Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I rip the band- aid off. I dive into the pool. No little increments for me.
That being said, a gorgeous rental house has become available. It's the one that I wanted, that wasn't available. We'd settled on something else, but the owner of choice # 2, decided she didn't want to rent it out after all.....and now choice # 1 is available...and soon.
Choice # 2 wouldn't have been ready 'til the end of July.
Choice # 1 is available now.
Hot Toddy hangs up the phone.
"How's mid-June sound?" he asks.
Bring it on!
Specifically, I hate leaving "my room." My sanctuary.
Walking in, I close the door, and sigh.
Relief from being anything other than in this moment, hands on the keyboard.
Before I took this room, I was writing in a closet under the stairs. That's about how much space I gave myself to write. Literally and figuratively.
When I got back from my first writing workshop with Jennifer, I took a whole room. A big room. It was Todd's suggestion. His voice. Jennifer's voice. "Go big with it."
-pictures of the babies, of course
-messy table used as desk (not ergonnomically correct)
- pictures from Tara Mandala writing retreat with Jennier Lauck
(Hi Jenny! Hi Xanthe! Hi Jennifer! Hi Kim!)
- coffee anyone?
- I heard somewhere that peacocks eat thorns in order to produce their beautiful colors.
Pain can be turned into beauty.
Inspired by the notion, I made this collage.
It hangs in my room.
In the last two and a half years in this house, I have unearthed the idea that I have a right to express myself. A right to exist.
I've found my voice.
I have an agenda, and I'm "going big" with it.
More writing. More joy.
Plenty of room.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
"So then, they really got into it and she told him, 'Frick you'."
Me: "Honey.....she didn't really say "Frick" did she?"
He hangs his head,
You see. Hot Toddy can't swear.
How we wound up together is anybody's guess, but I have a theory.
He's swearing vicariously through me.
HT is no prude. He's not the kind that gets all offended when someone else swears. Though he doesn't do it himself, he cracks up when I let it fly. He practically encourages it.
I don't swear in front of the kids. With Riley's low frustration tolerance, it would be too delicious for her. She'd get into all kinds of trouble socially if she repeated it. So, I hold it in all day, and once the cherubs are in bed, something comes over me.
Practically every other word.
Sometimes I wish I didn't swear, but I find it so satisfying. So right. Something about it feels so necessary in today's world.
Besides, Hot Toddy is counting on me.
Afterall, I'm swearing for two.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Many of you have already seen this, but for those who have not, here you go.
Friday, May 25, 2007
and you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
it always comes as a surprise
when I feel my withered roots begin to grow.
Well I never had a place
that I could call my very own
but that's all right my love
'cause you're my home.
When you touch my weary head
and you tell me everything will be all right.
You say, use my body for your bed
and my love will keep you warm throughout the night.
Well I'll never be a stranger
and I'll never be alone
wherever we're together
that's my home.
Home could be the Pennsylvania turnpike
Indiana's early morning dew
high up in the hills of California
home is just another word for you.
If I travel all my life
and I never get to stop and settle down
long as I have you by my side
there's a roof above and good walls all around.
You're my castle, you're my cabin
and my instant pleasure dome.
I need you in my house
'cause you're my home,..
you're my home.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
When Riley was two, and Seth was an infant, life was hell. We didn't know what was going on with her, and I was desperate. I felt like the worst mother in the world. After the millionth scream of the day, I would inevitably snap. I'd scream back at her. I was rough with her, tossing her in her room and slamming the door. On occassion I even shook or spanked her. Things I swore I would never do. She woke up the baby with her screaming every time I put him down. EVERY TIME. Exhausted, I was a walking, breathing wreck and I hated who I saw in the mirror.
About this time, I happened upon two women who had taught me a self-defense class ten years prior. They were powerful and strong. Both were highly educated. They were accomplished in their feilds. I admired each of them very much.
When they found out I had kids, one paused, looked at the other and said, "Can you imagine how cool it would be to have Michelle as your mom?" The other one nodded enthusiastically in agreement.
When someone you respect holds you in the light, and sees the best in you, it is the most powerful gift you can recieve. I sure didn't feel like a good mother at the time, but I took that offhanded comment, and clung to it.
It's been almost five years. Last night, I lost my temper with Seth and went into self-loathing mode for a while. Today, I'm over it. I will never be a perfect parent, but mostly, I like who I see in the mirror.
So tell me, what's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to you?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
I drag Todd by the hand down the hall and onto the bed.
"Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God." I say, burying my head in his chest.
I peek up at his face and say, "Help me."
"It will all be okay."
"I need to think of a better feeling thought. Help me think of a better feeling thought!"
"Well...you're going to meet your new best friend in Cleveland." he says.
"Ohhhhhh! That's right. I love her!" I smile. I've been imagining my new best friend for a while now.
"She's going to be so silly." I tell him.
We lay there for a minute, deep in thought.
A second later, "Oh my God."
"I thought you were feeling better? New best friend, remember? New. Best. Friend!"
"Yeah..., but I could really use some donuts. "
"I don't know why I don't drink more." he says.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
“They didn’t call on me.” I said.
