Spaces between

Some nights, it’s just taco Tuesday. In fact, writing that makes me remember I had a brilliant plan to begin an official “Taco Tuesday” night at my house. A brilliant plan indeed. As with most of those plans, the idea of planning anything as a weekly occurrence came in the revolving door of my mind and right back out again, just as quickly. So it goes.

It’s still one of those nights, though, when only frozen chicken nuggets, hummus, and corn chips will do for a meal. When a stiff cup of joe is on the dessert menu, just cause it makes me feel good.

I am in and out these days, like the 50 degree weather. Like the brutal arctic wind. Like my son’s toes dipped into hot water.

From one revolving door to another, one life to the next. I am in some kind of butterfly state, I feel. It’s that feeling of becoming, of growing more into an understanding of what you are and what you want. I’ve felt like a torn book going over my recent history, but starting from when? I am not even sure. I retrace my early teaching days over and over, my days of early motherhood, my days of pre- and early marriage. My days since I returned to the classroom two years ago, officially becoming a working mom, as if it means I have achieved the ultimate. I am not any better than any mom, or person, who chooses to stay home even though I felt so tough and proud for a while.

I am down to one class this semester, losing one as a casualty of low enrollment. And in between the pages, between what gets written at my job with this lesson or that, I can hear my inner voice and heart a bit more. I can see my husband’s smiling eyes and my son’s somewhat desperate need for mommy. Who this little person becomes is of such significance, and what my marriage evolves into is just as important.

And all my striving to reach this pot of gold in the form of full-time working mom (aren’t I awesome?) is drawn into question. Without a doubt, if an opportunity like that arose, I’d be a fool not to take it. I do know it’s a lot harder to mine for gold than receive it in the form of a paycheck. Yet, my current life of balance, of hearing the whispers of my soul, of being less irritated at my five-year old’s bedtime, at being more willing to do most of the dishes most of the time…makes me wonder. Some nights, that is.

But the tiny flutters of a life have begun.


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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

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