Crept up, wrinkles, jowls
gasping air, oatmeal, tea, cat
stranger to myself.
Rocked, cradled, baby
back and forth, cooing songs, sad
Is mom my child now?
all photographs are the property of the photographers.
My 19-year-old daughter had her lower two wisdom teeth removed this morning. They gave her a little laughing gas while we kept her company until her surgeon appeared (20 minutes later) and then he turned on the laughing gas way up high. After, he sedated her so she fell asleep and when she awakened she was the most giggly girl I have seen since she was about five. It was delightful to see a glimpse of my grown-up daughter back in time when her defenses hadn’t evolved, her moods were just plain happiness and silliness and she looked at her brother and me lovingly.
Back at home she is still high as a kite but experiences no pain, she refuses to even try to go to sleep even though as her mom, I see she her blue eyes are closing and that she is so tired. Being her mom I was a nervous wreck last night and I told my son sleepily when he came to wake me up: “they should give anxiety sedation to the moms, not to the teenagers.” Anyone reading this that’s a mom will know exactly what I’m talking about, right?
Having Fibromyalgia, I know what Pain feels like but I’ve known it many times. I’ve had the “dreaded” Eppiglottitis two or three times that is more painful than childbirth and I dread it constantly. Childbirth is no picnic but that’s a different pain. At the end you know that you will get a reward: your new baby so it doesn’t really count as much and it’s a pain you mostly forget. Notice I said mostly. I’ve had broken ankles and broken wrists, I’ve had my tonsils out and my gallbladder removed so I have known pain pretty much early on and often.
I had fallen asleep on my bed for a few minutes today when my daughter woke me up her painful grunts and her cranky face. “It hurts” she whined and I knew that it must. She hadn’t slept and the sedation had all but left her body and she hurt. I brought her back to her bed, removed the cotton from her mouth, got her some raspberry yogurt as requested because she was “hungry” and afterwards helped her to swallow a pain medication that her doctor prescribed.
By the time the medication worked (a good 25 minutes) she moaned and groaned and complained about the pain. I felt the pain as much as she did if not more. Parents, you know… Then I realized something and I asked her “Is this the first time you’ve ever felt pain?” She said yes, quite honestly. The scowl etched on her face forming deep, unhappy lines. I thought to myself, “oh my God, maybe she will have more understanding about what I go through with Fibromyalgia, intense pain, most of the time.”
It seemed like I had always known pain but when I thought back I hadn’t known it until I was a young teenager and tripped over myself in my parent’s living room, causing my ankle to swell up to a deep purple ball and going for an X-ray for confirmation that yes, indeed it was broken. My first cast of many, I was 15, I remember and I was in high school.
It’s not likely that my daughter will be more sympathetic to my pain or even understand it, kids forget things so quickly but at least I know, that she’s never had a frame of reference. Maybe now she will.
1. I NEVER had to hear about Anthony Weiner or his “wiener/weiner” again.
2. I never saw any of the Kardashians/siblings/spouses/children ever. I’m sorry, I must have missed something. Why exactly is this family famous? They did WHAT? Related to #1? That just can’t be right. And the first husband is not the father of whom? And the mother has a talk show, why? However, I do want the nice sister to get pregnant if indeed she wants to get pregnant. Whatever.
3. a) ( I was going to write about Honey BooBoo but she is a child, so I’m not as tempting as it might be.)
b) The government would pass an anti-papparazi bill so that celebrities/government officials would not have to WORRY about people chasing their children and hiding in bushes for a good shot. Car chasing is WRONG. Come on, this is easy, just do it. All those who have stood up to the paparazzi for their children Right you are!! Yes, you are famous but your child is not (unless you make him or her famous) cough, like some actors and actresses have done. Your bad.
4. The makers of Nutella would have never come to America because my family and I addicts big time. KIDDING. (We ❤ you Nutella) We are so glad you came to America from Europe in 1983, We are thoroughly addicted, thank you and all we need is a spoon or our greedy fingers.
