the middle of the night, where some part of her center returned and compelled her here to write. Wish me luck finding my way back to my kids and man tomorrow, or this week, or sometime soon. I miss them as I so often do, am not used to being so horrible in the midst of a day I’m meant especially to be kind. We all blow it sometimes, but I didn’t see that one coming. It caught me as storms can do, off guard.

Advertisements