Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Year of Change

2012, my year of change. 

I should have been careful what I wished for.  Good change, forward momentum, that sort.  Not world crashing down, deep purpled anger, life perspective twisting ugliness.  37 1/2 years of being able to find the good in most anything washed away in one weekend. 

I've held off writing because I had nothing good, nothing pretty,  nothing funny to say.  Who would want to read this morose, self serving crap?  Thus the new blog with the hope that I can write and perhaps get outside of myself, this circumstance.  For even a moment.

I'm being purposefully vague.  It doesn't matter really, does it?  I'm not yet ready to share with anyone what I consider a deep humiliation.  An accounting of self.  A verification of all the bad things I've ever felt, or said about myself.

My friend Amy says I should.  That it is not talked about outloud enough.  That people need to hear and that I would be a good messenger.  But at this point, I care too much about what everyone thinks.  I can only imagine the whispers.

Maybe in the future.

For now, hello.  Hello to a new day where I try to move forward.  I try to remember what I love about life.  About myself.   

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Roller Girl

“Mama, you’re way too old,” Henry said as I laced up my skates. But he didn’t know I held my own with Melanie Whitehead, 1985 Euless Skate-N-Play Roller Skating queen in her Crayola #108, sky blue roller girl costume and her personally owned white lace-up skates.

She could twist and twirl or skate backwards around the whole rink twice to Stayin’ Alive replete with disco moves, but I was fast.

Which is why 20 plus years later, I ignored him. I zoomed past the little children all along the edges of the rink including my own. Their pudgy fingers sealed in a death grip to the rail, staring at me as I passed.

“If you put one foot in front of the other when yer’ turnin’ you’ll have more balance,” a balding, elderly man in sweatpants called to me as he glided by backwards.

I was the last person in attendance who needed his skating tips but I thought I should be nice. Who knew, one day I might decide hair pulling and fist fights were my leisure activity of choice, sign up for roller derby and suddenly find myself in great need of his sage advice.

So I smiled and ignored him too.

“Mama, how’re you doing that?” Henry yelled at me over Donna Summer, entirely impressed with my mad skating skills.

“Because I rock.”

And I did. At least for a few minutes, whirling around the rink waving at the poor children still barely scooting along between falls, and their not brave enough to venture out parents. These same parents who watched like vultures wanting to feed on my broken carcass from the sidelines and prayed for one of their children to fall in my path.

“This is great, we should do this every weekend,” I shouted to Hannah who could now let go of the wall for 2 second increments. She looked to be having slightly less fun than I was but smiled in agreement anyway.

Only 11 dollars for five hours of reverting back to childhood complete with MC Hammer blaring over the speakers and only missing Melanie Whitehead in her sequined
glory, how had I ever passed this up?

At least until they played the Macarena. They had skipped the limbo and the hokey pokey but some genius thought surely children could Macarena one handed.

And they could, with some coaxing. My own coaxing because didn’t I know everything after one hour of skating in 23 years.

So I suppose it was inevitable. The last wiggle of my hips enough to throw off my moment of grace. My arms pin-wheeling, the floor looming entirely too close to my ancient and fragile bones. The final nail in my, for God sakes stupid woman no one should try to be cute over the age of 18, coffin as I slammed my knee into the only a little more forgiving than myself floor.

The rink held its collective breath, perhaps waiting for my defeated scream of agony. I did not wail. A girl can flounder around on the floor with a bit of pride.

I really wanted to though. Big fat, lusty cries of ‘I broke my knee’ like I hadn’t sung since I was at least 12. Far too long if you ask me.

But I only thought it. Beads of sweat dripping over my carefully held together smile as I pictured myself rolling around on the floor wailing.

I wasn’t going to let them win. Not my kids, who had somehow decided 37 was old or the other parents who had forgotten what it feels like to fly.

I unlaced the skates and pulled them off. Gritting my teeth to haul myself from the floor without groaning. I prayed to the gods of self humiliation that I would not fall as I limped off. Surely once was enough for the day.

“That was some kind of fall, Mama. I’d be crying,” Henry said, helping me to a bench.

“Nah,” I grunted, plopping myself down and glaring across the room at the other parents, who quickly turned away.

“Think you could teach me,” he asked. “But you should probably get some knee pads…and maybe a helmet.”

Monday, April 30, 2007


I just posted a new blog on xanga. You can now comment there and it will link back to a blog anywhere so come visit. :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Road

For all its bleakness and paranoia inducing pages, The Road has a deeper message to convey to the reader. Set in an unknown time, somewhere in America, a father and his son journey to survive in a post apocalypse world.

Their mission is to make it to The Coast, starving in a bleak landscape of people eating marauders, burned out buildings, dead bodies and falling trees.

A harsh tale of survival, of a father's love for his child, and small kindness.

