Come on in, the coffee is ready. I just put it on maybe 5 minutes ago. Excuse the dishes in the sink, I'll get to those later. Come on, have a seat in the dining room. Just let me move these workbooks.
So how have you been? It's been so long since we've been able to catch up. I hope your family has been well. Tell me all about it. Every stinking detail. Tell me about the piles of laundry and the dishes that never end. The toys in the living room, the smudges on the walls. The peed-on sheets, the banana smeared into the carpet. Tell me how it's exhausting and you don't feel good enough anymore. Because I feel that way too, everyday.
How are you and your husband? That's good to hear. But really tell me. Tell me about the times it's not ok. The times when you feel like giving up but hang in there anyways. Tell me when it feels numb, loveless, routine. Then tell me when he gives you butterflies again over the silliest things. And when you feel silly for ever feeling numb when it can feel like this. Because I feel that way too, everyday.
How is your job or school going? Yea? That's great. I know it's stressful. Tell me about your latest promotion or how you made an A on your last test. Tell me about how it's hard to wake up in the mornings and make the trip back there again. To miss the time home with the kids. To feel so accomplished in the world for making something of yourself. To contribute to your family's resources and give the middle finger to outdated gender roles. And how you wish you could be a stay at home mom forever. Because I feel that way too, everyday.
Tell me about your kids' new favorite things. Is it minecraft? Legos? Monster High? Do they even play with toys that much anymore? Tell me about the recent breakthrough you had with your daughter, when you really understood her, and she felt it. Tell me about the night time kisses. The before bed confessions. The desire to watch them sleep because it is so incredibly beautiful. Their angelic faces. The cute things they said. How you think they are smarter than all the other kids their age. How you secretly worry that maybe they aren't. Tell me how it hurts and tell me how it heals. Because I feel that way too, everyday.
Tell me about you. Tell me your dreams. Your goals. What you wanted to be when you grew up. Who did you think you would marry and how many kids did you want? Now tell me what actually happened. Did you take time off after high school? Do you wish you had? Did you pursue what your parents wanted you to? Or did you claim your life in some other way. Maybe run off into the sunset with a knight in shining armor in a green Ford Ranger to a trailer park of broken dreams. How do you feel when you look back? How do you feel when you think about your life now? What do you wish was different or that you could change? Tell me about "me time" if that is even a thing for you. Does it come easy to you, from the hands of a helper, or do you have to steal it? Does the me time fulfill you or does it feel like time where you just don't have to be on? Tell me about the secret to your happiness, tell me about your regrets. Tell me what you believe in. Or are you wandering around not really sure anymore? Because I feel that way too, everyday.
We can talk about it all over this pot of coffee.