White lies are better than moldy skidmarked truth

I don’t think I know much about my kids.

Wait, that’s not accurate. I know everything about Lucy.

But that won’t last long. The clock is ticking on that one.

My other two are complete mysteries, and I kind of hate it.

My hate has nothing to do with them – I suppose it’s actually all me.

Growing up, I never told my mom all that much about my life. I was always really afraid she’d flip out and tell me I was going to hell or make me go to some special church class or something. I actually did get punished that way once – my mom found out that I’d skipped school, and I had to spend every afternoon for like a month sitting in my room writing bible verses. I was a senior in high school.

So yeah, Mom and I never had girl talks. We talk more openly now, I’m older and she’s older and we can both admit I’ve had sex since I have three kids.

But I’ve always wanted to be a friend to my kids. To answer their questions and be honest with them, and be able to have a relationship with them that ensures that, in the future, they’ll come to me for advice. A ride when everyone is drunk. Clarity when their hearts are broken.

And I do try.

But I fail. For lots of reasons.

Max is just so…awkward. I love him dearly, to bits and pieces. Truly. But talking to him is like talking to a miniature Michael Scott. It’s painfully uncomfortable at times, even though I realize his mind is very different than mine. I need to work on understanding him more. I’m sure it’s fascinating to go through life as Max.

Ava is, I think, a lot like I was when I was little.

And that. Terrifies. Me.

I was sneaky. I was dishonest. I had terrible judgement. I had such a hard time.

I want to make it easier for her, but I don’t have any clue how. So I think I subconsciously pull away. Which is the very opposite, I know, of what I should be doing.

Wow. Writing all this stuff and seeing it in the light of reality makes it sound….awful. Which I guess it is.

I ache to be good at being a mom, especially since I legit suspect that I love my kids way more than is normal. I’m just terrible at showing it. I mean really, awful.

Maybe I should take some sort of class. My child psychology class came with a virtual child (yes, it did. So not only to I get to suck at raising three kids with a pulse, I get to have another one to go all A.I. Haley Joel Osment). Think that’ll help?

Maybe I was a little bit dead

Hello.

There are some people who are sick a lot. People with diseases and sickness and they are much better people than me.

I really don’t do well with being sick, maybe it’s because I’ve been really lucky to have a mostly healthy life.

In the past few years I’ve developed allergies. Because I’m getting old. I’ve accepted it.

There is also this one spot on my left nostril that gets super sore and red whenever the weather changes, and only today have I figured out what helps it.

Hemorrhoid ointment.

There, I said it. I’m typing this post because I wrote nothing yesterday. I’m snotty and gross and I have ass cream on my face.

I didn’t write yesterday because I legit thought I might never feel good again.

Josh has been achy, snotty and sick.
Lucy has been stuffy, grumpy and gross.
And me, well…me too.

So that’s what’s up. I feel better today. My dad gave me some Sudafed (you guys, it is straight up stupid that it requires a prescription now. Meth heads ruin everything.) and it’s helping. I went on a date last night and that was fun. I slept for longer than fifteen minutes at a stretch last night. I was gently awoken this morning by my sweet and lovely husband (he sat on my feet and then said ever so musically, “WHY THE CRAP ARE YOU STILL ASLEEP, IT’S NINE O’CLOCK.”) as he headed off to play practice.

Also, Dear Director Caleb – rehearsals on Saturday mornings are stupid. Please rethink it, because it’s misery. I can say that because what are you going to do to me? I am immune to your evil.

Oh, and guess what? Thanks to the kindness and understanding of the Dean of Students at Northeast, Josh and I are both students.

That’s right. We even have IDs. And I’m so freaking excited it’s a little ridiculous.

I suppose that’s all the random I have for today. I don’t even have a picture. Sorry.

Be sure to tune in on Monday, where in honor of National Relaxation Day I have a guest post by an honest-to-god yogi, and maybe she will inspire you to contort your body in unnatural ways.

You may hate me after this

I had something else scheduled to talk about today.

But I need to tell you about yesterday.

