The Reluctant Mermaid

one woman unwilling to swim in the same direction as the others


when life gives you lemons, ask Melissa what to do with them.

I love this chick. She makes me laugh all the time, ALL the time! Sometimes our brains are totally in synch and we end up texting/facebooking/blogging/emailing at the same time.
Funny thing, I've never met this pretty gal. True that.


does it seriously matter? Someday I will, but I don't feel like she's a stranger, she's most definitely a friend. A joyful BUSY friend who tells it like it is, who taught me the importance

of a good strong

glam rock kick


So get a nice hot cup of coffee, or a beer if you're late to this post. Get comfortable and give yourself enough time to mentally prepare yourself for a day in the life of Melissa Brown.

Kat asked me about a month ago to guest blog for her, and I couldnt wait to do it. But then when I sat down to write, everything I had to say was oozing with emotional charge and I was back to the drawing board. I wrote first about girlfriends and sisterhood and the identity crisis I find as a young single mother. Then I wrote about faith and how living in the bible belt and the idea of being saved makes me nauseous. I even started to vent about health care, an issue that always hits close to home, and the fact that greed is the evil that prevents so many from getting the simple care they need at a reasonable price. A topic I frequently stifle because it gets me so jammed up, I dont even make any sense. She suggested at one point a day in the life, because my life is a circus unlike any other. So I am keeping it simple, stupid, and sharing my Monday.

I worked at the bookstore all day yesterday. Sundays drag there. After, I met up with girlfriend for a beer. She just ended a 3 year relationship and is trying to find her way on her own now. Ran into some other friends there that I am always happy to see. I stopped at one beer though, because I have plans to run early in the morning with my running buddy. I came home to find Sara wide awake just a little past her bedtime, but I was actually thrilled to see her smiling face and have the chance to carry her off to bed. She snuggled for about 45 minutes before passing out in my arms. Her feet, despite the fact that she is almost seven, are still baby feet, and her hands are still baby hands. Her delays in development mean that I get to hold on to her a little bit longer. I can take my precious time savoring nights like this, that her brothers have mostly outgrown.

My single guy friend starts to text me. He is a new friend this year, but I like him because he calls things like he sees them. It was a typical "Hows things going with so and so?" and "I ran into that chick from last month, what a bitch". He is consantly griping at me about how I am too nice and accepting of the guys I meet. His advice is to be more of a bitch, which to me translates into playing games, which I don't do, but there is some truth to me putting myself out there with blinders on. I passed out at 10:30.

I woke up several times throughout the night from Sara's knees and elbows in my ribs in a panic that I had overslept. Not sure what time it was, if the sun had come up, or even what day it was. I dozed back off quickly each time. It was actually a pretty good nights sleep.

The alarm went off at 6:20 and I only hit snooze twice. I even went downstairs and made coffee before waking the kids. That only happens when I get a good nights sleep. I wish I could say that mornings are quiet and like clockwork, but they are chaotic and rushed. I talk a lot about trying to be in the moment, but mornings are usually a failure..or anytime I am wrangling all three of them to get out the door somewhere. They hate mornings and so do I. I overruled Grant's stomach ache as a reason to not get his backpack together and lay crippled on the sofa, and Griffin's assertions that I "just dont understand how tired he is", and consciously thanked God for the fact Sara was eating her toast like an angel and being fully cooperative. Smiling ear to ear despite the rash that has popped up on her face. The 45 minutes from the time I get out of bed to the moment I drop them off in carpool is never fun, and I always say that the next morning I will be more patient...

My run is cancelled because it is raining and so I start my list of other things I planned on knocking out with the whole day off today. There are big changes brewing around here and inside of me and I need time to research school, new employment, and file my taxes. The school calls and Sara's rash is "probably nothing, but questionable"..I need to pick her up. Switching gears, and now thankful that last week on my day off, I slept as late as I wanted to and lazed around in bed all day doing nothing.

She is back home before the doctors office is even open for business. We start work on her 100 project, which is counting out 100 cheerios and gluing them onto a big paper "100". She is so excited she is hyperventilating, and hiding her face in her hands with her eyes shut tight. I get excited like that too, but I am not free like she is to show it the way she does. I love that about her, just as much as I love the way she demands pizza and popsicles. She has no filter, no yield, no inhibitions. She is utterly untouched by pride. By 9:30 she has ripped her pigtails out, leaving behind two humps of hair on either side of her head, and changed into a mismatched, bizarro outfit of her own liking. She is a mess. Her nose runs year round because of her cleft lip and palate, and right now there is a scab under her nose from wiping it so much. It looks awful and people stare, but the more we mess with it the worse it gets, and snot is better than making it bleed. Snot is not even on my mom radar anymore, but white bumps on her face getting worse by the hour are another story. The first available appointment is at 3:20.

I get out of the shower to find a text from my ex boyfriend. He has done something extraordinarily kind, loving and generous for me. I havent even really spoken to him lately, and I am floored. I am flooded with regret and sadness that we loved eachother so much, and still failed as a couple. We arent even successful at being friends. Love is cruel sometimes.

