family


helen1962
Spent yesterday splashing around in the backyard pool at the ex’s with my daughter and the dogs. It’s one of those medium size above-ground deals, not a real pool, mind you. But we floated around and ate hot dogs and watched the doggies chase each other and I wore a bikini, which was a sight to see, because there was no one to endure the spectacle besides my daughter and the ex, so who cares? Anyway it was pretty pleasant but the girl ended up with quite a sunburn on her back. Why this is interesting at all will be explained later in this post.

So last night, we were looking through my closet for a pair of pants I couldn’t find and she turns to me and says “Don’t worry, mom. I already found your dildo.” With her little mischevious smile these words came from her baby mouth??? I asked how she even knew the word “dildo”, to which she replied “I’m in 7th grade.” Ughhhhhhh…. Still processing the encounter. I didn’t make too big a deal of it. I guess the less said the better in this case. We did laugh a little over it, so at least there was humor in the interaction. My hope is that humor will save me from many bad parenting moments. And there have been so many, as you might guess.

Today, I am at work in my neighborhood library and she walked over from the apartment to see me here. Her back is killing her from the sunburn so I take her over to the drugstore across the street and buy some soothing spray for the burn. We come back here to the library and go into the public restroom. She takes her shirt off so I can spray her back. She can’t wear a bra due to the pain, so she’s basically nude from the waist up. I spray her back and then decide I have to pee so while she’s letting the air dry her back I’m there peeing and notice her hair has fallen into the wet spray. I hop up, pull up my underwear but not my jeans and pull her hair up so it won’t get wet. At that point the door opens (we forgot to lock it…. ) and a lady sees me standing there with my pants down around my ankles, E’s shirt is off and I’m standing right up behind her holding her hair. Ackkkkkkk! Child molester in the public bathroom!!!! We were laughing so hard and so loud, it was ridiculous.

I composed myself and exited the loo to explain to the lady what we were doing. Explained that I am indeed the librarian on duty and NOT a pervert. She seemed to think it was funny too. I hope.

Advertisements

elyse

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.

empty_on_the_inside_by_sim

Trapped in a life with myself in a roiling sea of pain. When all around me is spinning out of control, I find I have very little reserves to shore me up. I am empty, with nothing to offer to anyone but ,most disturbingly, nothing to give to my child when she is in such obvious pain. A child who has lived with parents who have behaved so badly, who are so mired in their own misery that there is little room left for her. She’s an angry child and I don’t blame her. But I am down on the ground, below the ground, and the boot is on my heart grinding the heel in and telling me “Take it bitch, you deserve it. You’ve earned it. And there’s plenty more where that comes from. Eat some dirt … there, that’s a good girl. Now throw yourself down the hole. If you can get back up I’ll kick you down again, and again, and again.”

Pain is where I live. Sorrow the altar upon which I sacrifice myself nightly. You just have to go down there sometimes and be open to it as you drag  yourself to the edge on bloody knees and look down as far as you can fathom. Looking up you might see a little speck of hope like a tiny planet billions of miles away in a dark sky. But for now you cling to the edge as the abyss keeps you mesmerized. How could it have ended up so badly? How did we come to this place of misery? Face it. Sometimes there’s just no escape.

And then you go outside and the dog is wagging his tail and his ears are flapping in the breeze and you walk. And you walk. Breathe in the cold air. Look at the dog. Breathe. See his simple glee. The boot is still there on my heart but the dog is determined to make me sing. I love that damn little dog. He’s saved me on more than one occasion. He’s onto something and it’s not just sniffing the random traces of other beings who have walked before him.  The child walks beside me, forced from her tearful rant out into the air. Her mood lifts, the dog leads us on. And as the sun goes down, we round the corner together. 

art by Simon Tsang via www.lukechueh.com/ sightings.html

zogg_1

14 years ago today at approximately 8:00 pm, after a mere two martinis were consumed at the Uptown China Restaurant bar, my lovely daughter was conceived. No, not in the bar. In my cozy Queen Anne apartment. My husband describes the scene as “having had a gun to his head”… as I forced him to abandon our natural birth control methods (trying not to be too graphic here in case the daughter reads this).  Every year on Valentine’s Day we remind her that it is the day of that momentous conception, and every year she screams in disgust about how gross the whole thing is. Believe me, I know. I was there, kid. Not to say that the end result was anything less than perfection,  but thinking about doing the deed with the ex kinda creeps me out as well. Still, her conception does indeed make Valentine’s Day, an otherwise useless day, special to me.