First you should know about my two oldest kids, though. They are beautiful lovely lights of my life, but they are loud as hell. They also have this uncanny knack for choosing the MOST inopportune times to interject themselves.

Prime example:

The entire family went to see UP (minus Lucy, of course. Also, if you haven’t seen that movie, do it immediately. Don’t even finish reading). We sat, left to right, thus: Josh, me, Max, Dan, and Ava.

Dan and the kids had already seen this particular movie once, but they’d come again for the 3D.

The movie commences, and we reach the part of the touching intro where a weeping Ellie is slumped over on an exam table while the doctor looks sad and Carl looks lost and helpless.

The entire theater was quiet, soft.

The lady in front of me was sniffling.

I lost a few tears. My throat was thick.

And in the wake of that beautifully sad, artfully conveyed, wordless moment that tore every adult’s heart right out of its’ casing, my daughter leaned over her dad’s lap, 3D glasses all akimbo, and stage whispered,

Mom? MOM? SHE’S CRYING BECAUSE THE DOCTOR SAID SHE CAN’T HAVE A BABY AND SO SHE’S SUPER SAD.”

Yeah. We pretty much have a repeat of that on an hourly basis.

That’s why yesterday morning, when I heard a timid knock on my bedroom door, I did little but roll my eyes emphatically. Lucy had had an awful night (molars are a bitch) and she was finally sleeping, and I was not about to call out to answer whoever was at the door.

So I was quiet.

Ten minutes later, knockknockknockKNOCKKNOCK.

Again, I was quiet. Surely they would get the message.

Nope.

knockKNOCKknock

So I did a stage whisper of my own: “what???”

The door opened, and in walked a child. I didn’t have my glasses on at that point, so I only halfway thought it might be Max. While I fumbled around for my glasses, I told him how it was.

“My lord, Max, that was three times, can you not TAKE a HINT that maybe some people are still resting and don’t need you being all loud and…”

Glasses on. And then I saw him. Standing awkwardly in the doorway, not sure if he should leave or stay, balancing a perilously flimsy paper plate full of something.

“I…I realized that we haven’t really given you a day off since it’s the summer and so I brought you breakfast.”

Hello, world? It’s nice to meet you. In case you don’t know, my name is TOTAL DOUCHEBAG.

He quickly forgave me when I gushed apologies and told him how wonderful he is, but the guilt will live on healthily in my heart for a long, long time.

Writing Prompt #287

Use these two metaphors in a poem: “an inch of scorn” and “a cradle of beliefs”

It was never easy being the one who was different.
Never a sigh out of place but a gut filled with longing
Somewhere I knew there would answers abound
But I was behind. Blind.
Out of touch.
There were things to say
Bursting to be born from my thoughts
But they wouldn’t have listened.
They would have read their preferred reaction
In their leather bound books of exclusion,
nestling back into the cradle of their belief
Assured that they would come out the winners.

And where it hurt me before,
Shattered the shell I’d constructed
Left open and raw,
Now it was healing.
Replacing the ache for approval,
I look down and sideways,
Never allowing one
Within an inch of my scorn.

There could be another way,
Soothing and warm,
Buttered over with forgiveness and acceptance
But we seem to prefer ice
Sharp words and looks
And separating the different
From the different
In another way.

5 minute free write with keyword prompts

(sorry for all the writing exercises lately. I’m really trying to jumpstart creative juices.)

Sadly I looked down the stairwell and saw that things would never be the same. I would never see her again, never know what was going on in her mind or my mind with her. We were so disjointed but never when we were together. It was unreal, a swell in the darkness of the many things I didn’t know. I found a chair and made my perch while I wondered where to go from here.

Where do people go when the end of their lives has come? Not when they die, not that, but the point in life when they have nothing left to accomplish or live for. I suppose that’s when people get new dreams. Or buy a red sportscar and find a young mistress.

Is that all this was? Was I just midlife crisising and things were not as bad as they seemed?

I didn’t believe things worked that way. After all, mountains are high but there’s always another side. There’s always somewhere else to go. But I didn’t see that. There wasn’t anywhere else to go for me. Without her, all my hopes had vanished and I was left, soggy and hollow.