5.People/Relatives/Fans would let Paris Jackson have some more time to grieve and keep her away from the public eye and too much emotional upheaval. Give this young woman some supervised space with someone she can thoroughly trust. Oprah, Gayle.Rosie? Any of you in?
6. Lindsay Lohan doesn’t end up dead because from all the signs it sure looks like she is heading that way. It is NOT a joke.
7. One teenager, one kid, would take Glee’s Cory Monteith (or anyone else’s overdose) SERIOUSLY and decide NOT to do drugs. I FRIGGIN MEAN IT.
8. Families could eat dinner together, every night not just once a week and I know that is really hard. Please TRY to have some quality time, all together, it’s important. Let the kids have a snack, maybe Mom or Dad could come home early twice a week? Negotiate.
9. If the FDA would NOT approve something until it has been thoroughly tested. Tested. Except drugs for any terminal illness. be flexible there.
10.a) I saw a commercial that said “this commercial has been approved by the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign of 20116.”
10.b) I had the technology skills to make a large red X across #1’s smug, arrogant face.
Thanks for reading.
Photo property of the photographer, not mine. Trust me.
What happens when your married, dearest friends, stop speaking the same language
yet the giggling of their small children silence them into frozen statues?
I saw her heart being injured again, looking familiar, from the last time, but a little less severe.
Why? Because she knew this feeling already, the first time was an abomination a cruel, nasty, unforgivable hurt that stabbed her heart raw, blood gushing out, out, out.
As her friend I tried to help but I knew I couldn’t.
Did she want to break up her marriage for one cruel and very hurtful remark. He had never laid a hand on her, except that time he pushed her once when they were engaged.
She would not accept that, ever. This was emotional abuse.
For all the years that he was kind, for the children, for the companionship, she stayed.
I knew, she thought, he always kept a secret, sensing something but not the darkness and emotional cruelty underneath all the pleasantries to the public. “A nice guy. ”
He did not like confrontation, so he sabotaged their joy.
Now he is nasty and passive-aggressive, is it his age or
depression or a later mid-life crisis?
Yes, all of the above.
I had to ask her: Is he simply stupid with all-things emotional?
She nodded yes. Silently. She nodded yes.
Power attracts her, as it always did, romance too.
He had neither.
We had discussed this topic many times.
I saw her put her head in her thin, translucent hands
rocking back and forth, back and forth
too weary for tears.
Had she finally given up?
I could not hear their whispers anymore
Twenty years are a long time
Knowing them, she thought, they will stay together
and accept mediocrity.
I will ask her one last time and never again: do you realize how little he Hears you,
“The roses” I say, are the perfect example”
Yes, she says. I know.
I don’t ever want him to bring me those cheap gas station roses again.
We have children, she said.
I will not hurt them, we will not hurt them, those precious, light souls.
We do not hate each other, we will be companions.
It’s not always about just us, too many people think that way.
We will stay a family. For us. For them.
little bird, you don’t have to apologize for having a new home, i understand completely. I said the same things to my parents when I was your age. I remember thinking that college WAS my home and of course it is. you come back for some vacations, you have moved on and will continue to move on and out. Don’t you think I know that, of course I do. I understand and I support it and I am proud of both you and your sister’s independence, the grown ups you have become. If I shed a tear or two at times, it’s okay, I’m not good at transitions, I never have been, starting from when I was a little girl. Don’t take it too seriously, please. You know I have always been the most sensitive person in the planet and always will be, at times it is both a curse and a blessing. believe me, I have tried to change myself for years but as you know, it really hasn’t worked.
i’ve told you before that I just need a little time to get used to things, even on vacation. when dad and I were dating long distance, he knew i needed 24 hours to get used to him again, some people are like that, its not better or worse, it’s a personality trait. not everyone is as incredibly adaptable as you and your sister,where you both got that trait from we have no idea (okay, maybe my mom) but dad and i are thrilled you both have it.
