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Posts Tagged ‘completely makes six months of morning sickness worth the trouble’

|| July 28, 2010 || 4:33 pm || Comments (9) ||

Scout called me from Chicago last night. She was there on a layover, headed to Detroit for her grandfather’s funeral. I was wandering around Birmingham with Mathias after having dropped her at the airport earlier in the day. Our shopping errands were long done.

“I miss Sam. Do you miss Sam?”

I asked her this question because I am afraid to ask Mathias. I don’t want him to fall apart, not yet. To further that end, I have been doing my own falling-apart quietly, quickly; yesterday this was done in bathrooms around the city. The one at Target was a little more epic than the others, but not by much. That particular come-apart was exacerbated by the fact that I was buying school supplies for Scouty and Mathias but none for Samuel. Then I hitched up my yoga pants, plastered on a smile  and said something along the lines of Holy God, mommy needs coffee…who wants to handle the Starbucks run? when I plowed out of the restroom.

Mother. He’s only been been gone nine hours and forty minutes.”

“You DO miss him, YOU DO! Not even I’m counting the hours!”

“Give me a break, Momma.”

“But do you miss him?”

“Not yet. Probably because I’m not there. It’ll be kind of hard when I get back. We shared the whole second floor, away from the rest of you guys.”

“I miss him.”

“Yeah. But you know what? The first forty-eight hours are the hardest. It’s going to be better.”

The house sat empty, because Maxim was working late and Scout was out of town. I kept Mathias in the city long past when it could have been considered practical. I wanted for there to be life at home, some sort of human racket, so the place wouldn’t feel so hollow when I got back. I wanted to be exhausted, in order to prevent any impulse  to rattle around and run into reminders of Sam at every turn, to see his shirts hanging in the laundry room, to find the stack of borrowed ceedees he’d placed on the table by the door.

A few hours ago I went up to his room to get empty hangers for the laundry and to put some of his clean things away. It was a bit of, ahem, a pit. “This is good,” I told Maxim, “I can choose to be annoyed with him rather than miss him. He kind of did me a favor, the little prick.”

One hour ago, Sam’s friend Jay came to get his car. Samuel is gifting him with it because Jay has it kind of rough and doesn’t have a car of his own. Sam is sometimes infuriatingly arrogant, but mostly he is good and generous and loving.

Ten minutes ago I got this text:

The drill instructor is taking my phone now. I love you, Mother. You’ll have my address soon.

I don’t know how to do this. How am I going to do this??

|| July 27, 2010 || 12:29 am || Comments (12) ||

(alternately, I’m struggling to find a way to show you these things without eliciting your pity.)



This is how it was when he was so little that he didn’t have all of his words: His head cocked slightly, his eyebrows raised, everything about him careful expectation. How is it that you are so small and your desire to please me is so great? How is this even a possible thing?

filching his grandmother's coffee, 18 months

:: filching his memom’s coffee ::

He wanted to hear me praise him, to be effusive about whatever token of effort he had just shown me. “Good job, Samuel! You are a very good boy.” Job. Boy. Strung between both of those words was Sam’s hope to hear them prefaced with positivity. So before he could even articulate it to me, this child wanted me to be proud of him and his accomplishments.

This has never ceased, even over the last twelve weeks, when we have repeatedly slammed headfirst into one another’s emotions, sometimes while snarling. It is a scenario we are both unaccustomed to, and one that has left us each bewildered and wounded. We clashed, we tiptoed, we tried to reach understanding, we had five minutes of peace, we clashed. We are each covering new territory here, and it is a uniquely exhausting undertaking.

(How terrible, Samuel, to lose our innocence, to cut our teeth on one another in this fashion.)

With each day that we are closer to his leaving, I sink further into myself, wrapping  tighter around this white-hot kernel of  pain that has insinuated itself into my damn-fool chest. I have totally chumped myself, because I’ve been convinced for years that I will be fine with the moment of departure. This is because for the better part of those years I had a lock on things: I imagined him scuffing out the door with his guitar in hand, ready for people to hear his voice. I never saw his need to march coming.


:: s’alrighhhht ::

I hold to a faith that tells me not to fear. I am afraid, even so.

I know where Samuel will be, what he will be doing for at least the next six months. Still, I am afraid. I can’t push the fear aside for five-and-a-half months, like I know I ought to. I am afraid NOW and it is a Really Big Deal NOW and I cannot possibly throw enough words at this thing to articulate the imposing NOWING NOWNESS of it, the urgency with which it beckons me to buckle, to panic, to scream all my crazy out at God, at you, at everyone who dares not be as afraid and unsure as I am about this one big-tiny thing.

Because it is tiny, see. I’m just one more mother whose son is donning boots and slinging a rifle over his shoulder. There’s nothing so special or unique about that. I am just one more mother who wants this to be done,  who wants to be on the other side of this. I want to fast-forward to the part where I meet him at some airport or on some parade field somewhere, waiting to wrap my arms around him and whisper one more again, “Boy. Job.”

