I'm a little sore this morning. Not from doing lots of yoga, which I did last night and after I woke up today. Not from carrying heavy bags of groceries into the house yesterday, or even picking up my growing boys and tickling them.
I'm sore from trying to zipper up my new tank top.
This morning I slipped it on--a cute little number, maybe too cute for work. It has a side zipper, the trademark symbol of women's warm weather clothing. Left arm resting on the crown of my head, I reached across my torso with my right hand to zip up the shirt and be done with it. But of course, the zipper became stuck right at the side of my bust, and it required some serious torque (and contortions) to get the thing up. I broke a sweat.
I've been on my own since spring 2006, when my ex-husband and I officially declared our marriage dead, he moved out of our former home, and I embarked on this life alone with my kids. Yes, their dad is involved a couple of days a week, when he's home from his job in NYC. Yes, I'm now engaged to Ian. But I live only with my boys. What's more, Ian and I increasingly see less of each other, since he now works two jobs, and he has his own household (including two dogs and five tenants) to maintain. We're busy people.
Most of the time, I hum along as usual with this situation. I do very well on my own, thankyouverymuch. In fact, I like it. And I can handle most anything that comes my way. (And most anything does come my way.) But it's the small moments, like this morning as I struggled with a zipper in front of a full-length mirror, that I actually feel alone. Forget the bathroom door getting locked from the inside with the boys and I stuck in the hallway, while I dismanteld the doorknob and set us free to pee. Forget the raccoon in my yard one sunny morning, aluminum bat in my hand just in case the thing leapt out of the tree near my car. Forget the 911 call when Nolan fell on a plastic sword Sean put in his mouth and began to vomit blood uncontrollably. Forget everything I've ever dealt with alone, serious or trivial. Whether it's paying bills or dealing with broken appliances, I am capable. But when a zipper is stuck on my ribs and there is no other pair of hands to help--that's when I hear the crickets in my life. I feel lonely. I do not lift the hair off the nape of my neck and ask anyone to clasp a necklace or hook a dress. I figure it out for myself. Always.
Which is why I'm a little sore.
I got that zipper up after a few more tries.