May 2009


How wonderful to be able to wear flip flops in Seattle. You get just about 2 months a year to enjoy decent climate here. Today and the past week have been such days. I haven’t stubbed my toe since I was a child but tonight, walking back to my car from the pub, there I went. And it reminded me of my childhood. Pain mixed with a nostalgia for when such things were commonplace.

Outside of the pub tonight as I waited anxiously for my friends to arrive there was a group of women on the corner. One was applying makeup to another and seemed to be giving her a makeover there on the street. I could not resist inquiring what they were up to. I asked if she was selling some product or something and her friend said no, she just was super stylish and liked to give advice. I got in line.

Jackie was her name. She instructed me to take off my glasses. I complied. She loved my hair. I told her I was 52 and she seemed genuinely stunned… her friend too. No…. I could not be more than 4o. I loved her even more at this point. Her major concern was my teeth and she insisted I whiten them every 3 hours tomorrow. I can do that. And I have to grow my bangs out and quit wearing my glasses. So. There you have it. I hugged her and thanked her for the advice and joined my friends, who had finally arrived, back inside the pub.

Life is beautiful. And so am I.

There he is at the top of my page. As usual. At the top. Of everything.

too soon to write. it will come later.

Can’t tell about it for now because it was the worst 24 hours ever. But instead I want to talk about my 8th grade typing teacher. I loved her. We all did.

Typing in the dark. Using the skills Ms. Harrison taught us on typewriters (yes, i said typewriters) with keys covered so we had to do it all by touch. Touch Typing , it was called.

“Youuuunnnnggg Ladieseeeeeees…. would you PLEASE SIT DOWN!!!!!” Beautiful young black woman teaching in a freshly  desegregated school in her geometric print mini  polyester dress with her cool chin length flipped bob haircut…. god how we loved her.

while we laughed at her.

No boys took typing except for one lonely reject. Probably the kid from Texas who had just moved to South Carolina… Columbia… god help us all…. and had no friends. It was beyond us, who had all grown up together why anyone in their  right mind would have ever lived in Texas.

Ms. Harrison; you took my heart and hijacked my memory forever.

Dreams are overtaking my reality these days.


Spring has finally arrived in Seattle, and with it a bit of reprieve from the pubescent wrath I have been suffering at the hands of the beautiful 13 year old girl.  Yesterday we went for a couple of walks through the neighborhood and at one point  she spontaneously put her arms around me and held on as we ambled down the street.  We’re at the point where such a show of affection is acutely noticeable as something that is quickly slipping away and must be treasured when it happens.  Of course, in the next instant we had to take a detour off the sidewalk as some boys from her class were  approaching from the opposite direction. We cannot be seen together.  I remind myself not to embarrass her, again.

My daughter is beautiful (did I mention that?), incredibly smart and has a wicked sense of humor.  She is also moody, angry and prone to burst into tears over nothing, often reacting to situations more like a 5 year old than a 13 year old.  I’ve  read all the books – all the literature on the developing teen brain. I’ve commiserated with other parents; I know these behaviors are quite normal.  She’s also been through the wringer with both of her parents’ various issues so she has even more to be angry about than the “average” child, whatever that is.  Depending on my own menopausal mood, I can either observe with an amused appreciation of all that is happening in her little adolescent synapses or get sucked into a dramatic battle of the wills.  As a single mother, the dance takes on an extra dimension of complexity.  As she constantly reminds me, I’m her mother, not her friend or her sister.  My own loneliness and confusion over my place in this world make it far too easy to lean on her for support at times.

But Spring is here and the sun is shining and today I am thankful for her charms.  Often, I find myself looking at her…. really looking, seeing her almost as if for the first time, and I am amazed at this lovely creature who is my child. Awe inspiring doesn’t begin to touch on it.  Miraculous would be closer to the truth of what she is.