There it is, still sitting on the counter. Mocking me. Pineapple juice oozes over the side of the cutting board and onto the countertop. I picture the August sugar ants beginning to gather, arranging their formation march - up cabinet doors and onto the table top, following the scent of the delicious mess.
My husband. He did this on purpose, probably just to spite me. I've never been so sure of anything in my life.
You don't own me...
I'm not just one of your many toys.
You don't own me.
Don't say I can't go with other boys.
Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Baaaa...
And don't tell me what to do,
And don't tell me what to say.
And when I go out with you,
Don't put me on display...
Sometimes I don't know how exhausted I really am until I sit down at night. Before long, couch-blanket draped across my legs, my eyes start to feel heavy and I miss bits and pieces of any show that my husband and I attempt to watch. You know the drill: up before dawn, get kids ready for school (we're on year-round schedule), work, work, work, prepare meals, and exercise somewhere in between there. Pass out.
"But...is it OK that I'm different now? I feel like people just want me to go back to the way I was before." Tears gathering at the corners of her bright blue eyes, she waits for the answer. And then we talk - just like all the other talks that I've had before, with women who've asked personal versions of the very same questions. Women who've seen or done hard things and who can't undo them.
Am I acceptable even if I've changed?
Is it OK to refuse the veneered version of myself?
Will people still like me if I put my real self out there?
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.