I’d been to an Art of Allowing Workshop. The teachings of Abraham. I had specific questions about Riley I wanted answered. My hand was raised all day, but I never got picked for the “hot seat.”
“Did you get anything out of it?” He asked.
“Absolutely. Once I sort it all out, I’m sure my questions were answered, just not specific to our situation. There was a lot of info on parenting, and fear, and health, and how to help others. I just have to go through it and apply it to us.”
We chit-chatted about how his day went with the kids, then I interrupted him, with the fear that had been plaguing me.
“They pick people based on vibration. What if they didn’t call on me, because they didn't like me? What if I'm so negative, or screwed up that they couldn't even see me?"
There was a pause and then Todd said,
“What if they didn’t call on you because you didn’t need to be called on. Because they knew you were so smart you could take the information and figure it out on your own?”
For the first time all day I could breathe.
When I got home, it was time for "business."
At least one of us understands the laws of attraction.
His leg brushed against mine as we lay snuggled on the bed.
"Mom." he said. "Your legs are like prickers."
When trying to convince himself (or me) of something, he often starts his sentences with, "Like you say.....," then hones in on his point, whether I said it first or not.
Like I said, "Who are these people, and why are they in my house?"
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
(I said, snuggle people. Get your minds out of the gutter. Seven minutes is not enough time for business).
"Thank you for the blog post." He says.
"You're welcome." I smile.
He gives me a squeeze and kisses the top of my head.
"Did you like it?"
"It's a bit of a stretch, don't you think?"
"Did you hear me screaming at the kids this morning?"
"If His Holiness had our kids, he'd probably be yelling at them once in a while too."
Both of these pictures are up in my writing space.
The two men have never met, but see the similarities?
No. Not the hair.
It’s the eyes.
The Kindness there.
The windows to one’s soul.
Happy Birthday Doll.
Thank you for loving me
and for blessing us everyday
with your Kindness.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Four cheeks, chubby with grins waiting for me to wake up this morning. A muffin, some watermelon and two strawberries on a plate in the kitchen.
A bracelet she made. A picture he colored. Two pictures from her. They ripped apart a catalog and twisted little paper pieces together, making bunches of "butterflies" for Mommy.
A sea otter pendent. A purple heart pendent too, so the boy doesn’t feel left out.
Off to church, floating on a cloud of my "mothery-ness."
Yesterday, was so miserable, I questioned the decision to ever have them. Today, I’m in love, love, love.
Rev. Nancy is teary and choked up.
She says a 21 year old from our congregation was killed in Iraq. His mother got the call last night.
This mother, sits a few rows ahead of us, off to the side. Red hair. Beautiful blue eyes. Her face puffy with grief. Her remaining son, just a young man himself, is next to her.
And He will raise you up, on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm, of His Hand.
Nancy says he wasn’t much bigger than Seth, when he first started coming to this church.
After the service, I look into his mother’s eyes.
There are no words.
I kiss her cheek and gather my little ones for home.
Anger rips through me.
Children are not disposable.
What do you believe?
You never are without faith.
Faith in God or faith in "other" than God. Those are your choices.
Lessons go through my mind, "I do not know what I am looking at so I must not judge what I see." ACIM
What do I believe?
I believe life is eternal.
That we simply close our eyes on this world, and open them in the next. I believe death is a return to Source, whom we never really left.
I believe the human is an extension of God energy, coming forth to create for God, and that we are folded right back in when we die, having made the "whole" bigger in our own way.
His name was Christopher.
His mother loved him.
Please join me in holding her in your heart this Mother's Day.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
As we open our presents of beaded bracelets and handprints and flowerpots and things made of popsicle sticks this Sunday, let us hold mothers of children in war zones in our hearts.
Let us imagine a world where every mother's child is safe.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Our little angel has taken up the art of lying. You see, until very recently, Riley was incapable of telling a lie. She was straight up black and white.
Today, she tried to get Hot Toddy to believe that the class pet, (a Shitzu named Little Ann), went to Hawaii, on a plane, all by herself.
Now granted, she isn't very good at lying. She grins and stammers and totally gives herself away. But, more and more she's beginning to understand social nuances.
I know, I know. How sad that you have to lie to get by in society, blah, blah, blah.
I hear that, and yes, it's so true.
But...I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
He's sitting on the kid sized wooden chair, raising the dowel over his head, breathing out as instructed. Lowering it, he rests the long stick on his lap.
"I hate vision therapy!" he says.
Kneeling on the floor next to him, without moving my head, I dart my eyes to the left, toward Mater, on the floor. Seth knows, if he gives me any more trouble, his toy Mater "gets it."
No time for Mother of the Year. We need to get this done. We've just a few minutes before school. His love of Cars, The Movie is his weakness and I'm hitting him where it hurts.
He glares at me and picks up the dowel.
"Fwhooo...." he breathes out as he raises it above his head one more time.
Superhero Seth has bought Mater another 24.
There has to be a better way.
Today, I give him an incentive. If he finishes vision therapy without fussing, he can watch Curious George before school. Usually, it's no TV in the morning.
