Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It's eight o'clock at night and i'm rousing myself from a warm spot under the covers of my daughter's bed. She drifted off to sleep about thirty minutes ago. Me, i pretended to be wide awake for about five, then slid slowly into rest and comfort for the next 25. Counterintuitively, now i'm pouring myself a glass of wine to wake back up.

It's just so quiet here, with the house all to myself...

But this the way i've wanted it -- just me, my kid, and the starry black night to fill in whatever way i choose. I've relied on the presence of other people to fill my time and thoughts for too long, perhaps at the expense of my child, and i'm through doing it. I'll take the lonely pop of a bottle that will be drunk by only me over the sad flash that crosses my daughter's face, when she realizes her home may not be the safety zone she thought it was.

It went like this:
I had to make a choice between an old old friend (and roommate) recently, and the little girl in the other room, who's turning six this week. If you have any conception of the strength of a mother's love, then you know which one i chose. But it was hard -- pushing the friend to the side over the wrong words spoken, and knowing that i'd be facing more poverty and quiet nights because of it. Knowing that i may lose a friend over something that could be twisted into being not that big of a deal.

What i realized though, is that my daughter was watching. She would know that i had allowed someone to treat her with disrespect, and she would remember. What would i want her to remember -- that a roommate had spoken to her the wrong way, and i had passed it over? Or that her mother had wrapped her arms around the sanctuary that is our home and said "no more"?

The word 'sanctuary' kept running through my head, and i knew i would have to make this decision over and over, should i keep choosing to have roommates.

So among the other changes that are upon us due to kindergarten, there's another one -- that our house is our own. No late-night forays to the back patio for a glass of wine and conversation with the old friends and roommates, but no deciding who is more important than who either.


Haasiegirl said...

You are a great mom. I just wanted to say that.

As a child of someone that DIDNT choose me over alcohol, I can apprieciate what you did for your girl over a friend.


Nicole Vulcan said...

wow, that's intense. thanks for the ups. always nice to hear!