Why-Kid

Xander, is a “why-kid”
The moment he is told to get out of bed in the morning, he asks his mother,
“Why?”
She gives him sunshine-filled answers and kissing his forehead like a drop of morning dew
“Why?”, Xander asks as he’s told to put on his clothes
And eat breakfast
And get in the car
He’s three years old and full of curiosity
Little Xander wants to know everything
Like
“Why are those trucks so big?
Why is it time to clean up?
Why is there no school tomorrow?
Why are the name-tags blue?
Why do we roll up our sleeves when we wash our hands?
Why are we eating pretzels for snack?”
Xander
Is a “why-kid”
His why-asking is met with calm understanding because he is three
And he is learning things
So
“Those trucks are so big because they have big jobs to do
And it’s time to clean up so we can go sit at group
There’s no school tomorrow because today is Friday and Friday is the 5th day of the school week!
Our name tags are blue so everyone can see how cool we are
We wouldn’t want our sleeves getting wet so we hide them up our arms while we wash our hands and get ready to eat pretzels for snack
And I’m sorry, kid, but we ran out of animal crackers so pretzels are all we’ve got”
Xander
Is a “why-kid”
His why-asking is met with explanation and turned into a teachable moment
But I’ve found that when you’re 20 years his senior
People already expect you to know things
Like how Xander already thinks that I know things
And when he asks me why some markers work and some markers don’t
I can’t help but see my own reflection in his eyes
I’ve stared in bent mirrors before
I’ve asked too many questions and only gotten some answers
I haven’t figured it all out yet
But I know I want to answer him the best I can
So I tell him
“Sometimes
People give up on being full of ink so they let themselves bleed until there’s nothing left
Like those markers that just can’t color anymore
Xander
Sometimes people get overused and they run out and I still don’t know why”
You see
Like Xander
I’m still constantly asking,
“Why?”
Why is time so dependent on what’s filling it?
Why are some people okay with leaving things unresolved?
Why can’t I sleep when I’m so tired?
Why does this child think I’m going to be able to provide him with everything he’s ever wondered?
Why haven’t I learned to keep my room clean or fold my laundry right away or make my lunch the night before?
Why does it seem like I have so much growing up to do when I feel more grown up than half the people my age?
Why?
Why?
Why am I a fucking “why-kid”?
Why haven’t I learned to stop needing so much?
Why can’t I figure it out myself?
Why can I picture Xander, at 23 years old, not wanting to ask “why?” anymore?
And why does that break my heart?
“Why-kids” are wonderers
We search for reasons
Excuses
And solutions
We long for concrete proof
Truth
And explanations
When Xander asks
Why?
And someone replies
Because
I cringe
Why would they think that a one-word answer is enough to subdue the longing for explanations?
Why would they think it’s okay to stifle his curious mind like that?
I have known the emptiness of unanswered questions
I have felt confusion take ahold of my brain and twist my thoughts into loops that just keep going
And going
Why
Why
Why do people like Xander and me want to know so many things?
Why is one result never enough?
Why can’t my questions come with sunshine-filled answers and kisses like morning dew drops?
Why have people stopped answering me?
Xander
Is a “why-kid”
And so am I
But so many of my why’s are dismissed by moonlit kisses pretending to be stars
And I will never be that false hope for somebody
So maybe that’s why Xander keeps asking me
Because he knows I realize how important it is to know why.

Loving Like a Cat

I like that you have to play games with cats.
You have to tease them by acting like your fingers are bugs hopping over the edge of your bed just to coerce them into cuddling you.
You have to have some patience first.
Strategy, even.
You have to know how to love a cat.
I love
Like a cat.
Strategically.
Often silently.
My reaction to love has been brutality.
Rub my stomach and I’ll bunny kick you.
I’ll cuddle on my own terms,
But beware,
When I’m angry…
Claws.
When I’m not in the mood, I run from it all.
Cats are peculiar.
Their moods are rapid,
But consistent.
They have certain behaviors.
Their body language shows signs of frustration or playfulness.
To know a cat is to pay attention.
To love a cat takes dedication.
It’s commitment.
For the rest of your lives together your blinds will not hang together.
They will be crumple and crooked,
Leaking the morning sun in all the right places to hit your eyes at all the wrong times.
Your cat’s head will be stuck while you’re shit out of luck trying to sleep at 4am.
4am, to them, is the perfect time to play.
And that’s when I hate loving cats.

All this time I thought she was a coyote.
A dog more so than a cat,
But I think I was wrong about that.

Her clock is set to rise when I’m saying goodnight.
My cat does that.
She naps all day, so cute.
Then when I want to join her she’s wide awake,
Ready to play the night away,
Getting her head stuck in blinds
And other forms of entertainment.

WORDS

I’ve never been a fan of words.
I prefer pictures.
Words can get lost in sentences too long.
They don’t really mean anything.
But they mean everything to someone else in completely different ways.
That’s why words get confusing.
Words have so many connotations.
I’ve never been a fan of words because meanings get lost in translation.
Actions show a lot more.
Show me your feelings in picture form.
Show me your thoughts in a sketch.
Take pictures from the internet, hell, if that’s how you can show me your memories.
I’ve never been a fan of words even though I’m good at them.
I can write a five page paper without a problem.
I can come up with a rhyme for almost anything.
I can perform poetry that I’ve written on stage.
I still can’t stage my emotions.
They don’t know when to take the back seat or when to take the lead.
I have a solo and I’m singing my own backup, too loudly.
When people give me words,
Actions need to back them up or else I act out.

