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Archive for June, 2011

I have something I wanted to tell you, my small and wonderful person.

Do you remember the nights that I would rock us to sleep?  When you were hidden somewhere deep inside of me and I would cradle you even closer and sing us lullabies that sounded more like melancholy love songs.  And I would rock softly side to side, and slide your feet around inside the hollowed out parts of me that held you.  Do you remember that?

My small and wonderful person, I wanted to tell you that you are so much more than a person.  You are made of star stuff.  You are made of hopes and dreams and heartache and you came from whatever it is that people think is Heaven.  You came to heal us.  You came to help us remember that life is good.  Life is still full of love.  No matter how much it hurts, you came to teach us that beauty still exists.  I hope that this is not too much weight on you.  I hope that you understand that you were made of the most powerful love.  That so many people yearned for you and that you were called out when you were needed most.

You are special.  You are important.

I dreamed of your face all the nights before I was able to see it.  I dreamed of your hands and your feet and every hair on your head.  I hoped you would sing only the most pure of love songs.  I hoped that you would dream only of life and love.

And now every night I count your breaths.  And, my dearest little person, each one comes out sweet and warm.  I lean my head to your chest and I listen to your heart beats.  I listen to the soft little whisper of a murmur.  I trace the lines of your palms.  I smell your hair.  Sometimes I blow a little bit in your ear so that you’ll stir and I can cradle you to my chest.

My little person, I hope that you know that I will give you all that I can give you.  That I will protect you.  That I will love you no matter who you become, no matter who you love.  That you will always be more than enough.

I wanted to tell you that you are loved, and always will be.

And to you, sister,  I will never stop looking for you.  No matter what life we are in, I will find you, and we will be back together, and I will braid your hair for you and stay up late so that we don’t fear the dark.  No matter how far we are from each other, I will always love you.  No matter how long it takes, I will find you.

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We’ve been spending our rainy days like this:

 

 

 

 

Our toes slide and slip into mud puddles and roll around on the edges building monuments in the clay.  Our fingers find hidden stones.  The ground smells like millions of bacteria waking up for the swollen clouds.

 

I used to want to sleep through the rain.  The pat of it on the glass outside and the muted colors it made of the trees made me feel cozy.  I would wrap up in blankets and spend the day in softly interrupted slumber, the only excuse I needed was; “It was a rainy day.”

Now the rain brings adventure.  Little voice says to me, “It raining”, and then louder, to make sure I understand the significance, “IT RAINING MAMA!”.  And out we go.

When he was very little and covered in rolls of chub I would bathe him in the rain that collected in his baby pool after the summer storms.  The water was always warm and fresh and it was okay if he drank it, and it was okay if it splashed a little in his eyes.  And I never used soap.  I would bathe him in the pool the first day, and then the next we would venture out to watch the mosquito larva dance around like tiny tadpoles on crack.

Now, he bathes himself.

And does a pretty darn good job of it.

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Home

I feel homeless in my home.

I feel like I don’t have the right to say this, as I live in a beautiful home with a kind and loving family.  I have my own patch of garden outback, there is a pool to swim in, there is a state park down the street with old oak trees and a spring fed lake that has tiny tadpoles that will nibble on your ankles.

But I feel displaced.  Like I can’t rest my head.  I have to sneak in and out of rooms, even though I don’t have to, I feel like I should.  Like I need to clean and wash and I never do it enough (even though I really actually don’t do it enough), and every step forward is another step back.  I feel as though baby and I are the weights that bring the whole place down.  And by baby and I, I mean I.  I am.

In an attempt to feel secure and like an adult and at home I planted the garden.  And it came up and is beautiful, and most people love it, but some hate it.  And my pumpkin plants sprouted up and most people loved it, and some hated it, and then it was run over with the lawn mower and no one talked about it anymore.  I keep a compost pile to feed my garden and to try to reduce the amount of waste we…waste.  And when I make a collection of onion ends and apple cores and bannana peels and then go to get some shorts on baby, and shoes and clothes on the both of us so that we can trek into the yard that is full of giant mastiffe shits, I come back and it’s been thrown in the trash.  Because in my home I have no ownership.  I have no rights to recycling, to composting, to buying organic.

I feel placeless.  I feel useless.

Today, I made an attempt at escape.  I had a dream that the baby’s daddy and the baby and I lived together.  That I had someone to stay up late with.  Someone I could wake up early with and whisper my dreams to over sleeping baby’s hair.  I dreamed that I made breakfast lunch and dinner.  That we never used paper plates, that I grew sunflowers that smiled down from a place over our heads.  So I escaped to the baby’s daddies house.

Except, when I got there I felt even more homeless.  The insides of his home smelled like cigarettes and dog food.  And his big dogs knocked the baby down.  And he sat on the couch and watched his shows while I sat crumpled up in a chair hoping that he would notice and take us away to a place filled with wild blueberries and dragonflies.

