Worm Food

Nobody Likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna eat some worms. First you take their heads off then you skoosh their guts out…

I’ll stop there. But you know it might be the beginnings of a gloomy day when that’s your alarm clock. I disentangled myself from five-year-old, warning her that she only had two minutes to snuggle before she had to get up and get dressed for school. Yep, we are one of those dirty weirdo co-sleeping families. Hi.

Little boy, not yet 2, doesn’t get the whole co-sleeping thing either. So if you want to talk to someone about it, he’s your guy. At that moment he was still sleeping in his crib, but the wail of complaint that started up from our shared wall soon remedied that.

The morning drag. It was a Friday so I tried to pep myself up. I get almost a full day of school out of Babesie (nickname for my 5-year-old) today. That’s good! When she gets home at 1:30, I’m actually glad to see her! Most of you reading this are mamas so I will skip the guilt laden protestations of ‘how much I love her but it’s still a little bit of a relief to drop her off at school.’

You know. Or if you don’t know yet, you will. Don’t feel bad when you do. We all feel that breath and relief when our older kid is safe under someone else’s guard. As long as that person is trustworthy, and nothing bad will happen and maybe you should just come a little early so you can check on her anyway. Just in case.

Back to the worms. They were still burrowing into my laden mama-brain, proclaiming my worthlessness. I scrubbed a plate. Lost interest. Boyo  (my name for my husband) came downstairs with a pj-clad little guy on his arm. Baby boy reached for me immediately…i should probably think of a worthy nickname for him. Let’s call him Bubs. Too many B’s? Too bad.

Boyo left before I could start wailing about my own worthlessness. He made me coffee before he went, just to show that he cared. I sent a quick text to my ring of women, asking them to pray for me, citing anxiety and old issues. They know it all already. They all exclaimed over Ori-brain, and then they had my back. And my front. They embraced me in prayer.

I didn’t have time to linger in that, much as I wanted to. Bubs was already at stage 6 cling-on, and it was only 9:30. Mornings aren’t always like this. Sometimes he plays outside for a whole ten minutes before he misses me. I fed us, then made a decision. I’d get no chores done with one arm today. And the blue sky beckoned.

Outside it was, with mama-jeans on and my new flip flops. I get a different pair every summer, and wear them until the soles fall off, usually by October. We went to Home Depot. I thought Bubs might like it there, all the shiny things to see and lots of his favorite word right now: “LIGHT”. “OOOHWOAHLIIIIGHT.”

But he was’t having it, and so I drove a snarling, Bubs-as-tiger quickly through the Home Depot, stopping only momentarily to resit him in the cart and tighten the straps. Bubs is a bit squirrely still when it comes to carts. “Stay.” I snarled back, hoping I wasn’t being judged by the fluffy-haired lady who happened to be walking our way.

“Such a cutie!” she exclaimed. I shot her a disbelieving glance. My cutie had snot all over his face and was trying to dive bomb the concrete.

Garden center, sunlight. “LIGHT! Oooh, What dat?” We look at all the plants, find the dirt, and I fill my cart. Full enough to get some comments from the more relaxed shoppers. They each have maybe one bag of soil, or some happy little peonies. Bubs has by now been transferred to the back of the cart, where he is attempting to mangle some sedums while sitting on my marigolds.

Fast forward through the cash-register, the lollipop bribe, the drop off of green growing things, and the grocery store (Bubs broke some yogurt and my new mozzarella). Pick up the five-year-old and race home and hope nothing has died before I can get them into their life-giving soil. Realize that since I bought these plants and gave myself a purpose, I haven’t thought once how useless I am.

Huh.

Hurry hurry mama. Lunch. Nap time. Silence. The five-year-old calmly watching her show. I sneak away from the baby room, and come downstairs. Heart eased by the silence and the waiting plants. “Want to do something fun?” Babesie answers me with a grin and a toss of her tablet.

Fun at this time of  life is often working hard. Lugging four soil bags, two big pots and many flowers from the front of the house, which is landscaped, to the back, which is decidedly not. Directing a five year old to scatter seeds and water newly potted plants. I’m an old hand at this kind of fun though, and I know how to get my own gold.

I finished up watering the plants, and watered my daughter to boot. Just a little. Whoops. Whoops again. “Mom! You’re doing that on purpose.” I looked shocked at the accusation, then wink. Then I watered her toes.  She squealed.

 Later, as we clean up she says, “This is great mom! so great. Just you and me having mother daughter date and planting things.”

It was so great. I scattered the last of the wildflower seeds in a wide arc across my mulched yard and said a quick prayer. They may grow, they may not. Everything may die, but for me, it is and always has been the doing. Besides. Sometimes the things that die leave seeds behind to grow again the next year.

I didn’t eat worms today. I fed them instead. I love feeding things. Worms like sunlight and water and roots, so that they can make good soil in which for me to continue growing my new life.

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Ori is a wife and mother, and a writer of the amateur bent. She has written two books so far and is hard at work on her third, in between wrangling kiddos and musing about motherhood in general.

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