I am pretty sure Olive is in the midst of a profound identity crisis at the moment. On one hand, I was expecting this, we all go through it – I remember vacillating between wannabe Spice Girl (Scary Spice if you must know, complete with the tiny buns in the hair, natch) and awkwardly self-aware pre-teen. The pre-teen won out and has now evolved like a caterpillar into an awkwardly self-aware WOMAN!
On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting this so soon for Olive. I thought I’d have at least ten years before helping her choose an identity to latch onto, but here we are. Kids today grow up so fast!
Anyway, the identities currently competing for supremacy? Poverty-stricken, 60-something European peasant woman, or contemporary American teen boy.
Hear me out.
Disclaimer: This post talks about sex toys! Oh LA!
The bedroom, where all the magic happens (or, in the case of the moms to young kids out there, where all the night-nursing, not-sleeping, and futile attempts at day-napping happens!)
Here we go.
There’s a certain strength to be drawn when you have an arsenal of coping mechanisms at your disposal. Like, no one can mess with you when you have this rock-solid backup plan for when you just lose it, you know?
A few of you have emailed me over the past few months to ask what these mechanisms have been, either because you are hurting or because someone you know is. It made me realize that I am sitting atop this nest of super helpful things I’ve stumbled on along the way, adding to it twig by twig, feather by feather.
I’ve resisted writing about a lot of this kind of thing because I think I have been feeling similar to how one lovely reader phrased it in her email, “I don’t want to pigeon-hole you as the divorce-lady…”. and I mean, I don’t want to be the divorce-lady! I don’t want that to be the only thing I write about because good lord I am far more interesting than these events and this divorce, you know?
But I also remember vividly the feeling of being at the beginning of this journey and feeling fucking terrified, swamped, and unsure of how exactly I was going to navigate it. The first thing I did was reach out to others and start researching, so it would be a bit of a dick move if I didn’t share some of what I found helpful with you in the hopes that your road might be made easier by hearing from someone who’s walked a similar one.
Olive has been away for the past week, visiting her extended family on the west coast. It has been a wild ride without her. Mexico prepared me for it in some ways – silence stretching into itself without being punctuated by her trademark speech patterns, her little voice interrupting me to ask for a drink, a hug, for me to voice her tiger toy.
But there’s something different being here in our house without her. Distractions are fewer, I don’t have someone to cook for and clean up after, her laundry is put away in five minutes instead of a half-hour of matching the shirts to the appropriate drawer. It’s been strange. And disconcerting. And impossibly wonderful.
Welcome to the bathroom, friends! If you’re new to the series, the Intro post is here. I’m going to try my very best to keep it short and sweet. Here goes!