I've spent a lot of time as a mother noting my children's milestones. Oh, I think: he's climbing up that ladder unassisted. That never happened before! Or oh, how about that—she just listened to song lyrics, extrapolated their meaning, and ask a relevant question about them!
Tonight, I sat across from my husband in a restaurant. This past year has been very difficult for both of us, and has been its own sort of milestone, for many of the weighty and immense reasons that make adulthood complex.
Once, when I was about seven, I jumped into the car after school and grabbed a Thermos rolling around on the floor. I was sweaty and dying of thirst and expecting water, or lukewarm juice, but was hit instead with a mouthful of my mother's leftover coffee.
One of the most dangerous effects of physical trauma is internal bleeding. It is insidious because it is often invisible, at least initially; internal organs can be gravely damaged with little or no outside evidence. The victim can walk, talk, and interact often to the point of seeming fine. Meanwhile, the body suffers, and once the damage is discovered, it can be irreparable.
I am in a phase of radical decluttering. The phrase “spring cleaning” comes to mind, but it’s a bit too Disneyish and doe-eyed to describe the full-scale assault currently underway against old toys, outgrown clothes, and random piles of crap inside my house. Until this is finished, I can’t relax.