Today I took all three children to a sporting goods store to buy a floatation device and new Crocs — for my kids, not for me, just to be clear.
The sky was almost black when we pulled into the parking lot, and as I sat there staring out the window, muttering why does it rain every effing time I leave the house, Maverick yelled “WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY, MOMMY? WHY DOES IT RAIN? BECAUSE THE CLOUDS ARE FULL FROM EVAPORATED WATER, MOMMY. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT?!” as he unbuckled himself and climbed into the second row of the van, stepping on his little brother … who was pulling on his little sister’s leg and making her cry.
Lightning struck in the distance, and I made the decision to just go for it, hurrying them all inside before the rain began to fall. I hit the checkout stands first for snacks — Mini Oreos, of course, because oh how far the uptight health freak hath fallen.
So, so far.
My day was typical until Robbie walked through the door at 5:45 p.m. and I said, I know it reeks of wine in here, but it’s not because I drank it, it’s because I spilled it all over the place. It’s a long story. I’ll be back in an hour. Dinner’s on the stove. Love you.
And I left.
I drove to the nearest nail salon and spent the next hour getting my toenails and fingernails painted and my tired arms and legs massaged. I haven’t had a manicure in 18 months.
I paid for this luxury out of an account holding money that I have earned by selling essays and copies of I Still Just Want To Pee Alone. For the first time since I quit my job almost 4 years ago to stay at home with the kids, I feel like I can maybe get my nails done sometimes without first looking at the family budget.
And that is why this day is so momentous for me.
I earned the money by doing what I love. I love being a wife and a mother. I love being lots of things. But I am driven to write, and I have continued to feed that drive by staying up late, waking up early, and carrying a notebook around with me to jot down things like “CAT scan of lungs” that will jog my memory later.
One day I will look back on this day and remember what liberation felt like.
It feels like Pink Flamenco OPI Nail Lacquer.
It feels like giddy pride.
It feels like if anyone messes up my nails, I’m going to inflict bodily harm.
It feels like I worked really hard and I am actually making progress towards an unknown goal with really pretty fingers.