McCarthy managed to chew me up and spit me out in a span of two hours. Several times I thought I wouldn't finish as Bill played Monopoly with the children. One of my greatest fears, something happening to the world and trying to survive with my children. Dear Lord, please let them be grown. Feeling their desperation, each bite of Easter dinner, guilt filled. But finish I did and thought about it all evening. And considered what he was trying to say.

Yes, I think it was some sort of warning on where we could end up. If we don't straigten up, and start being nice. But I also think, it was to remind us, in a way we could relate to that people are starving now. That people are just trying to survive with their children now. In landscapes, that are extreme in their own ways. Where people kill you because you aren't their race, their tribe, their religion. In stupid wars. Just because they can.

It really was good. And I'm really glad I read it. I'd love to know what meaning it gave you.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sliding Away Like a Popsicle on a Hot, Summer Day

Crossposted from my main blog

I counted down the months today. April, May, June, July. Only four... my stomach twisting into a tight knot of regret. I wish I hadn't counted.

"How long now Mama," she's asked for the last year. I replied with a made up number, not wanting to think of it.

Until she caught on and I was forced to face the reality.

11 years prior, I'd started wistfully counting, tacking on more years with each child I birthed. The years until school, until my house was quiet and I could actually think. The children running wild through the house; screaming, playing, painting my walls KoolAid red, I longed for even one moment of silence.

But somewhere along the way I stepped back, as each one went off in turn, the years sliding away like a Popsicle on a hot, summer day. And wished for them back. The late nights staring into wide eyes, the bumps and bruises of one, the tantrums of independence at two, the endless hugs and kisses. Me their entire world.

The guilt overpowering some days, that maybe I'd parented better with my last two. The first two, only three days shy of a year apart, a time of survival. Feeling my way around like a newborn kitten until the third was born and I felt more secure. By number four I'd relaxed into parenting and was blessed with two years alone with her as the others tromped off to school.
And here I am now, four months away, wishing I could roll back time.

"Aren't you excited?" Well meaning people ask me, more and more frequently.

And I find that I'm not. She's supposed to be my little one, my baby. And somehow she's grown tall and her features are that of a girl.

She thinks thoughts I don't know. Soon enough she'll look at me with exasperation like my older daughter and I'll be left waiting for those fleeting moments of being let in on her world.

She's ready to fly away, all of five, as her brothers and sister have done before her. I see her watching the other children at the school, reaching out to them. I assess the teachers who will care for my baby and pray they aren't mean. I'm clinging to these last days.

I'll adjust,I'm sure, as I've done before. Writing and thinking, in a silence, that on some days will remind me more of them, than the loudest noise ever will. I probably will enjoy it and find a new place, a new definition of me without a shadow in my image, following along behind. But I'll stop and listen and grab each moment, remembering this counting and how the years quickly.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Flat Faced Four Eyed Freak

Mirrored on my xanga with pictures

"Your face is so flat," she'd whisper under her breath, when the teacher wasn't looking.

The leader of a gang of pretty, privileged girls with perfectly coifed hair, plastered on Guess jeans, and the latest Swatch watch.

"And she's practically blind. Look how thick her glasses are," the other would twitter, just loud enough for me to hear.

My pale skin betraying me with a brilliant shade of red, to match my hair. Mortified, I'd count the minutes until the school day was over and I could return to my safe little nest.

"Just ignore them," my mom counseled me. "They're just jealous."

Of what, I couldn't see. Out of place in my own skin, I began second guessing every choice for it's coolness factor. My previously high self esteem spiraling into nothing.

I permed my hair, everyone was doing it. It fried and the chopped up result resembled Billy Ray Cyrus' poodle.

"Love the hair," she yelled out the next day. I considered buying a wig.

I bought the Guess jeans, the Coca Cola shirts, the Swatch watch, and the Converse tennis shoes. And felt like an imposter.

"Isn't that cute. She's trying to look like us."

I didn't want to...really. I wanted to blend in, just enough, so they wouldn't notice.

My friends didn't get it.

"They only think they're cute. They look stupid. I like your leopard and fluorescent dress and Madonna bracelets. Do you think your mom would perm my hair?"

I tried a color rinse, so it wouldn't stand out, only to turn it slightly purple.

"Copper Top," they'd squeal.

The bangs, in 7th grade, the last ditch effort. They stood six inches high and were plastered with enough hair spray to catch fire within a half mile from a flame.

Soon enough, my whole brigade had them too and the other crowd had grown their's out.

So, I gave up. Resigned myself to being queen of the band nerds, which suited me fine.

Twenty years later, they've probably forgotten me and their careless words. I've mostly forgotten them. Except for those rare occasions someone is standing next to me and I find my hand snaking up, to hide my profile or the thickness of my glasses. And I remember.

And I hope they got fat.