Half-way through, he says,
"Mom. Maybe you should get my Curious George toy from the playroom downstairs."
"So if I screw around, you can throw it away."
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
From what I hear, he's now a strapping, handsome 12 year old with a great head on his shoulders and a wonderful future ahead of him. Just look at his list of 18 things to do before he dies!
I very much look forward to reading more of his blog.
This young man has lot to teach us.
We look each other in the eye. Her's are big and brown. She leans her forehead into mine.
"I appreciate you." I say.
"I appreciate you too." She says.
"I like who you are."
I like who you are too." She says.
We stay like this. Heads together. Her standing, me sitting on the rocker in her room; brush and detangle spray still in my hands.
Another great morning.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Me: "You know Monica Holloway?
Me: "You know her. She's the one who wrote Driving With Dead People?"
HT: "Oh. Yeah. Now I know who you mean."
Me: "Well, she was supposed to be interviewed on Dianne Rehm on NPR. And some of her family members came forward and said she's lying about the sexual abuse and NPR yanked her interview. Can you believe that?"
HT: "You mean the perpetrator is denying it?"
HT (sarcastically): "What a shock."
Monday, May 07, 2007
"When Goliath came against the Israelites, the soldiers all thought, "He's so big we can never kill him."
But David looked at the same giant and thought, "He's so big, I can't miss."
- Ode to Joy of Paul Society
From there, it was three more hours in the car to upstate NY for our nephew's first communion.
We stayed at Todd's parent's house. The kids went all day long yesterday from wake-up to bedtime. They had a ball running with their cousins.
This morning we started our seven hour trip home.With an hour left in our drive, Riley had "a" meltdown.
As in one.
The whole trip.
And she got through it in about three minutes.
Our girl is awesome.
Not that she wasn't awesome back when she was melting down all the time. She was. She was telling us something was terribly wrong.
But now, thanks to bio-med treatments and many therapies, and much hard work on her part, we get to enjoy her. She gets to have a joyful life.
One little meltdown.
If you told me that three years ago I would never have believed it.
My heart is very happy tonight.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
The little girl's daddy, was one of 12.
The little boy's daddy was one of millions.
The 12 looked at the evidence.
18 felonies counts. Violence. Drugs. Guns.
The little girl's daddy came home and hugged her tighter.
The little boy's daddy will be in jail for the next 29 years.
No possiblity of parole.
Neither men will ever be the same.
Friday, May 04, 2007
1) She is queen of the top 10 list. All hail the queen.
2) She can keep 87 million balls in the air at one time.
3) She is not afraid to point out her imperfections.
4) She sees things from a distinctly Carrie point of view (how many of the 5000 were writing about HH's visor the next day)?
5) Her kids don't have a bruise on 'em.
6) She has a generous heart.
7) She embraces her anal retentiveness and uses it only for good.
8) She always provides a laugh, and isn't joy the whole purpose?
9) She is generous.
10) She brought us Love. Period.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Jenny Rough is just kicking butt on the writing front. Check out her new article on women and the internet.
She's being published left and right and as if that isn't enough, she's the new Wasa blogger. I soooo want to say,
"Wassssa?" but I won't.
Who am I kidding? I totally will.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Back in 2000, I think I was folding laundry when Oprah came on. She was interviewing author Jennifer Lauck. Her book Blackbird had just come out. A tale of a harrowing childhood.
Hmmm....sounds interesting but waaaay too dark.
I'd spent most of my twenties healing from my own childhood; why would I want to hear about someone else's awful life?
I am definitely not reading that one.
Oprah went on and on about the book.
I have no memory of actually buying Blackbird, but five months after reading it I was participating in an amazing writing workshop taught by Ms. Lauck.Less than a year later, my first piece was accepted for publication.
Then came others.
Then came another workshop.
Then came the blog.
With Jennifer's direction and encouragment I've completed the third draft of a memoir and I'm presently working on revisions.
What made me take the leap? What made me go?
My Gramma once told me, "You can't get it wrong. It's just a matter of what kind of door you want to open."
Jennifer is offering workshops on the East Coast.
What kind of door are you wanting to open?
* The following is one of my favorite quotes. It reminds me of Jennifer. It also reminds me of all the women I've met as a result of knowing her.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
The other night, I had a similar dream, though I was chatting it up with Jesus.
We were sitting in a garden; very casual. He was the white Jesus of my childhood, with long hair and a beard. White robes.
Our talk had a bit of a "Who's on First?" element to it.
Jesus said, "My only way to the Father is through me."
He thumped himself on the chest and repeated, "I have to go through me."
He raised his eyebrows, as if asking, 'get it?'
"So I have to go through You." I said.
"No. You have to go through you."
"But I thought I had to go through You?"
Jesus rolled his eyes. "No. Through you. Your relationship with God is personal."
"Bup, bup, bup, bup, bup...." He cut me off.
With sad eyes he said, "That's not what I said."
He shook his head and uttered under his breath, "Oral tradition."
"Huh?" I asked,
He smiled then and asked,
"Ever hear of the telephone game?"