Note: This post was originally published on Substack on January 9th, 2023
It’s 7AM on a Saturday and I wake up with low blood sugar. I head downstairs and there’s a banner made with cut-out paper triangles and yarn awkwardly hanging off the railing and one of the armchairs. The letters aren’t written dark enough to read without leaning in really close.
It’s my daughter. She sits at the coffee table with a stack of paper scraps and markers. I ask if she made the banner. I ask what it even says.
“It says Good Morning!”
I tell her she did a good job. The triangles look uniform and she spaced them out nicely on the string. Of course, it’s not hung in a very harmonious manner, but she’s 8 and does her best. She also probably woke up at 6AM to do it. The day before, she said she was excited for it to be Saturday because she wanted to sleep in. But she didn’t. She woke up and was too excited, and so she made the banner instead.
Later in the day, when I’m trying to anger-clean my fucking bombshell disaster of a cluttered house, I rip the banner down in a rage because I can’t climb the stairs without getting tangled up in the string.
My second collection of short fiction is being published this year. It’s called Ending in Ashes and I spent most of my holiday break doing edits on it. It got me really excited and manic, but then, when all the Christmas festivities kept interfering with my desire to work on said edits, I started getting frustrated. Overstimulated.
I just wanna sit in a quiet room and do my fucking work. This is Jack Torrence shit.
It’s been that way for a while now.
Doesn’t help that I spent all of November working on a novella about a middle-aged mother who hates her entire family enough that when a stranger breaks into her house, she ends up having an affair with him, because why not, right? I hope I can keep writing it so you’ll find out whether or not her entire family gets murdered, but it’s a satirical erotic horror, so like, you know what to expect from me if you’ve read enough of my work.
Not that I want my kids or husband to die or for a stranger in a ski mask to break in and fuck my brains out, but you have those thoughts as a mother sometimes. I hope you can relate because this is mostly what I’m going to be talking about here, is writer shit, and mom shit.
I feel bad about the banner, but if I’m honest, I’m pretty sure my daughter was fully into some other paper craft that made a giant mess out of the table that I doubt she even noticed. I have enough frantic panic attack cleaning sessions that she’s basically used to it now. She always tells me, “Mom, you just have to take a deep breath.”
Sometimes, I do.
Sometimes, I go into my room and scream into a pillow and then come downstairs and apologize for getting so frustrated so fucking easily.
She always says, “Oh, it’s okay.”
I tell her it’s not really okay, but that I’m glad she understands.
I’m glad she actually gets to learn from my mistakes.
Not that I want my kids or husband to die or for a stranger in a ski mask to break in and fuck my brains out, but you have those thoughts as a mother sometimes.
Later, when I tuck her into bed, I give her a big hug. Bedtime can be tough but I do like hanging out with her and talking about what the best parts of the day were. After we talk, I wonder aloud how much longer I’ll be able to tuck her in at night.
“Maybe when I’m 13 I won’t like it anymore.”
“No, maybe when I’m 18.”
I sure hope the fuck not. By then she’s supposed to hate me. By then, she should be going out to parties, being the girl who’s confident and cool and makes smart decisions because she learned from all my shit.
Either way, it’ll be nice to have her out of my hair because I’m going to have so much middle-aged mom shit to write about then.