I was fine saying goodbye to you today until i heard your sweet voice asking “you’re not even going to hug me?” do you think i didn’t want to? could i say no to you? I ‘m laughing at the thought of me not wanting to hug you, of course i did, just didn’t want the flood gates to open up, kind of like now. waiting for that darn transition to kick in (it hasn’t been 24 hours yet) I am writing this for me and for you, and you know how i get when i feel like i’m writing something mushy…not a sight to be seen. you’ve seen it many times before, but now i’m also laughing at myself too which is a very good sign. I know that you are happy and independent and i am so proud of the person you are. my goal in raising a son, was to bring up a good man, truly. when i found out we were having a boy, i was honored, blessed that i could try to make a difference to help shape a boy to become a wonderful young man.
you have become all that and more. you know i feel that way. sometimes we don’t even have to talk, we know what the other one is thinking with a look, or a smile or a quick nod of your head. this gift will never go away, no matter where you or i live. we are connected. forever. so have the best time of your life, and, because i’m a mother, it’s in our handbook to also add “please be safe.”
i love you.
You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech. See all answers
I am NOT going to give you a long and boring speech. (Pause-wait until applause dies down.)I don’t remember what was said at MY graduation; you won’t remember much here either so I will keep it short. I want you to remember two words: HAVE FUN. (Applause) Actually, make it 5 words because otherwise I will get hate letters from your parents: Study hard and have fun. For those of you who are going to college, the next 4 years of life will be an exciting, amazing, playground. Appreciate every moment, every friendship, every single thing that you learn. It won’t ever be like this again. Think of these four years as the best years you will ever have. Study hard, work hard, and get fabulous grades. Make us all proud, but more importantly, Be Proud Of Yourselves. Try and help make the world a better place. I know you can do it. CONGRATULATIONS!!
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.
People don’t always get along, that’s a given. Some people cringe at confrontation and try to hide their heads under the mattress to avoid dealing with it or slither away to swimmingly escape the idea of a fight. I don’t mind verbal fighting as long as it is a fair fight. If the parameters are clear, I will not shy away; I don’t seek fights but I am willing to defend myself or anyone I love for the right reasons. Fairness and honesty are incredibly important to me. “Just don’t lie to me” I used to tell my children when they were teenagers (not that it was a hundred percent successful.) It’s the Libra in me, I’m sure, needing balance and honesty, hating dishonesty with a passion.
There are times when, as a friend of mine is experiencing, you find yourself in the middle of a situation where you have NO control. Her son and daughter in law have decided, without explanation, that Grandma and Grandpa can not see their children anymore. No reason, no explanation. Grandma is absolutely heartbroken, confused and in shock. There was no explanation, that to me, is not a fair fight. She has tried numerous times, to try to talk to them, to understand what she did but they won’t talk. She took care of their two girls when they were both working full-time and when the parents picked up the kids, the kids would cry and did not want to leave their grandmother’s house. That is a key issue, in my opinion.
Personally, I think, the mom was jealous of the kids’ warm and loving connection to their grandmother, maybe the daughter in law demanded that the husband make a choice between his mom and his wife? That is pure conjecture on my part but it seems feasible, doesn’t it? The son, apparently used to be very close to his mother.”It’s either her or me” comes to mind and guess who lost? Grandma did and she was not even allowed to see or talk to her granddaughters again without knowing why. She had Valentine’s Day cards she had bought in advance and presents. Even worse, her daughter-in-law is pregnant with a boy and she fears she will never even meet this new grandchild.
They won’t talk to her, answer her e-mails, they literally have cut her out of their lives. It is an unfair, unbalanced fight. I think it is absolutely cruel. Intentionally cruel. They want to make her suffer and they have succeeded. Having loving, involved grandparents is an absolute gift and yet the parents won’t even TALK to the grandparents to make things right again. Not even an e-mail. Grandma and Grandpa don’t even KNOW what they have done wrong, ( or more likely if they have done anything wrong.) This was a large, connected and loving family, celebrating birthdays and holidays together, now it is in fragments; all the rest of the family on Grandma’s side.
