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August 2014
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October 2014

School morning haiku

Open the curtains

And wake the tired wee girl.

She thinks I'm a jerk.


Here is your breakfast

The same thing you always have.

Please get off the floor.


Play lunchbox tetris

Realize I think cheese flavor

Really is protein.


Okay, time to dress.

Yes, you have to wear panties.

Please get off the floor.


Sock is inside out.

Change it or leave it that way.

It will not be sad.


Sock. Seriously.

Put it on or turn it out.

The sock does not care.


Please get off the floor.

I am now so very old.

Put on the sock. Now.


All dressed! So well done!

Now let's comb your pretty hair.

Yes. Again. Today.


Shoes on! Grab backpack!

To the van and buckle up!

Where is your backpack?


Cars go left and right

A ballet, keeping me stuck

Here in my driveway.


Race into the lot

We scramble out of the van

She points out her friends


She gets in her line.

They walk away, she looks back

And then she is gone.



Happy National Coffee Day, Everyone!

This morning, after I dropped off Sophia at school, and before I dropped off Raphael at his Monday school, I swung through a drive through for a latte. When the lovely and blessed woman handed me my warm cup through the window, I clutched it to my chest and murmured, "Coffee. Oh coffee. You're the only one who understands me."

Raphael, sitting next to me and messing around with my phone, glanced over and said, "Mom. I think it's time to examine your relationship with coffee."

Being the loving and gentle mother that I am, I recognized this as an opportunity to open up dialogue on the subject, to encourage a free and open exchange of thoughts. And so I turned to my beloved son...

...and grabbed a fistful of his tshirt and growled in his face, "DO YOU WANT TO SAY THAT AGAIN, PUNK?"

(In case anyone is worried, Raphi found me nearly as funny as I found myself at that moment. Which is pretty darn funny.)



The other day I was standing in the kitchen, thinking about something. Just thinking, but it was big thinking. As I stood there, holding a glass of water and staring at one of the pendant lights hanging over the counter, Max threw the front door open and entered. He never just comes home. It's more like he abandons the real world with a flourish and a scattering of backpack, shoes, and papers. 

He came thumping into the kitchen, dropping more detritus on the counter. 

"Hey, Mom," he said, then paused to take a second look. "You okay?" I nodded blankly, then roused myself and said, "Yup. I'm fine."

Max shook his head. "No you're not." He grabbed a bunch of grapes, then moved in to wrap a hug around me. "Love you, Mama."

And then he was gone.

You know, Max is 16. That's a scary age for the calmest and most thoughtful of kids. Max is not the calmest or most thoughtful of kids. He downright terrifies me sometimes. I'm not sure if he's going to grow up to be a homeless criminal or worse, the president. 

But there are moments like this when I see the outline of the man he almost is. And whatever else is true, if he grows to be someone who notices the people around him, cares about them, but doesn't let their burdens weigh him down, well.

I think he might be just fine. 

It all may be okay.

The truth is that I don't think I ever quite emerged from the dark when Eva died. Not completely. The pain receded eventually, but that's not the same thing.

And then this summer. I suppose I could go back and parse it out - this stressor on top of that one. Facing the boys' biological father for the first time in twelve years, Tre graduating. Everyone being sick for so long. Carmi dying. Tre leaving. Sophia starting Kindergarten. I'm having some health problems. Does it matter why? Somewhere along the line I went from grimly trudging along, to finding myself at the bottom of the ocean. The weight of all the water in the world on top of me, no light, no air. 

During the day I was limp with exhaustion. All I wanted was to crawl into bed. During the night I lay in bed and stared at the darkness. Sleep was a bewildering puzzle, and there was no escape. 

I am, by nature, a busy person. Lots to do, many details to see to. But all that busyness dwindled, just slowed and faltered and stopped. It's not just this blog I've neglected, it's everything. 

And everyone.

About a month ago I was at a doctor's office, trying to figure out some of the aforementioned health issues, and mentioned that I was fatigued. Just. so. tired. She looked up at me from her note pad.

"Every day?" I nodded. She paused and made very deliberate eye contact. "Do you cry often?"

And dammit. Tears pooled. 

Do I cry often? Whenever I'm alone. Or confronted about anything by anyone. When I'm in the shower. In the car. When Clay falls asleep and I'm awake, listening to the nightime noises of the house. I cry as often as I fail people, so. Yes. 

She recommended antidepressants, which I know. A shocker, right? I said no at first. I insisted they don't work well for me. I cried about it.

A few weeks ago I went out to lunch with a friend. We talked and talked and shoved awkward bites of salad in our mouths (that part was mostly me). At one point she put down her fork and looked at me and said evenly, "So. How are you? Really?"

The tears. Again. I told her, mostly truly, how I was. Then I heard my own voice say, "I'm thinking about going on antidepressants." Because it turned out that I was.

Eventually, I even made an appointment to get the damn pills. 

I just started them last week. I know it's supposed to take weeks for them to work, really. But shortly after my second dose, I was attending Mass. I always cry at Mass. I started to do what I do, which is to review everything to figure out where I went wrong. And when I say everything, I do mean EVERYTHING, the entire history of salvation. This, as you can imagine, takes a while, because that particular story is one of lovely and unmerited grace, and it's not easy to turn that into a tale of how this one person really sucks.

Not saying it can't be done, just saying it's tricky.

As I started on my own personal anti-litany, a thought pierced everything. All of it.

"What if it's all going to be okay?"

That may not sound profound, but if you'd been in my head recently, you'd know that it is. It's light and air and space, and it's wonderful. It just might all be okay.

I don't want to oversimplify things here. This not a happily-ever-after post. I am wobbly. I'm becoming aware of just how much I have let slide. Some of it I can fix, some of it I can't. I'm trying to make one difficult phone call or email a day. I've managed one so far. 

But hey, for today, there is air. And light. And space.

And it all may very well be okay.