Going Dark: Day 7. “Hey, Mom”

It started some time when it was still dark. The pitter patter of little feet and then the noise of something being knocked over. A light touch on my shoulder, “hey, mom, can I sleep with you?” I’m guessing this happened about 7 times this morning before I relented and opened up the covers. We lay there just a minute. “Hey, mom, do you like Yadier Molina?” So. He and I got up to make coffee. It was 7:50.

The day is a blur of laundry and “hey, mom. Do you want to play baseball?”  And then maybe I put on a record and “hey, mom. Do you like the Kansas City chiefs?”  Then I cooked some food and was “hey-mommed” roughly 35 times. I can’t how many times it happened today. It seems that Cyrus is having trouble, still, finding things to do by himself. I love him. But I can’t engage with him all the time. At one point, he was so solidly on my lap, that he was in my face. And then came a cat. And then another cuddled up next to me. I jumped up and tried to get away, for just a few minutes. I was followed. Gaby tried to help. I did get 25 minutes to myself. I lay on the bed and stared out at the freezing rain.

That was my whole day. I cooked a little. Gaby cooked a lot. She crafted more cards and letters. She did some work, too. I wanted to turn on the tv. SO MUCH.

I should mention that Erika was at her dad’s all weekend enjoying television and video games. She, suddenly, is requesting to be there more…

This morning, Gaby said something really wonderful to me about the desire to communicate instantly. I made her write it down. Here is Gaby:

Share this thought? No, not that thought. How about this one? No, too personal. I need to sound clever. I need to say something meaningful. I need to post the best picture. I need to share an article that speaks on my behalf, instead. Like, this. No, Love it. Sad. Happy. Sad. Happy.

The best part about Going Dark? That constant noise in my head has gone silent. It feels so good.

I’ve also noticed how addicted I’ve become to instant responses: whether its posting something on social media and checking to see comments, or it’s looking for the “read” update on instant messenger which immediately tells me someone’s looked at the message I’ve sent. Did they read it? What are their thoughts? Respond. Respond to me, now. The same goes for text messaging and my Whatsapp. It’s exhausting.

I’ve been writing letters by hand. It takes away the burning need for sharing current situations or instant thoughts in order to fix a need to be validated, to be seen, or be heard. I wonder how many people agree with me. I wonder who’d dare to disagree. By taking away the option to share my thoughts instantaneously, I’ve made myself fully responsible for my own thoughts. Meaning, I have to have a conversation with just myself about how I feel about things. I can no longer opt to dump thoughts on social media friends, hoping they’ll sort it out for me.

How do I know that I’m addicted to instant-responses? shortly after I write a letter, I find myself stressing over how long it will take for recipients to get the cards, with the notes. When will this letter get to them. Ugh. It will be forever from now since they’re still sitting on that table. It’s Sunday, I have to wait until Monday for the slow-process to even start. I could just send a quick text.

Writing a card is a shift in the thought processing. I start writing a simple idea, like, how wonderful the house smells (or, how hard it is to use a glue gun.) Before long, the card is totally filled with tiny, hand-written words. Most of the time, I write about how fun, and also how much it hurts, to be writing by hand. If I make a mistake, for instance, I write about what I should have said instead, and the fact that I made that mistake. Since I do not get to delete it and start over. You may think that I could simply grab another piece of paper and then, start over. I can’t because I’ve also been making my own cards, which takes quite a bit of time, and has become my new favorite past-time. I have not done this many crafts since I was a child. It is so wonderful. Once I start writing on the handmade cards, there is no turning back. What’s on it, is on it. There’s no grammar check. No ctrl-a-delete. And so, it requires me to be more attentive, more careful with the writing itself. Rather than thinking about what reaction I will get from the written ideas, I think about whether the cursive r looks like a v or why it seems harder for me to write cursive in English than in Spanish.

I’d need like 10 cards to fit all of the text I’ve typed so far.

I’ve been spending a lot time building our homemade pantry.

My attempt to make Cheez-its for Cyrus, was successfully delicious. Although, he proclaimed we simply cannot call them Cheez-its because that is not what they are at all. He’s right. My version is crispier, and less orange. They are more like a saltine.

I’ve been making old fashioned white bread loaves. Starting with a fermentation process called a sponge, or dough starter (this is what makes the house smell amazing,) the 12 hour process is worth every second. The final product is a bread that is unlike any commercial brand. Flaky, soft, and a flavor that’s deep and rich. If you’re in the Columbia area and want a loaf, let me know (call or postal mail.) I will gladly share a loaf with you. If you’re outside of Columbia, and willing to pay for overnight shipping, I will send it to you. The shelf life on this bread is 3 days tops. Thus, it should be eaten right away.

Yesterday I used some of the same fermented dough to make hamburger buns. Today we made cheeseburgers for lunch. The patties, a blend of 100% grass fed, locally sourced beef, and  ground pork of the same quality, seasoned with alino preparado, and salt. Seared on a cast iron skillet with butter. Then, we melted aged white cheddar cheese on top. I ate mine with onion, mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup. Christina added avocado on hers.

That’s all I have for now.


Hi. It’s me again.  I agree with all that Gaby says about instant gratification regarding posts. I’m dying to engage with all of you on facebook to see how you’re responding to my blog. Maybe I’ll check tomorrow at work. Just really quick.

Just now. Gaby has burned herself for the 3rd time with the glue gun.

I feel bad saying this, but I’m looking forward to going to work tomorrow. The weekday nights are much easier than full weekends with no screens. At work, I know I can put in my head phones and have no one call me mom for the whole day.



2 thoughts on “Going Dark: Day 7. “Hey, Mom”

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