Sheets of Egyptian Cotton

I'm staring at the bulletin board over my bed, amazed to find the sequence of events that are displayed, like a time capsule saving up memories. There is a photograph of Tim and me standing together, taken when his hair was long and I was only fifteen. Underneath that is an envelope he painted for me while I was still in school: a big red sun with Good morning sunshine painted in green letters across the blue sky. There is the black and white wedding invitation I designed in the shape of an adriatic lily, two gold butterflies stenciled on pale green cardstock, and a post-it that says Sheets of Egyptian cotton: a gift. There is the sand dollar my grandmother gave me one Christmas, tickets to a play, magazine clippings, a post-script about sleep, and a poem that says Some mornings I don't want to get out of my bed, not because I feel bad but because I feel good. See, this is more than just a bed, it's a destination. And finally there is a picture of Isaac, one month old, wrapped in a receiving blanket and lying on my red quilt.

I can honestly say I never thought I would be married at nineteen, or that I would have a child at twenty-one, or that I would be living in South Carolina at all. I thought at twenty-one I would be living with Stephanie in an artsy apartment somewhere, working and being creative. Either that or I would be touring with the band, or graduating from a university with something more than an Associates, or travelling overseas. People always told me to focus on one thing and I ignored them, which explains why I have spent the last two years exploring art and writing and music, taking solitary classes in topics that interested me, changing jobs frequently, and spending time in coffeehouses with Tim. Sometimes I think I haven't accomplished much of anything, but then it occurs to me how happy I am to have things the way they are. I like my blank spaces on the calendar, empty squares waiting to be filled. I like decorating my house and thinking of it as our personal fort, I like roadtrips and wandering through small towns, I like waiting for Tim to come home so we can make up the rest of the day as we go along, and I like having Isaac.

I have finally progressed from feeling awkward because I didn't finish school, to knowing I wouldn't change things if I could. And someday, maybe, I'll open my coffeehouse and sell my art and belong in a small community where my customers are familiar, the kind of people who visit regularly and say the same things every time. A place where I can be entirely myself, inside-out tie-die tunic and long hair and bare feet every day. A place where people will stop asking me if I have a degree and why don't I have a career and why do I keep trying to do so many different things at once.

But for now, while they ask what I've been doing with myself, I will continue to give them the same response: just . . . things. Of course, in the back of my head I'll be thinking: I'm waking Isaac up in the morning and watching him stretch, the way his back arches and his little fists go up over his head. I'm exercising and making scrapbooks and keeping a journal. I'm washing my bedding because Isaac spit up on it all morning. I'm cleaning my house. I'm painting. They're simple things, things often left unsaid because people tend to smile and nod in response, not knowing what to do with my simple life. I suppose it's only a place to begin.


  1. Don't you love it how when someone asked what you've been up to and we always... always answer nothing or school or something? But really that's not even half of it... I'll be thinking the same thing, school, writing, art, cleaning... all that. Lauren I think your life is awesome, I love how you find time for so many things like writing a book and actually sending it to a publisher... like scrapbooking and drawing and painting and taking care of Tim and Isaac. College doesn't help in real family life so don't let it bother you when someone asks why you didn't finish. I'm pretty sure I won't go to college... once you finish school, and then go to more school, what's the point? I'm good with a job and writing. But you never know how my life will change when I graduate. I'm pretty darn sure I don't know any guy I could think of spendin the rest of my life with... so... but you never know when he'll step in, if at all. That photo of you and Tim, is that the one where he kinda looks like a cute clown and you're hugging or something like that? You were only fifteen there? Wow... ha. You know, the other day I was watching you with Isaac and I wanted to tell you you remind me of a hippy momma... with your long hair always down and bouncing Isaac around the room... with your creative paintings and house and words. So, little hippy momma, don't move too far away to that town where your coffee house will be. I'll miss you guys too much. You wrote on my xanga I should get a blogpot. Blogpot huh? Haha... the only thing is, can you comment on other people's sites like facebook with just a blog?


  2. hey why am i registered for urban outfitters and free people magazine? I just got emails saying i am and i didn't do that... did you do that? Are they for free? Man, this is weird...

    i'm pretty sure my 'twue wove' isn't under my nose... lol...

    i like those pics... the first one the best... i like her bright red hair. The next looks like it was drawn either on the computer or with charcoal... or when they scanned it it made it look funny... it's still a good picture though. She reminds of someone from a movie... I'm not sure who... well, i think i might sign up for a blogspot and then you can help me figure out the site if i need help! lol...


  3. hey there lauren! cal you tell me how you put photos on the side of your site? i wanna do that... and i wanna change the background a bit too... i can't figure it out though... lol...

  4. It's not necessary to ponder the same things in order to be friends -- but there's something unspeakably cozy about bumping into a familiar face on the same train of thought. *grins*

    Huh. Did that make any sense? If I spoke blogger, or teen-speak, or whatever, I probably would have gone with: "I hear ya, girlfriend."

    So much for coherance.

  5. I too became a mother at 21, and it turned my dreams, my hopes, my wants and wishes completely upside down. For a while there I kept on searching for something, and then I realized that I was searching for myself.

    I had my first baby boy in the beginning of my second year in college, and amazingly I managed to graduate, but it surely changed everything. Everyone (myself included) thought I would be traveling the world as a journalist after graduation, but instead I went to work for a non-profit children's organization.

    I seriously had a huge identity crisis for a long while, but now that I can look back on that time I know everything that happened happened for a reason.

    A few months before my oldest son was born, my mother was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). My son was the only grandchild she ever got to hold, to hug and to kiss.

    I think it is easy to get lost on our way to finding ourselves, but the searching is part of the discovery.

    Frugality Is Free.

  6. I feel much the same way as you. I constantly have a million things/projects/ideas I want to do and I get so overwhelmed and nothing gets done. I suffer from chronic dissatisfation (I took that from Penelope Cruz in Vicky Christina Barcelona) I love your coffee house idea and I would love to work for you some day :-)


( hippies always welcome )