She wasn’t a friend. Not a sister, a lover, or my mother or daughter.

Things I’d say

I’m really not sure why I am so afraid of saying what I think sometimes. I know I have a tendency to spill my TMI all over the web, but in reality there’s so much rattling around this bean brain of mine. And I can’t say it.

I’m not sure why. I’ve always held tightly to the notion that you have to be who you are, and those who don’t like it can either kiss your ass or learn to love you. But as much as I believe that, it’s not doable.

It’d be the easiest way to live, no doubt. Saying what you mean, meaning what you say. Living without fear of getting caught in double talk or accidentally seen rolling your eyes.

To say to the insufferable brat, “Someday you’ll have your righteous rant only to realize what a dumbass you look like,” and then to go on like nothing because after all, being an insufferable brat doesn’t make me not love you. It just means you suck sometimes. We all do.

Wouldn’t that be great? Total, unencumbered honesty. Like The Invention of Lying, right?

That’s not how it works, and so I’ve become pretty adept sometimes at just going along.

Except I’m not, not really.

I ache inside to say things I should never say.

you’re crazy as hell.
how are you able to live two lives?
do you realize what a hypocrite you are? because everyone else does.

I know thoughts like this only breed negativity and sour your soul. It’s why it’s hard for me to admit I constantly harbor shit like this in my brain.

But I do. And now you know.

I don’t feel any better, because I feel like everyone else has some secret that I missed. Does everyone think all this and just ignore it? Because I can’t.

It’s why I think I’m so antisocial, because I suck at hiding my feelings. If I hate you (my mom never let me use the word hate. Never say hate, never say never), I just can’t pretend I like you. It’s a mental block and it’s probably why I never made it to broadway (that, and the chub. And getting married at 20).

I feel really alone (except for Josh, and that’s why we’re married. We are both completely inappropriate. I just hide it better than he does). If you harbor similar inappropriate thoughts, please tell me. Even if it’s anonymously.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to hide from my thoughts.

We’ll always have the Sacristy

To tell the honest truth (as opposed to the other kind), I’m at a bit of a loss.
I won’t stay that way for long, because there are so many thoughts in my head. In my heart.

When I first met you, I was sure that you’d end up being someone else to get on my nerves because let’s face it, pretty much everyone does.

But I learned (quickly, like the next day when you breezed through and yelled, “I gotta go on a liquor run before communion on Sunday, anybody running short? Jesus is payin’!” ) that you were not to be anything that I would have expected.

You came in every Monday to sign the checks and get the scoop. Sometimes you’d stay for hours because we’d get caught up in telling stories and chatting about pretty much any topic we could think of.

You know the line from Steel Magnolias, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me?”

That was you. To the bone. And it brightened my day so many times.

Every image I have of the true Southern lady I have because of you. You carried handkerchiefs, draped your hairdo with a brassy scarf, wore sunglasses as big as my head. Your big luxury car. Bridge and beauty parlor on Fridays. Dirty jokes in the church office, always prefaced with, “Now Emily don’t you tell anybody I said this. I’ll deny it.”

I told you so many things. Secrets. Quandaries. Decisions I had to make.

You always had advice.

You told me about lingerie modeling when you were young, because you were unapologetically “a total babe, Emily!”

When I had to leave, we both cried. You were the hardest part of leaving.

I used to call you on the weekends, during the long child-custody swap drives. You kept me in the know and never failed to tell me how much you wanted us to come home.

I should have kept in touch more. I should have written cards and notes.

The last time I saw you I asked about the office and everything I’d left.

“It’s working, I guess…but…it’s not the same. It’s not the same at all.”

I hope one day I can be as wonderful as you. You were a lady, a love, and one of my dearest friends.

It won’t be the same, Miss Lynn. Not the same at all.

Same as it was

I’ve never been one to thrive on cryptic status messages and song lyrics.

Well, that’s not entirely true. There were days years ago where I posted quotes in Italian and talked in code like nobody could Google.

