Monday, April 14, 2008


My little boy is still sick. His fever returned today after waking up at 3am and refusing to go back to bed. He has cried for the last several days with the exclamation, "MON (which is to say c'mon) and then he drags my ring finger with his firm hand to wherever he wants to go. Usually 'mon means, "I want to go stand on top of the freezer in the pantry and race my car on the wire shelves because it sounds so cool." I tried to provide him with a cookie rack he could use with his car on the floor, but apparently it wasn't dangerous enough for him.

I didn't think he was still sick for these past few days and my patience with him has worn beyond thin. I have gasped and moaned to the point of tears for some sense of relief concerning all the 'mons that seem to transpire. The crying and 'mon is nonstop. I cannot seem to appease him or handle him in the way he would like to be handled. I am torn between preparing for an inspection at my apartment complex on Wednesday, editing photo shoots, throwing random parties for my girls and me, and being a MOM to all that that encompasses.

Today in my frustration I yelled a word that should never even be heard in a whisper. Aaron shockingly exclaimed, "what did you say?" and my six year old daughter's matter-of-fact personality repeated verbatim what I had said, as if no one had heard the awful truth from my lips.
I began to think to myself, "Who was I anyway?" Certainly not the patient mother I would like to be. Certainly not the woman I was capable of becoming. The perfect mother, wife, and friend. Who was I and why couldn't I be more perfect?

While Kai was taking his nap and Aaron was home I ran some much needed errands. In a random stop I headed into Goodwill, a place I can find anything worth finding. My subconscious 'mon beckoned me into the book area where I picked up a book entitled When I am an old woman I shall wear purple. What possessed me to pick it up only heaven knows. But in this ragged old book of poetry I found wisdom, wit, and relief from the molehill woes that I made into mountains. In fact, the first poem struck me in a way I cannot even express.

by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

This poem made me feel something more superior than all my troubles. Suddenly my life was just A life filled with a lot of living, growing, and thankfully stories to tell. In that moment of personal reckoning I decided that I didn't want to be the perfect woman. So what if I lose my patience? After all, Kai has been sick and crying for a week straight! Truly, I should give myself a break.

And now, I am off to Target to buy something to wear. I think it should definitely be purple.


Cortney said...

I hope you found something perfect in purple! And I do wish we could have chatted this afternoon when you stopped by, but maybe next time you can come with your new book and share a few more inspiring poems. :)

Mary Seals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Seals said...

Amen sistah friend. Brianna would have learned all those nasty words by the end of first grade anyway and who do you want her getting her info. from? The little kids on the bus?! yeah, I thought not.

ps- you may consider picking a color other than purple if you want to look outrageous because, if I'm not mistaken, you look fabulous in purple.

Anonymous said...

They have clubs all over the world called " Red Hat clubs." They are all based on this poem. I actually have a wristwatch that is also based on this poem and has a red hat charm attached to it...WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

Anonymous said...

Go to


Snelders Family said...

Thank you, Carrie, for this post! My boys have been such little monsters lately and yesterday was the worst! By the end of the day, I'd lost all patience with them - I was tired, had a headache, and couldn't take anymore screaming or messes to clean up. Then, once they were tucked quietly in bed for the night, I began to feel so guilty for not being more patient and loving despite my bad day. But you are absolutely right - we are not perfect and once and a while we're going to explode and that's okay! We will have moments and that's just life. Thanks again for reinforcing that thought to me!

Bethanne said...

You are not alone! Thanks for this one...we can only do the best we can do, right! Cute poem too...Just remember that you aren't alone and that so many of us mothers feel just like that: inadequate and imperfect. But where would the challenge be if we WERE perfect mothers, wives, and friends?

Katherine said...

Hi Carrie,
I'm a friend of Aaron's from high school. I enjoy seeing what your family is up to on your blog. You have a beautiful family. I'm helping to plan my 10 year reunion and I needed some contact info on David. If possible, could you leave it on my blog or email me at Thanks so much,

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