There are times in all our lives when things are unjust and even Libras like myself have to accept, take it in and let it go. Life IS unfair sometimes. We have to accept that people are sometimes too stubborn or too sick and too hurtful to be rational. Apparently, the couple are not even thinking about their own children who must feel abandoned by their grandmother and grandfather who loved them and cared for them daily. Grandma has no way of telling them that she still loves them and misses them. As hard as it is, she has no choice but to accept this horrible deal. There is nothing else she can do. They won’t let her. It is literally breaking her heart, she cries endlessly and can only talk about this one topic. She knows “she can’t fight crazy” but that doesn’t mean she has stopped fighting and has accepted her life. I almost wish she would.
From Zoe’s Journal:
I need to find forgiveness in my heart. I know that’s the right thing to do; I just don’t know how to do it. How do you forgive people whose bond with you should be so natural, so instinctive? I don’t have the answers but I am trying to find them. I am trying to find them so that we can all live in peace. I think the psychologists call it “individuating;” when you separate from your parents and become your own person; believe me I don’t think my parents would call it the same thing.
I just want to protect myself from the past, I was strong enough now to be my own person and not take any of their old shit. I had figured out the dangerous mind games and I wanted no part of it. I had always been strong inside, my parents knew that about me, they were proud of that, until it seemed like I turned on them. I hadn’t; I just stopped putting up with all the bullshit. They couldn’t handle it. The more they tried to guilt me, the more I pushed back. They would immediately go to the speech where they were “all alone in the world” without their “only daughter.” I would be empathic but I would not cry and apologize and they missed that; they missed the part of me that they could hurt. Wound. Destroy. I don’t think any of it was intentional, well, of course some of it was. After they spewed a nasty string of malevolence they would not remember a word of what they said! How could they not remember what they had just said? I was labeled “too sensitive.”
It took me a long time to understand the game they played, unwittingly, but I swore I would never fight with them again. Since they couldn’t express any feelings at the time they would hold something against me for weeks. Eventually, one day there would be a vitriolic, icy cold lecture of how I had changed. I would figure it out in time but it left me stunned, still hurt. However, I did not offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb; that was no longer my duty, those days were over.
When all was is said and done, what they really needed was attention, to feel wanted and needed and not dismissed. It was quite simple once I figured it out and I was more than willing to give it to both of them, on my terms. Once I did, they became nicer, happy for the attention and we seemed to get along better.
Sometimes, the things people say are irrelevant, I guess you need to go deeper and see what they are feeling. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve like I do. As I have said before, words don’t count, actions do. Since we were talking about forgiveness there is another very important person I need to forgive. Me. I need to forgive myself for all the grudges I have held, for all the hurt I have carried, for the blame I have caused and for all the tears I have shed. I was just a child, an abandoned child. I know I will never forget but I need to forgive myself and let go of the pain because true forgiveness really means setting our souls free, the greatest gift you can give yourself. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
There were too many people inside my parents house. They talked too loudly so I slipped out the door in my black down coat and covered my cold, red ears with an old gray hat and crouched behind the bushes. They were probably all drunk. The clinking of glasses sounded like mirrors being shattered. I didn’t care if it was my mother’s birthday party. Who did they think they were to have a place this garish when they didn’t need it? It was all for show.
Unfortunately, I’m their 18-year old misfit daughter, Lindsey. I embarrass them all the time by the way I talk, the way I dress. They are pretentious and all they care about are their fancy clothes and their BMW cars, glossed so they gleam in the light. If you asked either my mother or father if they knew anything personal about any guest invited they would come up blank. Their uplifted, tightened faces would freeze and they would change the subject: “Would you like another drink, darling?” These are all plastic people, acquaintances to be used to just get ahead. They really don’t know about each others children, lives, troubles, they just need each other like the stepping-stones to get to their private yachts. I despised them all.
