Stealing Strawberries

Sometimes I think about my life as another person would describe it, how they believe it may be:

My mother sharing the story of how when I was a toddler and she took my sister and me to a berry patch, they found me sitting in the patch eating strawberries.  And how she was politely asked not to bring me back.

The too serious, too quiet adolescent wearing the Madonna lace glove and carrying a copy of Lolita in her book bag.

The teenage girl with a baby on her hip answering, again, the question of how she didn’t charge any set fee for babysitting because when they’re your kids it’s called parenting.

The twenty-something answering the twenty-something man that, “Well, I’m not sure why exactly I don’t have a boyfriend.  It seems impossible to me, too.  Maybe men are just put off by my station wagon.”

The woman in the dark blue sweatpants at Walgreens at five in the morning, buying Coffeemate and singing along with Suzanne Vega while she browses the candle aisle.

 

Carrie called me this morning while she was still waking up.  Little Carrie was talking in the background and I could hear Carrie making coffee.  Cabinet doors were shutting.  A mug was placed on the counter.

I’m reading this great book, I tell her.  It’s called The Pretend Wife.  You should check it out.  How was your day?  Mine was good.  Well, Boy and I had an awful fight.  I really don’t want to talk about it.  I’m cooking today.  I’m shopping. I’m planting flowers.

And I think this will make me feel happy.  That’s why I plant flowers.  And I don’t like to talk about the things that really bother me.  And I wonder why I sing along with Suzanne Vega at five in the morning.  I wonder why I can’t sleep.  I wonder why I still drive a station wagon.  Why sometimes I feel like a lousy parent when I know deep down that I’m not. I wish I wasn’t so serious sometimes. I miss being carefree.  I miss the little girl who steals strawberries.

While I walked dog, I picked a tangerine off my neighbor’s tree and sat in the grass while I ate it just so I could remember what it was like to be a kid again.

And for a second, I do.

 

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