March Is

March is a weird month, no?

I don’t like basketball at all, so I don’t get swept up in the Madness. I wear green for 17 days straight, and by, oh, a few days ago, I’m ALL DONE and desperately want to wear other colors. It’s 80 degrees one day, 14 the next with a blizzard on the way as the tulips, daffodils, and lilies push their way up.

My mini rose bush is all greened up with red buds all over.

March is confused.

We used to take part in the big Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but we’re old now. And tired. One year, Little League baseball try-outs fell on the same day. They don’t this year, but both boys have to try out as both are in Official Little League Ages which means, yes, we’re old now. And tired. Baseball season is almost here for the both the kids and our enjoyment, but not quite.

Not just yet.

March feels like a month of waiting for things to happen. Things are greening up, but not just yet. Almost baseball season, but not just yet. Almost my birthday month, but not just yet. Almost spring, but ha! Nope!

March is an in-betweener. Like the tween boy in my house. Still young enough to enjoy playing games with his family, but old enough to want to spend time with his friends instead of his parents. Old enough to read Really Big Books with Really Big Themes, but young enough to enjoy laughing his way through another read of Captain Underpants with his younger brother. Old enough to make sense of the news; young enough not to be scared stiff by it all.

March is the approach of spring, the end of winter; the promise of something new, the leftovers of a weird winter weather season. March settles in your bones a little, the cold, damp air of attempting to change a season—back and forth, back and forth. March makes you take a sweater with you everywhere you go. March makes you remember seasons and people. March makes you wonder if it was just you.

March makes you want to peek around the corner of the calendar for a glimpse of what’s coming even when you know you need to stay present in this moment. March makes this moment feel like it will never end when you’re trapped back in the house during the most recent cold snap. Cabin fever leaves you feeling a little less like you, makes you wonder if this is just what you feel like now.

March makes you question. Everything. Yourself. Your partner. Your friends. Gravity. Global warming. Politics and politicians and Russia and perjury. Gin. Wine. Why people need to turn beer green in order to drink it when it’s good already. Which kind of coffee you really like; I’m currently on an Italian Roast kick. Television. Adoption. Exercise. Running. Your joints. Your hair. Your fingernails. The way your toes crack. Food. Potential. Organization or lack thereof. Dogs. Babies. Pokemon. The definition of success; your definition of success. Failure. The many ways we’ve failed so many in the human rights category. Feminism and its problem with true intersectionality. Mental health. Mental illness. Insomnia. Sleep. Parenting. Birth-parenting. That thing you did that changed life for so many people in ways none of you could have imagined at the time. Love, hate, and everything in between. What to get Katie for her birthday. Your past. Your future. Your present. Music. Why you do that thing you do. Why you don’t do that thing you don’t do. Life. Death.

March doesn’t offer answers, just 31 whole days to live, to love, to be you.

March is.

March Is

When You Do Something Right

Listen. I support all women however they chose to act today. I feel like last year, International Women’s Day came with less “This Is How We Do” because we weren’t actively fighting for our lives. Literally. But today I saw a lot of, “I am/am not participating in #ADayWithoutWomen because reasons.”

All of those reasons are valid.

Of note: All of the men telling all of the women that all of their reasons were invalid are why we need a day dedicated to women around the world. But I digress.

Today for me? Well, today was a day.

I woke up the youngest child a little later than usual, hoping the extra sleep might magically make him all better from the illness he procured from a friend the day before; germs are gross. I took his temperature. No fever. I asked him how his belly felt. “It feels good now.” I fed him oatmeal. He got ready. They waited for the bus. And off he went to school.

You know what’s coming right?

He got to school and within 15 minutes, the kid puked. Because of course he did.

I went and picked him up, drove us home, and covered him up in bed. He slept for a few hours while I did a little work. And then he woke up in a state that I can only call Post-Sickness Hyper.

“Mom. Mom. Mom. Hey, mom! Do you wanna do this? Do you wanna do that? Mom! MOM! HEY, MOM!”

When you work from home and you have a Sick Child at home who, post-nap becomes a Very Unsick Child, the guilt rolls right on out. I mean, especially if you already sent him to school once and he puked. Way to get it wrong, mom. I tried to find a balance between sitting on the couch and watching Ninjago (…blink, blink…) and getting some work done.

If you’re wondering, I failed this task in an epic manner. No balance was to be had. I didn’t get my daily workout in until 8:15 after I rushed my sons through their showers, tapping my toe like some kind of task master. I hate feeling like that, doing those things. It leaves a truly awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

We’re told that we’re supposed to enjoy every moment of motherhood. Don’t rush bedtime. Spend time reading and resting together. Like some kind of linen or pajama commercial. You guys, I just can’t hang with the commercial style life. I’m a mess nine times out of ten, flying by the seat of my pants. No company is ever going to put me in a commercial about our bedtime routine.

But I need to back up. Way to the beginning of the day, before I even woke the hopefully-better but still-sick-child.

Our oldest son always wakes up first. He’s an early riser in a family of non-early-risers and has been since birth. His face is always the first thing I see every single day. THISCLOSE. I got him situated with breakfast before I went to wake up his brother, so he was done, teeth brushed, and off to get dressed while I got Booey up and to the breakfast bar.

I heard him call from his room.

“Mom! I thought you said you were going to lay out a red shirt for me today.”

I nearly sat down and cried.

As you know, women who, for whatever reason, could not strike today during #ADayWithoutWomen, as well as feminist men, were asked to wear red in a show of solidarity. During the news the night before, which yes, my sons ask to watch every night, International Women’s Day as well as the strike came up. Our oldest son asked what wearing red meant. I explained. He asked to wear red. I, being the giant, overwhelmed, semi-failure that I am, had already laid out clothes for the next day, and didn’t remember to switch out his shirt for a red long-sleeved tee.

And he remembered. And called me on it. At 7:35 AM.

I don’t even know my middle name at 7:35 AM.

“Your red shirt is close to the top of your long sleeved shirts drawer. Grab it and put it on.”

And he did.

Yes, I had to work today, both in the form of a working woman and in the form of a mother who has to clean pukey things and wash dishes and do laundry and take dogs out as well as the trash. Yes, I did both paid and unpaid work today. I also shopped from a few women owned businesses. But my eleven-year-old son, my tween, recognized some kind of importance in something I said. Somethings I said, because it’s not like this is the first time I’ve discussed feminism and equality and respect and protest to my sons. No. My greatest task in life is to raise these boys into men who will go to bat for their female counterparts, who view women as equals not as sexualized objects, who don’t view feminism as a bad word.

Today I learned that I’m doing just that. Well. I’ll be.