This morning I looked in the mirror while blow-drying my hair.
I thought about some of the things I would have to say if I told my story and choked back tears and feeling.
Then I realized it is so close to being time.
I’ve hired a nanny to babysit my daughter one day a week, which will turn into two half-days a week when school starts the next week. We talk a bit when she arrives. Just chit-chat and catching up for communication’s sake. She asked me about my oldest daughter starting 8th grade and how she’s liking it. In reality, I didn’t see my daughter off this year on her first day back. I only saw her two cumulative weeks out of the whole summer. But we texted on her first day back about how her first day went…the weigh in on teachers and the year ahead. The usual first-day-back stuff, as if she were living every day with me.
Of course, all the Facebook pictures popped up all day of excited and anticipatory kids…the younger ones. Or the reluctant, begrudgingly photographed, but inwardly still happy their parents cared to mark the day in history, older ones.
I “liked” several of them and tried to not notice my empty spot.
And I hoped everyone else was too caught up in their own day to see that I had nothing of my own to share.
Here I sit, sharing my picture now.
There are a lot of questions and probably assumptions that can probably be brought on by this picture.
Just recognize it’s not fully developed yet.
So I told my toddler’s nanny about everything I’d gleaned from texts with my teenage daughter about the start of 8th grade without telling her I haven’t actually seen her for over a month. Mostly, the teachers she doesn’t like (the ones who remind her of strict relative, lol) and the required “elective” class she wishes she had waited to sign up for (Robotics, by the way…I’m still not sure about the new need for this in our school system, but maybe that’s because I’m out of the loop.) She’s only 1 of 3 girls out of a class of 27 and not too thrilled about all the boys…which I found relieving, but kept to myself! 🙂
Then our nanny, who is only 23, talked a bit about high school…we talked. When the topic of high school comes up I always try to play along. But I actually only completed 9th grade and 2 months of that school year was completed in a psych hospital, as it was. So I’m learning through anecdotes from other people about high school in America as I go along in life. In the next 4 to 5 years I’m sure I will learn more and if I’m most lucky I will get a good, rounded-out first-hand fill from my daughter.
All of this brings up memories, of course, of who I really am and where I have really been in my life. My lifeline. It gets sort of shitty in spots and so I gloss over those parts, which actually means sometimes I gloss over a lot and people sometimes feel like they know me, but something is missing they can’t quite put their finger on. It’s that slick, maybe.
So today I just said it, without the gloss. Plain. No sheen.
“I only went to 9th grade, so I don’t really know about all that.”
“Yeah, I have a kind of interesting timeline with things. I had a kind of crazy life. Well, I wasn’t crazy, but my life was a bit crazy.”
I still left out the psych hospital part.
I was crazy…I guess. Right? I mean, look at where I’ve been.
But I’m getting close to the truth.
Everything is so close.