Getting It Wrong

Fear of mistakes. She gets it from me.

Last week, during a reading lesson, we’re working on ‘meat.’ She says each letter’s sound, slowly, surely, and I tell her good job, let’s say them as a word now, let’s read it together.

But I might get it wrong, she says.

It’s ok, I say. Getting it wrong is usually the first step to getting it right. Trust me, I know.

I do know. I’ve been getting a lot wrong lately. Misplaced priorities, wasted energy, bending relationships. I haven’t been taking care of myself, and it was evident in my Christmas night tears to Ken, I’m just so tired of getting it wrong.

I’ve been here before, and my tendency is to jump start my heart right out of it, defibrillator style. Vacation? Clear. Yoga break? Clear. Detox menu? 1-2-3-Clear.

But it doesn’t stick. I always flatline one way or the other.

“That’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying, because life is a little unsatisfying.” Gil said this in Midnight in Paris.

I felt this at midnight on Christmas.

We’re headed out of town this morning, driving toward the sun, toward the waves, toward a rhythm only the tide can offer. But the rain that started falling last night has frozen, and the roads are slick.

We’ll wait it out, Ken says. We’ll leave when we can.

I know the ice will melt, eventually, and we’ll be on our way to water. I know my ice will melt, too.

While we wait, another reading lesson. We sound out S, then E, then E again.

Essee? she asks. Did I get it right?

We’ll both keep getting it wrong.
But we’ll keep getting it right, too.
We’ll keep learning a different way to somewhere.

Finding a shortcut to failure, after all, is a surefire way to chart the waters.

Ken tells me we’ll likely get to leave in a few hours; the ice is beginning to thaw. You have the address? he asks as he loads the last of the luggage – the sand buckets, the beach umbrella, the cooler.

I do.

We’re ready.

But we’ll wait, for safety.
And we’ll pray, for safety.
And in the meantime, we’ll read and learn, try and fail.

The rest can remain uncharted, at least for today.

  • ‘We’ll keep learning a different way to somewhere.’

    I will take that challenge into the new year. Thank you and blessings…


  • Erin-

    I think you and your writing and your sincerity are lovely. You are doing so much right ❤

  • gahhh… everything I read from you makes waiting for your book more and more difficult!

  • First time reader here, how powerful your writing is! And how powerful you must be. I was moved to tears while reading this post. You spoke right to my heart, thank you.

  • You will get there. And it will be beautiful. It is also beautiful right now…
    Your tears, like the rain, making way for sunshine. And soon she will be spelling confidently. Why, she will be correcting you before you know it.
    Enjoy these days with your loved ones. Thank you for writing – you bring joy and light through your words.

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