But, he didn’t.  He smelled like booze and his eyes were bloodshot and wouldn’t focus on mine.  His dogs barked and scratched and tried to bite the baby while he stared off at the murder mystery on t.v.  His chin sank away into his neck and his hands looked clumsy and short.  So, I gathered up baby without him and flew away on my own.

Without the child support that he promised.  So I ran out of gas and had to get my Daddy to save me, and he did.  He always does.

Baby and I came back to our home.  When we pull up baby tells me, “We’re home”.  And I want to say, “Not yet.”.  Really, I want his daddy to make us some sort of magic home that I can fly out the window and land in when this home, this world, this life, crushes me.  I wanted him to be our home.  But, that’s the thing about love; sometimes at the times that you need it most, it looks a lot more like hate.

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I’m making a perfume out of basil blossoms.  Basil blossoms and these little flowers that have pink and yellow tiny blooms that remind me of childhood and making fairy crowns with sister.  They’re from a time way back when we all lived in a tiny house with a huge back yard.  Oak trees towered over us and we picked these tiny fragrant flowers and pulled out each minuscule tulip blossom.  We littered them on the leaf covered ground and mixed them with mud to make dinner.   Now, when  I wear the basil blossom perfume the hungry will flock to my feet in anticipation of an italian feast-and we will devour them whole.

Basil from the garden in a little glass jar that held maraschino cherries.

Immersed in alcohol, this is before I added the flowers.  Leave the lid off, opps.

I’m going to leave it on the windowsill in the jar for a couple of weeks.  Then I will open it up and dab it on my wrists and the soft pulse that hides behind my ears.  My part time lover will salivate at the idea of leaning against my neck and rocking me to sleep.

Speaking of part-time lover, happy fathers day!  The baby-daddy was a daddy before my baby, so today he got double doses of fathers day love.  Baby and I spent most of the day with my daddy, who has set the bar so high for what a father should be, in my eyes, that I worry that the baby-daddy will never reach it.  He drove us to the park in his antiquated car with the hole rusted through the floor.  We imagined we were flying across the pavement as we watched it woosh woosh woosh beneath our feet.  He came to every lacrosse game.  He wrestled me to the ground and told me he loved me when I wanted to run back to the part time lovers hungover and scar stained arms.  He has loved me when I was nothing to love.  He was strong for our family when we all fell apart.

Today I made him a pineapple upside down cake in an attempt to recreate the favorite treat of his childhood.  It didn’t turn out as good as he remembered, but it did turn out good.  I also made an apple caramel cake for my mom and I that is gluten free.  I may not have a job or a degree, but I caaannn coook!

Baby and I took baby daddy out to dinner, along with his daughter.  I imagined some trendy little joint with interesting meal names and mixed drink options.  I wore a short dress with flowers that sister wore three years ago.  On her I thought, “Geezus, why can’t I look like that?  Where are my curves???”.  On me it looked like this shapeless flower thing with too long straps.  Even so, I tried a push up bra kind of thing and pretended I was just as tantalizing.  I also curled my eyelashes.  I also wore heels.  Baby-daddy part time lover didn’t seem to notice.  And we ended up at Huey Magoos.

But, a midst the deep fried and juicy pieces of chicken, and the french fries, and the ranch sauce, the part time lover watched me speak.  His face turned in sharp triangles and thick neck muscles.  His lips looked red and moist and parted perfectly.  When he smiled tiny wrinkles formed around his eyes and I imagined him old and me old holding hands in bed before we fell asleep.

Daddies end wars.  They save worlds.  They raise babies that end world hunger and brush their wives hair before they go to bed.

This is to all you daddies out there!

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“I do love you and care for you and this is making it so difficult.  I just want you to be a good dad to our son.”  I told this to my part time lover/baby daddy today.  Via text message, of course, because this is the kind of conversation you have over text.  So that you can’t see the persons face or even hear their voice.  So you can pretend to be a strong and powerful heartbreaker instead of the terrified 24 year old that you are.  So that you can demand child support and love and commitment even though you aren’t sure you know what those words even mean.

While I was texting these things, baby was emptying a carton of blueberries onto the ground.  And then he was smashing them into the carpet.  And then he was taking his pushy toy with the cheap plastic blue and green wheels and really really smushing them into the carpet, and feeding him to the mastiffe who was also rolling around on the blueberries on the carpet.

Sometimes I think I am a terrible mother.  Sometimes I think, “What am I doing?  Why am I doing this? Shouldn’t I be doing something else?”.  I spent the next fifteen minutes with a bowl full of hot water and dish soap scrubbing the carpet with a sponge, while baby emptied the hot soapy water into a soggy carpet puddle on the floor.  What was I doing?  Why was I doing that???

