a walk in the dark

I flip the light switch. Nothing happens.

Dammit! I forgot. Again. Has it been two weeks or three since I stashed the broken floor lamp in the closet? The snow days are blending together. Did you know they put dirt in the base of such lamps as ballast? I know because there is a ring of gravel on the floor where my lamp once stood. You can’t see it right now because it’s too dark.

bookcaseDim light from the hallway reveals the shadow of the desk to my left. Inching by, I navigate around the bed to reach the lamp on the dresser. My way is fraught with hazards. A jumble of books lays straight ahead. They used to be stacked neatly on three shelves until my six-year-old tipped over the bookcase last week. I heard a thunk and ran to investigate. He ignored my command to “Put those back where they belong!” I replaced each book myself. An hour later, I watched as Philip toppled the bookcase again. Fuck it, I thought, and left the books on the floor.

As luck would have it, a full moon shines outside the window over our bed. No blinds block its glow. Philip mangled those the same day he broke the lamp. I use the lunar gleam to detect the random objects strewn across my bedroom floor: assorted markers (washable), one toy car, deflating balloons and a half-full, smashed-in box of shredded Kleenex. I make it to the dresser without impaling my sole, bashing my shin or stubbing my toe. I grope until I feel the switch and turn on the lamp. I can see.

See: no blinds

See: no blinds

If only a cartoon light bulb would appear illuminated over my head, signaling a brilliant idea. Maybe then I would know how to stop all of this mayhem. I can’t send my son to school when it’s closed. I can’t take him outside when it’s too cold. We installed a door chain, but that only slows him down. He pulls so hard on the knob that I’m afraid he’ll break the frame. Plus, the endless energy and need for sensory input will only migrate to another room in the house.

Do you have any suggestions? Do you want to see the devastation for yourself?

I’ll leave the light on for you.




13 thoughts on “a walk in the dark

  1. Oh I am so very sorry….it sucks beyond words how you must be feeling. The freaking snow days are not helping. I had to use thumbtacks to put blankets over the sliding glass door because the view of the snow was so traumatic for Bridget. While I only have 1/10 of understanding of what you are going through please know I am sending every peaceful thought your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post! You convey so much in so few words. I can’t imagine how the snow days feel for you — and they keep coming. I hope you find some peace and/or orderliness soon.


    1. Another snow day today. Peter deals with the brunt of it since he’s at home all day with him. I’m hoping now that Philip is over his cold, we can get outside to play a bit more and burn off some energy that way.


  3. Snow days are tough and winter is so long and difficult under the best of circumstances. Here’s hoping things get better so Philip can burn off his energy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Philip is home again today due to snow. When I called during my lunch break, Peter said, “Our room is a mess.” What happened?! I asked. “He jumped until the sheets got knocked off the bed.” Honestly, if that’s the worst that’s happened so far, I can live with that.


  4. Oh dear. Talk about cabin fever. We call our three-year-old El Destructo, by the way, for the way he can tornado his way through a room leaving nothing untouched or in place. *sigh*


  5. I fear I will be misunderstood as stupid, calloused, ignorant of the facts, or just plain ol out of touch so Im going to post what I truly feel about your post.
    I love, admire, and respect parents that have spend their days avoiding catastrophes, tolerating the ones they cant, finding solutions to problems that no one else can relate to and still find the room and energy to love, nurture, and understand. I look to these parents for guidance. You are part of the group of parents that can actually attest to the job!


    1. This was a very thoughtful comment. I thank you for taking the time to read and then form this response. Those parents that you described – I’m not sure I’m there, but it something to which I will definitely aspire.


  6. I spent some time catching up with your blog today and, as always, was impressed by the high quality of writing you are able to consistently deliver and the honesty and vulnerability it shows. Combined, those things make for a powerful reading experience.


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