I was getting the weirds out, ok? We didn’t have the internets in my youths.

What I’m saying is, were I currently given to posting cryptic mystery messages and provoking curiosity, I totally could.

I could say, “You’re so wrong,” or talk about regret and holding grudges. I could passive aggress my way around every issue and I could make the point for anyone who was in the loop. I could never name names and still hit nerves.

But you know what? I did that shit in high school.

I’ve grown.

There are people I was thick as thieves with in high school who I would inconvenience myself now to avoid. People I rode backroads with and snuck wine coolers and Marlboro Lights, who have turned into Bible thumping Republican pageant moms.

So I choose to stay clear of them. I would rather sit home and make doilies than surround myself with people who pain me.

The same goes for organizations who are comprised of people who just enjoy the power they think they have.

And here’s where I get real.

I understand, folks. Maybe you don’t like my husband. Maybe you think he’s an arrogant prick. That’s ok. He’s my arrogant prick. While it’s his choice to allow people to treat him however, I don’t have to stand for it and I won’t. My children will see that I don’t approve of people who exclude others because of hearsay. Or wrongs so old no one even really remembers them.

I get that I am just one person. I’m not a big loss. But I am what I am. And it’s not okay for you to play with people I love.

So….basically all that stuff I just said about how I’m not going to be cryptic and mysterious?

Ignore that.

Day 05 of 30 day challenge

day 05- A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life

You were not planned and not expected.
You were gone as soon as we knew you were there.
Maybe you knew without knowing that our life was not quite ready for you yet.
I think of you more often than I ever thought I would. I wonder what life would have been if you had become a part of our lives.
I would never have been able to decide to wait. You must’ve known it wasn’t the right time. So you made the choice we never could have. You left us with nothing but a memory, and none of us will ever know what might have been.

They said you were never more than a few cells. You never even had a heartbeat.

But I still think about you. I think of your hair, your chubby hands. Trucks and mud. Barbies and lipstick. All the toys and diapers.

And I think of the gift you gave us, in giving us a few more years.

I wonder if there’s a shadow of you in what would have been your little sister. I wonder if you’d have had the curls she does. If you’d have still been in our bed when she came along.

Thank you for the minute we had with you. Thank you for the perspective you gave me on what life is.

I don’t know if I believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, you are well met. You have great grandparents who are no doubt loving every minute I’ve missed.

And if there is something after this, I can’t wait to hold you.

Thank you. I love you still.

Love,
Mama

Let it be

(the picture? That’s my Memorial Day Maxedon margarita, I just thought you needed to see it.)

Why is it so difficult to just leave shit alone?

Not literal shit, obviously. That stuff is gross and sticky and sometimes white. I remember marveling over white dogshit when I was a kid.

One day I’ll learn to stop going back and clarifying myself, and I’ll just let you all think what you will. It’ll probably save everyone some embarrassment since I tend to ramble.

ANYWAY. I had every intention of trying to be provocative.

My point is this: shit happens. It does. It happens and it sucks and yet why do we have to revisit the hurt?

I have hurt people in my life. I think about it every day.
I have been hurt by people in my life. I think about that every day.

I don’t try to do either of those, they just happen.

Of course if I made a conscious decision to think about hurtful things less, then I’d spend so much time thinking about not thinking about things that I’d finally look around and realize that my kids had all graduated and my teeth needed to be brushed.

And what would that accomplish?

It does us no good to wallow in pain and to grasp onto hurt. Yet I know that it’s just exactly what I often do.

I really can’t decide why. I’ve thought about it and maybe it’s because in feeling legitimate hurt, maybe it’s a safe place? Maybe there’s something to be said for keeping hold onto a pain that you are justified in feeling because that takes away the work of moving on.

I don’t want to wallow. I don’t want to be the wallower and I don’t want to be the cause of wallowing.

I suppose I’m saying that I want, from here on out, to live my life day to day. I want to forget hurt and remember healing. Love. There’s no point in hurting myself or anyone else.

Progress begins today, and I will learn to let be what has been.