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- Speaking of Quarter Pounders…
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- Tell the PTA to stuff it. As in those packets of back-to-school info that you will not be stuffing this year. There are at least 100 eager kindergarten parents just dying to get involved. You have months worth of People magazines and reality TV to catch up on.
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(Photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography) read more
The last week went a little like this: strep throat for one of my kids, strep throat for me (thanks, kid), cancer diagnosis for someone I love, a birthday for one of my kids, more fever for a kid.
Did you catch that? A piano fell on our heads.
It was not a simple diagnosis (are they ever?), and the potential for bad news was huge. Looming. Hanging over our heads.
Surgery first. Then questions. And a whole lot of sleepless nights, foggy days, and anger at people and things that didn’t deserve our anger.
But also. Also a lot of laughter, albeit of a slightly nervous variety. And prayers. And hope. And again with the prayers. All this while keeping the day-to-day going.
And then? Well, call me a believer.
But first call me a doubter, a questioner. A dubious suspect-er of this life being futile.
And then it happened.
We got the best possible news. We got exactly what we asked for. Exactly what we were told was highly unlikely, extremely rare. It happened. I’m humbled. And a bit embarrassed at some of the nastier things I thought about God and life.
I know – believe me, I know because I’ve experienced it – that sometimes prayers are not answered in the way we want them be answered. Sometimes it feels like they weren’t answered at all. I’ve walked through hard times so bizarre and painful they seemed like fiction.
Sometimes we get exactly what we ask for. We get the very best news. We get a gift we didn’t believe would come, even though we asked nicely. And not nicely. We asked over and over again, always with a question in the back of our minds.
This whole thing, our piano as it were, isn’t over-over. There are more decisions to be made, more information to gather. But we’re standing in a much nicer spot than we were in a week ago. The view from here? Pretty sweet.
And so I’m humbled. Grateful. Relieved.
And in need of a good night’s sleep. I think I just might get one of those tonight.
So you and I, we’ll chat next week.
Thanks to all of you who sent kind notes, prayers, and offers of help. You’re all my very favorites. read more
The metaphorical piano has fallen on our heads this week.
Even though our piano is not related to my children, I immediately thought of that post by my friend Amy, and how she compared her experience to a falling piano. Two weeks ago, I would have said about the same thing at a cocktail party (“We’re in a great place!”). Now, my answer would be a bit different.
It’s so true that there has been a lot of good at our house lately. As intense and scary as this life can be, I’m forever amazed – and blessed – by the amount of good out there. But my family has some challenges ahead. We’ll be leaning heavily on the good to get us through the not-so-much.
I’m not writing this to elicit sympathy or do the equivalent of vague-booking. You know what that is, right? When you write some vague, whiny Facebook status and wait for your online friends to start begging for more information. No, that’s not what I’m doing here.
Rather, I know that many of the people who read this blog regularly are more than just blog readers to me. We’ve struck up friendships offline, or in cases where geographical distance is an issue, we’ve resorted to emails, texts, and phone calls. So while I can’t go into details just yet (I don’t own this story outright), I wanted you to know why I’ve been quiet. Why I’ll continue to be kind of quiet.
If it’s possible, I’ve been even worse than usual about responding to comments and certainly haven’t done a lot of reading or commenting elsewhere. Granted, I hate that I-read-you-you-read-me game. And yet… I do love to read and comment on and share your writing. I’ll be back to it as soon as possible. But for now my focus is on my family and making sure we have plenty more good to look forward to.
I don’t plan to disappear (like the unplanned, unannounced blogging hiatus of 2011); I just know myself well enough to know I’m not going to be completely present in this space. I’m very busy removing the piano from my head. read more
I’m drinking a post-lunch cup of coffee and watching Murder She Wrote.
Forget turning into my mother. I’ve skipped right on and have become my mother’s grandmother. Except I didn’t really skip, because that aggravates my trick hip.
Truthfully – and thankfully – I feel great, both physically and emotionally. I said great, not stable. I’m as emotionally unstable as the rest of you, and it works for me. I’m afraid my mind is old, though. Like watching-an-all-day-The-Golden-Girls-marathon old.
In general, I see no problem with my elderly tendencies. Are these things really so bad?
I like to eat early, like lunch at 10:45 and dinner at 4:30. But this is good, right? They always say to eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime, so 4:30 is perfect.
I’m not joking about watching The Golden Girls and Murder She Wrote. Make fun if you want to, just don’t call me after 8 p.m. for a taunting session, because I’ll be under an afghan, watching the Hallmark Channel.
I don’t like to drive at night. Nor do I like to drive fast. If the radio is too loud, I can’t see.
Now, before you write me off completely, I have not…
Forsaken fashion for comfort. I’m still willing to blister my feet if the shoes are cute enough.
Begun getting my hair set once a week, or wrapping it in toilet paper while I sleep.
Started sending money to that nice looking preacher man on TV.
Additionally – and this one is a big one – I can still work [most of the] electronics and new-fangled gadgetry. I am not afraid to pause live TV, fearing that if I pause too many times I will never catch up, rendering me forever behind the rest of the world. (P.S. – Mom, it’s okay, really. You can pause the TV. Go ahead, give it a try.)
So why am I concerned?
