The weekend was spent on balls and bats of varying size. We played on the lawn, throwing fast-balls into curve-balls until the Monster Bear baby was swinging his arms, his bat, with all his might.
“Follow through, Monster Bear,” I’d say, and he’d connect. Ball after ball. In the act of swinging, I reckon he too feels free, I recall thinking. And not for the first time.
I too love to swing, and took as many hits as Monster Bear would allow. Alas, he wanted his dad to swing. And his dad tried to be soft, to not hit the house, the garage, the Monster Bear. In turn, he hit me, square in the mouth.
Or should I say circle. The pain was surreal, issuing tears and a numbness of teeth and skin before I could control myself. What a feeling. That weightless, loopy-lofty vibe that renders your body as useless as it is timeless. I didn’t mind being driven to such a state. Not to say I enjoy being hit in the face with a ball ricocheted from a bat. And yet I recall swaying in circles, Husband towering, cursing apologies and trying to touch some part of me. I mumbled expressions of feeling fine and not to touch, touch, touch.
Maybe I’m sadistic, but I like moments like this assuring me that I’m woman-alive.
To feel immense amounts of pain and to walk ’round the other side of it.
Bonus: I received an hour-long bike ride out of the ordeal–just me and Andrew Bird encircling my tiny town atop the trusty metal of my frame. I go slow and I pedal fast and I let my feet hang down and pretend to run through the air like, “Wheeeeeeee!” So free, I think and think.
In such a hurry to pedal, I forgot to put on a bra.
As if riding my bicycle could be any more liberating, I laugh. I felt so free foregoing a strap carving into my shoulders + my ribcage. Though one might see my choices (to bear a child, to wed a bear, to buy a bear home, to work with bears) as forms of entrapment, don’t be so easily fooled. I feel quite free in my daily quests for serenity, in my daily teachings to Monster Bear, my mini-me, and in my silent moments writing for others/for money/for myself. I feel so free while watching Monster Bear’s hair flying in the spring wind. I’m surrounded by walls and people and tasks and trying triumphs, and yet, I feel the luckiest to live such a life as this.
And thus, I must thank Husband for continuing to hit me in the face with life. I must thank my fellow mother-women, who encourage me to live life my way–no matter and no mind to the judgers of my bra-less jaunts. I must thank my Monster Bear miniature for making me educate myself a million times over so as best to educate him. I must thank my bosom friends I met moons ago and ones I met in the last few moons that all love life as much as I do, and in turn, offer me unique lenses in which to see the world. I must also thank my tiny town for passing me with hands waving while I zoom past atop my bike.
I’m so lucky to play house, to play love, play ball.
Husband went to school to play ball–books and supposed careers farthest from his mind. When we dated, I watched him play on a makeshift softball league, and was enchanted with how much he could love something. A ball and a bat made him forever smile. The first time I saw him cry was during a film regarding an old man who couldn’t quit his love for playing ball.
So young, so naive, was I to assume his love could transfer to me with little effort. This spring, we shake seven layers of dust off our baseball gloves. Only now can I see that his capacity to love is truly reserved for our sweet pup, who always listens to him, and our sweet babe, who always runs to him. As it should be. I’m so damn grateful to witness this kind of love. All within our tiny town, within our shoebox house. And if ever you visit, don’t fret over bras that bind or words that spring from your mouth, for surely this is a most freeing place.
To which degree do you find yourself free?