Outside Time

The kids have wanted to go outside for a while, so I finally brought them out back. It has been a while. We don’t go out that much in winter. But I’ve got coffee #3, hat and convertible mittens, so I’m all set.

This isn’t the best backyard. It’s small, there should be a fence, because it slopes down into a steep, woodish, treed area you can’t play in. There are old dead trees, one of which we already had cut down.

They’re excellent about staying off the edge, though. They’ve both had rigorous training. And we do have a little swing set.

There are a few things we didn’t consider that carefully when we chose this house. We promptly fell in love with the inside of it and the price was right. It’s close to town, you can walk. Henry Law Park is just down the road.

One issue is the one-car-wide driveway. We spend more time than we want to swapping cars out for the following day.

Another is that Desmond has no closet. And he has already outgrown the aquatic wall decor we loved when he was 3. I say “already,” it’s been five years!

Actually, that might be all. Except the carpeting on the stairs and in Aislyn’s room.

Yes, all things we can fix. I agree with you. We’re just not that handy of a family. And there’s the money.

I wish I were better at money. I used to be better.

Maybe I’m beating on myself a little too hard. The kids always need new clothes. Bad furnaces happen. Refrigerators die. Basement dehumidifiers conk out. Old cars need love and transmissions. In other words, shit happens.

One of my biggest challenges, according to my therapist, is that I beat myself up. Maybe it’s that old, Catholic guilt that makes me this way. But I feel like, when I’m not hard on myself, I’m making excuses for my deficiencies, like my seeming inability to save money.

Just like there’s always something to do at work, there is always something to feel sorry about. In fact, if there doesn’t seem to be anything at the moment, my brain will actively fetch something from my memory.

Does that make me crazy? Possibly.

I have to remind myself that I’m human. Sometimes, I’m going to do human things. Like buy dresses that I think would look pretty on me or eat too much pizza. Or whine and complain more frequently than I should.

I am a complicated individual. I come from a very broken home, some lessons are bound to have slipped through the cracks. I’m not making excuses, I’m just explaining how I’m not perfect, and there’s no way I ever could be.

Okay, time to go in, now.

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