Just last week, as I was working (or entertaining the delusion of productivity as it allowed me to), the thought crossed my mind that it and I could go on like this forever. A foolish thought in these days of disposable technology and yearly upgrades. A friend had just texted me that she’d replaced hers just that week (and bought a spare for good measure). Not me, I thought; I’m good, thanks. I typed away and wiped off the dust gathering on the screen for good measure.
I’d named it Rocket Man because, in my once more solitary life, I’d imagined it was all I’d need if I ever felt like taking off. A writer’s fantasy that seems silly now that I have a family. But it felt true back then.
It wasn’t alive, but we’d done life together. A 15-inch behemoth compared to the light as air newer models, I packed it in every suitcase I had on every trip to everywhere. At the beach, on a deadline. In a borrowed house to check a redesigned cover (using our most expensive photo—for an issue that didn’t sell too well). In a borrowed office in the Oxford winter to put an issue to bed through the cloud (from three continents!). In a hospital bed after a miscarriage, before the surgery that wouldn’t stop me from working, even as I grieved. On so many airplanes after the “ding”; in too many cafés to name or remember.
The start-up wheel is still spinning. I’ve an article due. Though a freelancer now, I’ve been an editor for too long to think that the death of a laptop matters to a magazine team on a deadline. I was an editor for so long, but I’ve just started freelancing again after resigning to be a stay-at-home mom, so I know there won’t be a Rocket Man 2. And maybe that’s what hurts just a little. But what hurts a lot is remembering that I left my laptop at home for all the trips we’ve had since having my daughter because work and a child on an airplane or a train or even at home at my desk just don’t mix. And I’m wondering if the universe is again asking me to choose.
File this under "meaning to". Also filed under "but didn't".
"I don't want people to say I'm beautiful."
"Mommy, stay. Because you're the best mommy." She needed a partner in crime for the pouring. Today, she found one.
I need to do mess better.
There is freedom in being a complete beginner and in saying I have no idea what I'm doing.
Today, I let her win.
"I don't want to play with you." And there it is. Her unexpressed anger and sadness. In my head, I understand it; in my heart, it's a knife, twisted.
"Is it three weeks yet?" I'd told her that Baby Brother was coming in three weeks, three weeks ago. He was due. He was overdue.