Average Thoughts:

1. I’ve always wanted a fish tank.

2. My cat stares at me until I feel obligated to play with her. It’s kind of annoyingly adorable. The other day, at a moment of weakness at Meijer (picking up litter for the cats and food for myself), I bought a new cat toy. I’ve been feeling a tad guilty that they were enjoying their life being indoor/outdoor cats and now have to be stuck inside. One of my cats went on an adventure for longer than I felt comfortable with, while the other one got bit by something (probably a small dog) and had to be on pain killers and anti-biotics…so they haven’t been going outside lately…Well, I bought them a toy; a toy that requires me holding it. So now, I must play.

3. The phrase, “I’m spoken for” in terms of a relationship is messed up. I speak for myself, thank you.

4. I wonder how many times a day I say, “Out of your mouth, please…” while working in the preschool.

5. Yesterday morning I walked out of my house and it felt like Spring. Like we were coming out of winter instead of going into it.

6. Lansing is a bigger city than I’ve ever lived in and last night I took a walk downtown. It’s neat being close to such…bigness. But it also increases my anxiety while driving, that’s something I have to get used to. Now I just need to find some forests here with tons of trees.

7. I met a girl who likes babies.

8. If I could immediately know how to speak every language or how to play every instrument, I would have to choose the instruments.

9. My mentor teacher told me to apply for her job when she retires at the end of this school year.

10. The lady next door brought me no-bake cookies when I first moved in. This morning, I saw her walk out her side door wearing an apron. I wish she was making me more no-bake cookies.

A list of “F” words

Sweet hickory
Wood stove
Warm house
Big blankets
Hot cider in hand
Same color as the changing leaves
This changing season
Is leaving me with reasons to smile
Long drives
Solo
I’m the one and only smiling
Traveling
World-wanderer
Pre-school teacher
But still little kid myself
I’m dependently independent
Independently dependent
Tied down
But blown up
Heady mess
Who has nothing correct
But everything right
I guess I’m right where 23 is supposed to be
Fingerless gloves
Floppy hats
Fried eggs for breakfast
Fallen leaves collected
Florida day dreams
Face breaking out
Feeling like I own everything and nothing all at once
Once
I despised Fall for what came after
But I was reminded that moments move faster than I can count
So I don’t count on Winter chilling my bones
I wrap my fingers around my hot cider and bend down to pick up another fallen leaf
I’m collecting so many memories

The dad in me

I feel like my dad when I pull up my sweater to tuck in my undershirt.
The same way he used to before church
And family gatherings.
I feel like him when I lean over the steering wheel during long drives,
My mom’s fingers scratching his back as he stretched.
I feel like him when I play Tetris with furniture while packing a car.
Or when I pull my wallet out of my back pocket.
I feel like him when tensions rise as I run late,
Searching for green lights.
I feel like him when I lay on the living room floor,
Sweat dripping from my brow,
Cut blades of grass stuck to my ankles.
I feel like him when I can’t express anger.
Or when I feel like someone might be taking advantage of me.
I feel his eyes roll in my head when I’m victim to unnecessary rules,
And his heavy breath falls from my lungs.
I feel like him when I toss cereal into my mouth,
Crunching too loudly,
Like he did on mornings I wanted to avoid before going to high school.
I feel like him when I talk about beer,
Or laugh at my own joke.
But I do not feel like him when I sit in a brand new car.
I like things that are used.
He likes brand new.
And maybe my rightful ways are just a new version of his planned out days.
I don’t like time constraints.
But I need them in order to get anything done.
And I’m finally done trying to convince myself I am a lot different than my parents.
Because,
Truthfully,
I’m more like both of them than anyone else.

So Many Firsts

The first time I rode in the front seat of a car was when I was on the way to get stitches.
Thanking my older brother for the injury, my mom reclined the front seat.
Bleeding from your face is never a good thing,
But getting to sit “shotty” before your brother does, is.

The first time I ate a deep fried Oreo was a few days ago.
My date paid for them.
We were both surprised by the softness of the cookies.
They were served with vanilla ice cream and She let me take the last bite.

The first time I realized my friends were not always friends with one another was in middle school.
I was forced to choose lunch tables.
My friends from elementary school called me a trader,
But making new friends was fun and exciting.

The first time I got bit by a kid I worked with was two years ago.
I reached across his body and his personal space was intruded.
I didn’t yet know that you’re supposed to push into the bite rather than pull away,
So I walked away with a bloody bite mark on my skin.

The first time I stubbed my toe I don’t quite remember.
And I don’t remember every stubbed toe since then,
But I can recall the feeling-
-That feeling of your gut churning,
Your body tensing,
Your face wincing,
And your mouth dropping.

And I remember that that feeling isn’t only given by stubbed toes and bent fingers.
Your gut can churn out of stress or hunger.
Bodies can be tense without knowing why.
Your face can wince in the morning sunshine because, sometimes, things are just too bright.
Your mouth can drop from mouth-breathing due to allergies.

And when that all happens to me,
I remember the first time I ever got to ride in the front seat.
I picture my date’s handsome face as she pressed her spoon into the Oreos, ignorant to their softness.
I forget about have to choose friends and remember that I have many friends who have chosen me.
And I remember that sometimes pushing into the problem is better than pulling away.
I remember this is the first time I have had so much responsibility for kiddos in a classroom,
And I realize that stress comes along with the job…

But so does joy.