I go to the one place where I can be alone….where every mother occasionally hides — the bathroom, but I can still hear all of them bickering. It’s mostly Lauren who has taken to yelling back at everyone all the time about Every. Single. Thing.

She’s angry about something or other. Probably arguing about doing some 3-minute housework or chore she was asked to complete eight hours ago.

I can’t remember now what sent me fleeing for safety and the buffer of the thick, oak bathroom door. The days all blur together. Her anger and frustration are a constant presence, hovering overhead, just waiting for the signal to rain down. It would be easier to recall the few moments/days she wasn’t outraged at some perceived injustice or slight.

11 point five 2

I’m not fond of this age/stage. It’s exhausting on about fourteen levels.

I look out the window of the exterior door. It might seem odd to have an exterior door in a bathroom, but it leads to the pool, so it makes sense. Or we thought it would. In reality, both doors usually end up getting locked from the inside at some point because the kids go in one door, lock it, then leave out the other door without unlocking it.

If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t have bothered with the door in the bathroom, but then….it occurs to me that it offers me an escape route.

I sneak out the door and sit on the steps to the pool area. If I lean back, nobody can see me from the sliding glass door or kitchen windows and I’m temporary invisible. If I stay quiet, they may never find me.

I listen to the shouting and wish I’d brought my iPod so I didn’t have to.

I think about my friend, Karen, who is facing an empty nest this fall. She’ll be the first to tell you that she’s not doing it gracefully. The mere mention of her daughter leaving for college causes tears to well up in her eyes.

When I whine about my situation, Karen tells me that she remembers how difficult those years were, but that she’d give anything to go back to them again. To have her house filled with noise and chaos and disorder.

I breathe deep and look for things to be grateful for. I give thanks for the sparkling pool in front of me, the expanse of lush land we call ours (even if it’s still technically the bank’s), the apples budding on the tree beyond the fence, the cat slinking through the tall grass in pursuit of some unlucky rodent, the cooling breeze, the husband/father who is managing to keep his cool, and even the headstrong girl who has driven me out here.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”


About Just Write “What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”