Because I’m not yet 40 and I’m addled. And crotchety. And would rather be under the duvet than on top of the VIP list for the latest hot spot.
In 40 more years, I’ll be eating dinner at noon, going to bed at 4 p.m. and waking up at 2 a.m.
I’ll stand on my front porch, complaining about the noisy kids until small children become afraid to retrieve rogue baseballs from my yard. That is, if in 40 years children still come with legs rather than just two giant video gaming/texting thumbs.
And I’m pretty sure I’ll still be watching Murder She Wrote reruns, although they’ll all be stored on a chip in my brain by then.
I just hope I won’t need my grandchildren to show me – repeatedly – how the brain chip works. read more
The other day my six year old asked me to read him my piece (a slightly modified version of this post) from Austin’s 2012 production of Listen to Your Mother. He sat quietly, and when I finished reading he said, good. Nothing more. Except for this:
Why do we have hairs in our noses?
(Just in case you didn’t click the link up there, I’ll give you this: There is no mention of nose hair in the piece I read.)
Uhhhhh. Well, I think the hairs trap dirt and crud so that it doesn’t get into our heads, I offer. I give him a hug and start to stand up. Teaching moment complete.
Does the crud turn into boogers?
I guess so.
Since our noses and mouths are all kind of connected, do we ever swallow boogers?
I tell him that’s a very real possibility. It’s time to get ready for bed, so I start shooing him in the direction of his tootbrush and pajamas.
Oh, man. Then we’d have to poop out those boogers. Booger poop – now that is funny stuff. You know mom, you should have written about booger poop for your show, then everyone would really laugh instead of just sitting there while you read, like I did.
Children: the cure for delusions of grandeur.
And I suppose booger poop could have been a huge hit on Sunday, when I took the stage with a cast of Austin writers. But as sage as my son’s advice was, we didn’t need it. The show already had something for everyone.
People told me, and other cast members, after the show that they experienced so many emotions that afternoon. And everyone had their own favorite moment. We’d been told that was the case last year, that each piece resonated differently, finding a fit somewhere in the audience. And while that made perfect sense to me – logically, anyway – before the show, it wasn’t until I sat in the theater that I felt the audience connecting. I could feel them reacting with a laugh here, a sniffle there; at times, it seemed like there was a physical link between the reader and certain audience members.
Bizarre. And wonderful.
I’m an incredibly visual person, and an introverted one at that. I always thought the written word was sufficient, sitting there on its page. And it is. It is, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that, well, reading those words out loud, or listening to someone else read, changes written words. It allows the words to wiggle into spots they couldn’t reach before.
So I’m here to tell you, seek out opportunities to share your words and to listen to other people do the same. Not unlike how the crud trapped in our nose hairs becomes something else entirely, taking words from your head to the page to the stage changes them forever.
Thankfully, words become something much, much more beautiful than booger poop.
Thank you, Ann Imig, Wendi Aarons, Liz McGuire for bringing Listen to Your Mother to Austin. And thank you to my family and friends who supported me through this adventure. read more
Should I tell you up front that I don’t know where this is going? Probably not.
But I don’t care. I care about you, certainly, but I don’t care if this post follows any rules – writing, blogging, basic social precepts of any kind.
So it’s settled. I have no idea where this is going.*
I feel a malaise. And alternately I feel satisfaction, coupled with a grateful heart. I’m unable to reconcile such disparate emotions.
We (Mark and I), think perhaps I’m experiencing a growth spurt. I will explain why this is a completely reasonable assumption.
We’ve noticed that our children lose their s*&# for a while every time they’re about to reach a major milestone. A child development expert friend of mine says this is completely normal; apparently, little kid brains can only cope with so much. When they’re about to grow (physically, mentally, emotionally), their brains put everything into reaching this new milestone. She said that if we pay close attention we’ll notice a pattern: basket case, followed by a milestone, like walking or a whole bunch of new words or the need to go buy all new jeans since the old ones are suddenly man-capris.
My growth spurt is most likely of the mental/emotional variety, but maybe I’ll actually grow physically. That would be completely amazing. Maybe those long legs I’ve always wanted will finally be mine.
There’s really no other explanation for my two-plus hour nap on Sunday, from which I never fully woke up. Left to my own devices, I would have slept until… oh, hell, I might still be sleeping. There’s no other explanation for feeling weepy one moment and at peace the next. There’s no other explanation for thinking I have the to-do list under control one minute, and freaking out about all the crap I’m not getting done in the next minute.
Well, sure, there are other explanations, but I am not pregnant. I am not menopausal (at least I better not be). I am not enduring a major life crisis of any kind.
So there you have it. I’m having a growth spurt.
I’ll let you know if I have to buy all new pants for my supermodel legs. Fingers crossed.
:: Do you ever feel like you are barely keeping it all together, even when there’s no reasonable explanation for your… craziness (for lack of a better word at this moment)?
* DISCLOSURE: Part of the reason I didn’t know where this post was going, is that I never planned to write it. Earlier today I read this post from Literal Mom, and it was the first time I admitted to myself that I haven’t exactly been holding things together lately. So I ran with that thought, and this is where it led. Not because I just felt some need to be all feeling-y, but because I’m genuinely curious about whether other people go through this same randomness of emotions. read more