Highway Hypnosis: White Line Fever

It sounds like a lung is being coughed up, and you glance at your clock, its yells 3:00 AM. What is happening?!?! Between you and your husband you have successfully coughed for well over an hour, bickering about how the heck your are going to fight the urge of Thor in your throat. Eventually you fall asleep for 3.8 seconds to wake to the chirping devil: the alarm clock.

You reluctantly put one leg in after the other, who really enjoys pants? You start bargaining with yourself, just make it to 10:12 and you can sneak a nap in your car, bring a blanket and pillow even, it will be pure bliss. Then one of the little dictators starts to shout from that thing that watches him in the middle of the night, “BINK! BINK!” the little screen shouts. You walk through that door, turn on the light and sound machine off, “Hi Momma!” and the irrational thought of a mid-day car nap vanishes.

Children have this way about them. They make everything else seem dull, lacking luster of any kind. Even when they are throwing themselves on the ground because you won’t let them play with the sharp pretties in the kitchen–Yes I am accepting Mother of the Year award for my amazing knack at not leaving sharp things in a toddlers reach, I shit you not ITS AN ART!– They are so pure. You almost envy how raw and real they are. Somewhere in between infancy and adulthood we learn a fallacy of self-control.

Yes I said fallacy purposefully. If we really had self-control, no one would chose to smoke and be saturated with cancer, or eat fast food every meal pushing them into a morbidly obese status, or women and men firing their tongues with mean words and judgments about people and things they don’t know about.

See children, express their emotions, genuinely, and move on. My son has incredible coping mechanisms for a 2 year old. I am floored when I see them. Seriously, this two year old is more mature than most of my friends. (side bar: sorry friends I love you but you petty, betch 😉 Just kidding, calm down ) We will sternly say no in his personal bubble and he calmingly looks away, takes deep breaths for about 30 seconds, and then smiles, moves on to the next thing, without thought or hesitation; my son has conquered muscle memory for CALMING THE F*** DOWN! How cool is that? —Still accepting Mother of the year award here— I wish I could take credit for this kid, but I’m not really sure where he picked this up. His father and I let our emotions gets the best of us more frequently than not; our child is actually teaching us how to cope in the trenches of conflict. Kids, the most amazing little punks.

So I put the shell of myself into my car, turn on some radio talk show and start my trek to work. I think about the day, what needs to be done, what I am doing my first hour—lets be honest teachers, most days we teach on the fly because we want to give our other kids the best we can, and when our gas tank is on end of the semester, no sleep, too much coffee, can I have extra credit points blues, you do what you can to be happy in your classroom—I start to think about my kids doctors appointments later in the afternoon: Shots. I can’t be there. I have to admit, I teared up. I CHOOSE to define myself on my presence with my kids (emphasis on CHOOSE because not every mom is their best when they are with their kids all the time AND THAT IS OKAY! Some rock star moms I know, have killer careers and the time they do have with their kids, its all about QUALITY not QUANTITY, I just happen to feel driven to be around them as much as possible, that might be the crazy in me I talked about).  By the time I process this thought, let my anxiety tell me I’m a terrible mother, belted to a sappy song to get over it, I was in my assigned parking spot at school.

What? How did I get here? I don’t remember passing the inactive landfill or rock quarry… um did I make it okay, hope I didn’t leave any collateral damage! — was that a squirrel?– JUST KIDDING… I’ve never run over any living thing, that I’m aware of…

I guess that’s what I am getting at, we go through life so often on autopilot, we sometimes forget we have impact on our surroundings. We subconsciously feel insignificant, we assume our influence is equally weighted. Sometimes people are so deep in the abyss of autopilot by the time they wake up, they have little time left, they almost feel shook, maybe even angry–explains old crotchety folks. White line fever isn’t just for the drive home or to work, highway hypnosis is life. Don’t live in complacency, learn to love being told NO. No, is the best excuse to shake some shit up! It’s not failure, its the scenic route, one that maybe you’re suppose to be on. So, get out of the way and enjoy the view.  No means validity to change tracks and direction, GROW.

Now run along little flower, and grow grow grow.

I’m out like my postpartum belly flab 🙂

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