I don’t know what it means to be a good mother.  Or a good father.  Or a good parent.  I know that my parents were good parents.  Even though we went a summer without air conditioning and a winter without heat my parents bought a pass to the local pool and took us swimming.  They piled blankets on our beds and put space heaters in safe places near our feet so that we wouldn’t get so cold.  They saved pennies to drive us to Sea World.  They worked hard, they still work hard.  Even now when the hard isn’t so hard they take care of me and they do a lot to take care of baby.  I know that’s a good parent, but my world is different, my parenting is different.  Is it still good?

The part-time lover/baby daddy is a parent too.  His life is different too, and his parenting is different.  How do you know what’s right?

In an attempt to be a better parent, baby and I will venture outdoors every day this summer.  We will swim, bike ride, garden, explore.  Will will concoct mud pies, we will go out in the rain, we will jump in the puddles.

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A happy broth.

My two best friends, baby, and I took a drive to the beach today in my dad’s mini van that I started with a screwdriver.  They are brown haired and red haired and baby is blonde haired, and they are some of the most beautiful people on this earth.  We talked about love, and the way it grows, it consumes, it destroys.  What we think about it and what other people may.  We wondered what married people thought about it.  Does the passion enrage them?  Does it die out and then they become complacent?  Does it simmer to a happy broth?  We talked about sex, which usually comes before love, sometimes right before.  We talked about loss.  Briefly.

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The other night I dreamt about my sister.  We were at a house full of phantoms and we were with some other girls, a pack of a girl scout troup.  We were playing a game about ghosts, and one of the girls swirled a pencil so that it became a leaf that became a finger that began to type a message that sister and I didn’t see.  We held onto each other and ran to find adults.  The adults sat frozen in their chairs in front of the t.v., and I told myself not to be scared, that nothing would be bad, nothing would hurt us.  Even as I said it I knew it wasn’t real, and I grabbed onto sister tightly, I buried my head in her brown and red and blond hairs and I took a deep breath.  I took her with me.  I did a little trick that I’ve done since I was little and had nightmares.  I breathed in fuller than my lungs could take it and I closed my eyes.  I opened them to my room, our room, sister’s and mine.  Except she wasn’t cradled in my arms.  Baby was, warm and soft and breathing little pants with his lips parted.  My heart beat to the missing heat of her.  My blood flew through me like sharp beaked black birds desperate to break free.

When I remember her I don’t know what to do.  I want to destroy things.  I want to destroy me.  I want to travel back to a time where we would lie in bed talking until the ground and trees outside turned grey with the rising sun.  But I can’t.  I can’t do anything at all so I just lie there, my heart flapping around inside of me.  I move away from baby and in the night I ball up my fists and wait and hope that soon I can fall asleep.

These are the times when I wish I had some kind of prescription for some kind tranquilizer or some kind of something that would take me away.  Most nights I can’t go back to sleep, and I can’t stop what happens.  I replay and relive all the moments that led up to losing her over and over and over again until my body gives in or gives up and leaves me in a dreamless stupor.

And then morning comes.  It peeks up over the gray street outside our window and it’s like night never existed.  Baby and I get up, we laugh and play and read books.  We live just like happy normal people do.

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Part-time lover

My part-time lover has a chest of dark brown hair.  He grew it out after I commented on how much I liked chest hair on men, when he had forgotten to shave a time or two and the soft prickles brushed up against my cheek.  The hair is thick and curls, the way a mans hair should.  It is in contrast to the short dirty blond hairs that grow out of his head, and for that matter below his belt.  It’s marvelous.  I would like to bury my face deep in his chest, hide there and have him cradle me like a little child.  Except his sweat smells stale, chemical, like all the toxins in his body and all the secrets he keeps.   And he always falls asleep before me, anyway, so I would be left alone in the mass of his unwashed body.

I like to imagine all my future lovers.  Who they will be, the smell of their skin, who I’ll become as a result of them.  I took on my part-time lover in a time when I wanted to be dangerous and mysterious.  When he met me he wouldn’t make eye contact.  He stuffed his hands in his black hoodie pockets and smoked cigarettes.  When I asked to bum one, he smiled.  I wanted to smoke cigarettes and talk with a rasp, I wanted to hang out in alley ways.  I wanted to smell like day old sweat and be skinny horrible and remind people of death.  I wanted a relationship that was more like abuse.  And he gave me all of that.

Now I want a lover that smells like honey and cut onions.  I want him to wash my hair and fall asleep in the middle of a conversation about other dimensions.  I want  his hands to be hard and stained with berry juice.  I want him to craddle baby in his arms.  I want him to erect monuments to our love.

Maybe I want him to speak French, or maybe he could speak every language, and then baby and I would too.

And maybe, my part-time lover can be him, too.

But if he were, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t allow it, or accept it, or believe it.  And I would ask him to be a lover that was skinny and slippery and slid through walls.  That’s the thing about love, it is everything and it makes you into something else, and you always want it to be more.

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