Posts tagged Joshua Tree

Wearing Star Barrettes

I ache for the landscape of the Mojave desert, even when I’m standing in the middle of it. Whenever I’m here, there’s a constant hovering awareness that I’m going to have to leave and it seems to manifest as a free-floating sense of longing. I guess it’s the price I pay for having found a little corner of this planet where I can see myself living as an old woman, in some fantasy Georgia O’Keefe-esque existence.

We had six people out here in Joshua Tree for the weekend, all of us helping to shoot the video for Scott’s song “Pretty,” (yes, like my book) which he’ll be releasing soon. That’s a pic of DJ Mendel directing, Kaz Phillips-Safer shooting and Anais Bjork supplying the gorgeousness. T and I were production assistants: making coffee runs, doling out sunblock and, most importantly, digging for fossils. Because no video shoot is complete without a paleontologist on set.

Overall it was a fun adventure, but T was frankly a real pain all weekend. Change is hard for him and he gets tremendously anxious in unfamiliar environments. He refused to let daddy out of his sight for even a second, so we wound up just baking in the sun on set for hours instead of going to Pioneertown to see the cowboys. He also refused to go to sleep, which is annoying, but more importantly it makes me feel sad for him. He’s just a little boy; I want to world to be less scary. I want him to feel safer and not like he has to control everything. I also want to be two inches taller and speak fluent French, but that ain’t gonna make it true.

After we were done with the video, Scott took T home and left me alone up here for a couple of days to get some uninterrupted work done on my book proposal (I know- he’s pretty much awesome). It’s wildly gorgeous and the wind is rattling the windows. The stars are so low that I’m wearing them as barrettes. I’m eating cereal for dinner because I can. I love the freedom and solitude and yet I miss my little boy something fierce.

It occurred to me last night as I was sitting in the hot tub and watching the sun set over the desert, that if I could travel back in time twenty years and whisper in my teenage ear: You’re going to be an author and have a wonderful husband and a firebrand, amazing child and you’re going to get to travel a lot and one night you’re going to find yourself alone in a hot tub in the desert, looking up at a glowing pink sky, I would have thought, That’s a pretty f-ing cool life. But I forget about that and from the inside, it gets to just be a big anxiety stew, with scattered moments of gratitude and joy. From the inside, it always feels like aching for something even as I’m standing right in the middle of it. It’s important to have the moments when you say- this is all right. In fact, it’s all I ever wanted.

What I Did on My Christmas Vacation…

on-bike-xmas.jpg

unwrap.jpg

I took an ill-advised Dayquil way too late in the day and now I’m huddled in the corner of a hotel room typing away in the dark like a regular tweaker. I’m the last of the clan to succumb to this beastly, mutant virus and it has made our trip to Palm Springs more of an endurance exercise than a vacation.

Here’s a pic from our hike in Joshua Tree. A worthy endurance exercise if ever there was one.

us-in-jt.jpg

T got tired and lay down in the middle of the trail:

lying-on-ground-jt.jpg

We’ve been here for a few days because we felt like we needed a non-work-related family getaway. I try to keep this blog fairly humorous most of the time, but I have to get real and say that it’s been hard lately. T’s anxiety, aggression and control issues are through the roof. I’m digging deeper than I ever thought possible and still sometimes find myself losing my patience and snapping in ways I’m not proud of.

I believe we’re facing the fallout of T’s early childhood trauma. I console myself with the knowledge that I have a tremendous number of resources and a strong community of parents who have grappled with similar challenges. I’m discovering that feeling theoretically prepared for a high-needs child and actually dealing with the daily reality, particularly when I’m feeling off my game, is a very different thing. I know that we’ll get through this together and that we’ll emerge wiser on the other side. I’m just not sure how yet.

On the flip side, there is the unbearable sweetness of Christmas morning…

Best Ever Christmas morning quote:

Dad: (pointing to the brand new bike with the big red bow) What did Santa bring you?
Tariku: (pointing to the chair next to it, which has been there for years) A CHAIR!

us.jpg

Jillian Lauren Newsletter

×