I’ve never been used to the amount of money that my parents would throw at me as if to entertain me. “Here, darling, here’s five hundred dollars, go buy yourself something” my mother would say, waving her hand away. “Umm”I said, just standing there, silently pleading for her to look at me. She never glanced over. Our conversation was over, she tried to buy my love with money. As if. I wasn’t stupid, I stashed that money away and I had a huge pile saved up in my sock drawer.
Later that night, I shoved all my money in my a bag, took the keys to my dad’s car and left. I was going to my boyfriend Adam’s house, the only person I loved and trusted. I had done this many times before. My parents never even knew I was gone.
In the morning I went with Adam to the *animal shelter where we worked. I loved it there. This was a place where I could go and feel love, unconditional love and I never wanted to leave. My parents would never let me adopt a dog but I had always wanted one since I was a little kid. I begged and pleaded but my mother refused; she didn’t want a dog to “mess up her carpet.” That pretty much summed up our family.
Adam and I had worked at the shelter for about a year now. We cleaned and held the puppies and fed them, stroked their soft fur, wiped out their smelly cages, fed them and gave them water. Then we walked and cleaned the older dogs, same thing every day but it never got boring. Me and one dog who was about a year old were best friends. I named him Rex and he was special to me. I was going to adopt him that very same day.
I hated my life here and Adam hated his. Adam, Rex, and I were going out on the road. I would never have to see my parents again and I knew if they looked for me at all, they would stop in a week. I was an embarrassment to them. I didn’t fit in with them but Adam and I fit together. Rex was MY dog, and we knew, when we set out that day, we would never ever, look back.
*Both my dogs are from animal shelters, please save a life if you can.
When my neighbor, Lisa, a young woman with two children, told her father, on the phone, that she didn’t WANT him to pick her up for her CAT scan, I felt an unexpected lump in my throat. My father would have done the same thing. Oh G-d, how I miss that. After a few minutes Lisa decided to let him pick her up and I was glad, “let him do this for you, it will make him happy” I said. I quickly entered my house with tears stinging my eyes.
I expect the holiday season as a frame for us to mourn family members and friends who have died. I was not prepared for this. This was unexpected and it hit me harder because I didn’t see it coming. Isn’t that always the case? I prepare myself for the holidays from November through January but it’s always what you don’t expect to happen that throws you off-balance and hurts the most.
When my father was alive and healthy, years ago, nothing would have stopped him from helping his two daughters, at any time, day or night. Lisa’s situation brought those old memories back, piercing my heart, draining it. I remembered the time I was terrified of the sounds of the mice running in my walls and a couple that ran over my toes in my studio apartment and he picked me up to “take me home.” Or the one time in college when I had no idea about money and bounced a check (I did what?) and he resolved it and explained it to me. My dad made everything better; he was always on my side. I pray I said “Thank you” I pray I said, “I love you Dad.” I hope I did.
My father died on New Year’s Eve, ten year’s ago, my whole family is aware of that date. I was not at all prepared for the random comment with my neighbor and it struck me so deeply. How lucky she was to be so young, to have young kids and young parents. I was looking back in time; this was me twenty years ago, this was me before we moved to New York, with two healthy parents and two young children.
You have no idea how fast time flies by. I didn’t know either. It flashes by so unexpectedly, the toddler whose hand you were holding to cross the street is in his second year of college; the baby girl you longed for after him is in her first year of college, far away. Two children, two completely different personalities; the mystery of motherhood finally solved for me.
“What did you do to make my sister and me so different?” I would ask my mother over and over again. It didn’t make sense. The same parents, the same setting, the same upbringing, what happened? We were so different, I needed to know. My mother would laugh and say “Nothing” and I didn’t believe her; I felt like she was holding out on a secret. That was, until I had two children, 21 months apart, completely different from one another and I knew, my mom had been right all along. We did nothing differently, they came out of the womb their own person. What they did have in common were that both were separate, perfect, miracles and yes, (hear that kids?) we love them exactly the same.