I take a minute in front of the mirror to hate my naked body, forever changed by mother hood, but then I remember there are features about my body that I love, and then remember that I do not have a scab under my nose from snot constantly draining out of it and I feel ashamed for being so vain in the first place. I skip applying any make up or straightening my hair and throw on jeans and a tshirt.

I break out my laptop and waste some time on facebook. I deleted 350 people the other night to make my world a little smaller. Facebook is the best and the worst thing out there. I have moved mountains with it and also wasted a lot of time...

The school called again, Grant is in the nurses office with chills, pale coloring and a stomach ache. This makes me mouth the F bomb, so the nurse cant hear it. I want to tell him to suck it up because I always get snowed by the boys and their "sick" days, and more often than not I pick them up and they have a miraculous recovery when they cross the threshold of our front door. The tone in the nurses voice makes me cave, and I say I will be there in a few minutes.

My girlfriend that just ended her relationship shoots me a text from her ex that says "what have I done?". No feeling is ever final. I've been down that road before. I refrain from offering much advice, because really I dont have any to offer.

I load Sara up to get Grant. The Avett Brothers "Mignonette" is on repeat in my car, and has been for over a week, except today I am skipping all the love songs because they make me roll my eyes. My poor sweet Grant comes out of the nurses office crying, I hug him and tell the front office I'll be back for Griffin in a little while. I am thankful that this is happening on my day off, and that I did not have to call in to work, which then triggers losing more shifts for being undependable.

Grant and Sara are settled in and I come back to write some more, but my crappy laptop has spun out and everything I wrote is gone. I rewrite this entire blog from the beginning...hitting save every couple of minutes. It has lost most of its humor and wit and feels like a detached captains log now. I feel like a terrible mother for making Grant go to school. This is a key ingredient in the next time he is crying wolf, and will weasil his way into a free day. It's 1:08, the dog is whining, and I dont know where the day went, but I am used to keeping this pace, and hitting curve balls so it's not as bad as it sounds. Really its not bad at all. Halfway through and Sara is still smiling, and so am I.

Fourth trip to the school today to scoop Griffin up in carpool. He was not happy to go along for a ride to the doctors office, but was a good boy. He asked for change for the snack machine on the way through the lobby, so I dug down in my purse and coughed up a couple of bucks. When Sara saw him walking away she had a meltdown repeating "I want Griffin...I want Griffin". I had to hold her in my lap. There was a mom in the lobby that I deleted in my facebook sweep and I pretended like I didnt see her. When Griffin returned with two bags of Lays, Sara changed her chorus to "I want Doritos" until it was time to go back and get her weight, and then she turned on the charm for the nurses. They all know her and love her. Well, everybody does. Her diagnosis was a sinus infection and impetigo. Antibiotics will fix it. She can go back to school tomorrow.

Let Griff take over the ipod and he, as usual, started out with Gorillaz and then moved on to Linkin Park. Most of my bonding with the boys happens in the car because they have to sit still and talk to me. We talked about his hair and how I wish he would submit to a haircut because he looks like a shaggy dog, and also about Choi Kwang Do which he had to miss today because Saras appointment took an hour and a half. Griffin is always taking a backseat, I owe him some alone time. Came home to find Grant still asleep, poor guy. He really is sick. Sitting for five minutes before driving back out to pick up Sara's prescription. The house is a wreck, and I have not gotten much accomplished. Documenting an entire day in and of itself has not taken up much of my time, I am doing 5 minutes here and there...but I am re reading it and realize why I am so laid back. It takes a certain amount of surrender to repeat days like today without completely losing my mind. Now the temperature has dropped and I am cold..and moving slower. I wouldnt say that I am still smiling, but I'm not frowning either, I rambling now and stalling because I dont want to get back in the car again and hit Wade Green in peak traffic...and Sara has stripped down nearly naked...I will have to redress her. Again.

A simple trip to the pharmacy turned into 45 minutes in the car, with the sun going down in the rain. I got a little lost in my head thinking about the past, and even more lost when my ipod dropped Neko Case on me. Suddenly I dont have much to say, I am going through the motions, and I am glad that I decided to stop for dinner while I was out. Grant wakes up long enough to take some ibuprofen, and Bill walked in the door just before I ran completely out of gas. If he had come home later, I know how to run on fumes, but my body knows the changing of the guards, and I am overcome with sleepy eyes and ready for my Mark Twain autobiography and bed. It isnt even 8 oclock yet.

It's strange to read about one day, because there is so much in my life that did not even pass by this little picture window. There's not a whole lot of perspective to be found in the details of 24 hours, but here they are because Kat cared enough to ask whats it's like to walk in my shoes.

and no blog is complete without a quote:

"Life does not consist- mainly- or even largely- of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that are forever blowing through ones head"- Mark Twain

I think this is an ancient photo of her kids... but like Melissa, I was running on empty and so tired I couldn't even see straight enough to determine whether this was a year old or 5 years old. Sorry Melissa,,, let me know if you want to replace it. I just loved that the kids were giving thumbs up.