The Things I Don't Say

The Things I Don't Say

Erin Burt

My mind it goes and thinks and feels and, sometimes, reels. It races, it’s dull and aches from time to time. After particularly long days my mind--my heart is there--I feel it heavy, but light…or dark? It’s off. Done for the day. I’m so busy keeping.

Reminders, redirections, and reinforcement. I say so much--so, so much through the day. Mostly instruction, narration, and repeated instruction again…and again. And sometimes again. I tire of my own voice.

Almost none of those words are for me. And, oh my gosh, I sound like my mother. Not the words, necessarily (but sometimes). My actual voice sounds like my mother. I hear my grandmother in my inflection. I feel my mother in my laugh. And there are a lot of feelings and thoughts I can say about that. I don’t. I say other things.

I don’t say that I don’t know how I got here exactly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I don’t say I’m tired so I can fool myself into thinking that staying up late for the quiet is actually a good idea.

I don’t say, "Be careful!" because I want thoughtful, self-sufficient but not overly-cautious, children.

I don’t say, "I told you so!" because…well, I didn’t tell them so in the name of creating self-sufficient children. Instead, we clean up the milk.

I don’t think I say, "I love you," enough but I know I do.

I don’t say some of my thoughts and feelings, too--because I haven't had the time to make sense of them.

I don’t say the isolation because I recognize that sometimes I like it. It protects me even if sometimes it hurts. (From what? I couldn’t say.)

I don’t say how I’m complicit in the weight gain that I complain about.

I don’t speak out the tiny voice that sometimes wonders, "What’s the point?" So many things aren’t worth the effort. Or are they?

I don’t share the irritation I feel that a new day has begun. Again? Already?

I don’t say how frazzled I am sometimes (though I’m sure it comes across), investing in my dreams, my work, my family, my kids.

I hear I’m supposed to feel like I don’t know what I’m doing or I’m afraid I’ll be a bad mom sometimes. But I don’t say that because I don’t believe those things. I know I’m a good mom.

I also don’t say how little I worry about some things (germs) but how much I just want my kids to know love, joy, and peace.

I’m the keeper. I’m constantly adding to my files. Details and due dates, thoughts and feelings of others--and my own. I’ll sift through them later, but first…

Lynette is a mom of three children from age two to six. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

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