Oh Sam, how I will grieve the loss of  the daily I Love Yous that we have always been so careful to gift one another with.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

It’s never been unusual for music to break out in our home, whether at gatherings or just quiet moments between a couple of us. When the children were small and we had absolutely no money (nor did our friends), a bunch of us would get together on the porch of our old farmhouse, drinking my daddy’s plum wine, banging on guitars and wailing. We had a bucket of instruments for the children –fish-shaped maracas and blue bongos and One Shots and tambourines and a beautifully-pitched little glockenspiel– to dig into, and there we were: The hippie, his punk wife and three golden-haired monkeys, surrounded by slow-talking, deft-fingered mountain folk, swapping licks and stories and inside jokes.

You know those things that you impart to your kids without a conscious plan? The completely positive ones? Yeah, for me that is this:

Huge thanks to our friend Rod for whipping out his phone just as Samuel gathered steam on this one; it was our last friends-and-family gathering before Sam ships out. Over the years I’ve usually been busy singing with him, and have foolishly neglected the act of nailing down his magic with a camera. This was probably a  dereliction of parental duty –and I’m a titch sad about it–  but I am unrepentant.

I’ve gotten to fling a lot of notes into the world with my firstborn and every last one of them was precious.

|| November 16, 2000 || 6:24 pm || Comments (0) ||

About 5:30 p.m. CST:

ME: *waggling finger in direction of youngest boy-child* WHY is he SCREAMING like that???

ELDEST BOY-CHILD: *oh so matter-of-factly* Because he’s two.

ONLIEST GIRL-CHILD: *frowning as only she can* And because he’s a BUTT.


The only drawback to having an exceptionally angry day is that now I have an exceptionally large headache-thing (this never happened when I was younger, but perhaps that’s because I pounded on my little sister or one of the neighborhood boys to let off some steam). But not to worry; It goes nicely with my lavender pumps and my raw-to-the-core nerves. Can you hear them jangling away? Is it a tune you might be able to dance to? You know me, happy to accomodate.

All outta beer and sausages, though.

On the lighter side of the day, My Charming and Gorgeous Girl Offspring was piddling her way through a plate of Mom’s Best Made-Entirely-From-Scratch Spaghetti (pizgeddy) when the following exchange occurred:
“Hey, momma…”
“Yes, my punkin, what is it?”
“I need somethin’ here.” *gestures grandly at her plate with her fork*
/// Meanwhile, the boys are making monkey noises at one another and feeding each other a piece of garlic bread ///
“I need some of that FarmerJohn cheese.”
My eybrows go up and my eyes sorta get squinty at this juncture. I am trying HARD to comprehend.
“You know, that kind that comes in the little shakin’ thingy….FarmerJohn cheese.”
I nearly bite through my lip while trying to suppress the laughter.

If any of you is stopping by the store tonight, couldja please pick us up some FarmerJohn cheese? We are slap OUT.

|| October 14, 2000 || 2:39 pm || Comments (0) ||

I just don’t understand those moms that go to the ballfield looking like they’re ready to take afternoon tea. I am an exuberant mom, so I dress the part. You simply can’t jump and cheer properly in 3-inch heels (we are excluding bedroom sports here, y’all…).

I don’t just cheer for my kid. I learn the names and numbers of all of ‘em. I think that’s my role as a football mom…some of those little people have no encouragement whatsoever. Others have rampant negativity. They are 8 years old, for Christ’s sake…cut some slack there, you overbearing, fat-assed, I-missed-my-chance-so-I-must-live-vicariously-through-my-offspring-and-intimidate-them-into-success parents. SHEESH.

The latter annoys me, but the former does even moreso. Who cares if your slacks get wrinkled or your nails get chipped or your hair gets mussed? Drop that jaw and pull some good old-fashioned enthusiasm from the gut! You can re-apply your lipstick.

Here again, I state the obvious: You can’t re-apply their childhoods.

And, oh yeah,


|| October 12, 2000 || 4:01 pm || Comments (0) ||

My youngest child, all 21 months of him, is learning how to use magic markers. His artwork is done mostly upon himself (thank God…I have to bathe him each evening anyhow…better him than the walls. Wouldn’t you be sorely vexed if you had to wash the walls each evening? Damn, I would). He is extremely smart and talented –and I don’t give my children the benefit of the doubt overmuch– for his young age, so I expect it won’t be long before he thoroughly gets the hang of it.

For now, however, he looks like a palsied, overly-decorated streetwalker. *sigh*

|| August 24, 2000 || 4:41 pm || Comments (0) ||

“You look cute right now.” –what my eldest son said to me this afternoon.

Now, normally I find the word ‘cute’ quite repulsive, ESPECIALLY when it is used in relation to me. But this time, oh HELL, it made me blushy and gooey.

Only because he genuinely meant it.

Dude, I am soooo lucky.