Dear Me, a.k.a., the Boatload of Emotion Ready to Address Captain Obvious Over Here (a.k.a., My Husband):

My husband just said to me “You seem agitated,” heading home from activity one of the week with our kids. I know you’re cringing, peering out the passenger side window, counting the triggers in your head. Keep your cool. Several situations have been stacking up.

Working out kinks of a weekday routine, comforting a distraught daughter at drop off, dealing with death and cleaning up catastrophes. Different shades of chaos elevating daily. Don’t topple over. In your head, let’s calmly review the reasons you’re seeing red before addressing your husband.

You’ve got two kids starting new schools right now. Our son starting preschool this year is a cake walk. He’s awesome at drop off, skips to his teachers and starts making mommy dot art immediately. Shuttling our daughter to kindergarten is another story.

As we walk hand-in-hand towards morning drop-off her sweet smile fades to sheer terror. She’s tiny and gets bumped around by the big kids entering school, simply because she isn’t seen. The Kissing Hand hearts drawn on our palms reassure her of momma’s love. The one with the wings is from Pap Pap—that’s for bravery. Thanks to my BFF, the Wonder Woman keychain bouncing her backpack is also a working reminder. If scared, she’ll bring hands onto hips—the power stance for confidence.

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Each morning seems to get easier. But then there’s pick-up, the pinnacle of afternoon anxiety. I’m breaking a sweat just thinking of it. Parents buzzing the streets searching for parking spaces. Swarming crowds at school steps waiting for children. Until this becomes something we’re used to, Momma could use some comforting too.

You have two evening activities now, too. Music Mondays. Dance Thursdays. Some nights there’s no time to sit for dinner. Just make a meal, shove a couple spoonfuls in mouths and head out into rush hour traffic for an evening activity. When we return I toss tasks like a drill sergeant—homework, eat, shower, brush teeth sleep! After everyone’s settled in I can rest, head spinning, staring at the ceiling, reviewing my to do list while reflecting on life.

You’ve had two big losses. Our family’s experienced two deaths six months apart. My aunt and grandfather, people who’ve had a profound impact on our lives are gone. For 40 years I’ve enjoyed hearing their stories and life experiences over root beer floats before bedtime as a child, and later between cheers and ching-chings at bar stools. Always peppered with pearls of wisdom. They weren’t only family members, they were our friends. Steadies in life, encouraging us to be unafraid, goal oriented and confident as individuals.

Birthdays overlapped broken hearts, and we found ourselves switching off sadness to celebrate our son in February and nephew in September—the little guys are six months apart in age. As a family we haven’t had time to properly grieve.

Oh, and the roof is leaking. The morning after my grandfather was buried we woke up to a wet living room ceiling. The leak in the roof has been mended, but we’re looking at a necessary replacement—while in the throws of a basement remodeling project. All I can say about that is Aaah!

Don’t forget about what we’re calling the “Oatmeal Incident.” A consequence of sleeping just 15 minutes more this Saturday resulted in a bulk container of oatmeal being tossed throughout the house. This week we’re discovering “magic potion” hidden in different rooms—our kid’s combination of soap, water and swollen oatmeal. As I continue to pick rolled oats from the rugs I’m wondering could I cast a spell to undo all this craziness?

So husband, your observation of “I’m agitated” is correct. Thank you for acknowledging the obvious. My mind’s been marbles.

Now parked in the driveway, I’m ready with a rebuttal for battle. But before I can belt it out, your side-stepping from the drivers seat into a swirl from a neighborhood stray. A substance that quite literally represents the way I feel.

There’s no need to go to war now. You’ve just hit a land mine. Thank you dear husband for stepping in poop. You just prevented a major blowout.