On other fronts, I have been reading Jonathan Lethem’s “You Don’t Love Me Yet”, which I am loving. Already. This novel is much sexier than  “Fortress of Solitude”,  the last Lethem I read.  I’m going through a phase of constant arousal lately (menopause hasn’t taken me yet!!!) and reading this book is keeping me on edge, to say the least.  From Amazon:

“Fans of Fortress and Motherless Brooklyn may find this novel’s levity too drastic a shift, but even though Lethem is having a great time here with wordplay, a motley cast, and Lucinda’s sexual meanderings, You Don’t Love Me Yet is anything but a simple entertainment. “

Rather than attempt to divulge the plot, as I am only about a third of the way through it, let me just titillate you with my own moist approval and the blurb above.  I like what Lethem is doing with his one dollar stories as well.

Pic via http://www.whatisdeepfried.com/zogg/zogg1.html which I discovered over at Lethem’s links.

Life has taken some odd, unfortunate and even curious turns lately. During December I experienced something similar to Dante’s various levels of hell. Mostly self-induced. I have ended up with some disrupted vertebrae, a slight hand fracture and a stark and rather bleak harsh look at my life. It ain’t pretty folks. My obsession with the boy has made it very tough to focus on the real work that I have to do but I think the obsession is lifting. And life is going on.

My friends that need me still call. I call them back randomly….. if  I can or if want to. The point is that they are my friends and they understand. My best is what they recall. For that i am grateful. Life is relentless. A plea or a challenge? An insidious question…….? And the mechanics breaking down around me as I speak…. the car, the computer, the all…….. at least i have a roof over my head for now….. i know grateful…………………

Wow. These girls are amazing. Personality, sweetness, hilarity… these girls are amazing. Did I just say that??? I never thought I could love rats so much – I’m a dog person.. but they are like extremely small dogs…. they come when you beckon (usually), they jump on your lap, they want to be with their humans. They’re crawling on me as I type this very blog. And they are so funny to watch… hunched up on their hind legs looking for the next adventure, yawning as they lie snuggled together in their hammock.. running around the house, Baby’s nose to Delilah’s tail…. endless entertainment…

Oh.. and then this came to me this morning…

I felt strangely happy today. Probably because the sun was actually out for a while. “Strange” because happy is not an emotional state I’ve experienced in quite a while.

This winter/so called spring has been really hard on a lot of people in my life. I don’t know if we can attribute it to Bush, global warming, the flu epidemic, the economy, Iraq, general malaise or what – but I would say it’s been a rough few months… and then it came to me:

We’re all just here to hold each other up. To help each other through the shit that life deals. That’s it, plain and simple. The meaning of life. It’s about the people you hold dear and being there for them. If we come across people who are not going to be there for us and help in the holding up, then we have to let them go or at least not count them as part of our primary landscape…

Male or female, friends, family or lovers…. we are only here to support and help each other … and we’re all a little crazy on some level. So we don’t need to beat ourselves up for our shortcomings because we all have them. The key is helping each other out.

I don’t know. It helped me crawl out of my hole. Maybe it will help you.

PS: And and then there was John Stewart asking Obama tonight: “If you win will you enslave the white race?” Now we all have to love that…..

I have nothing to say so I’m going away until I do. I’m pretty sure I’m in a depression. I’ve had bronchitis for a long time and I’m not getting a lot better. I can’t workout, don’t sleep too well, get tired really easily. All in all it’s a bit of a bummer. That and this goddamned Seattle weather… cold and rainy all the freaking time. It will pass and hopefully when it does I’ll have something to say and something to care about again. Here’s one little bit of hopeful news before I go: I talked to my 85 year old southern conservative (a/k/a a former racist, republican, southern baptist) mother today and she told me (again….it’s sticking!!!!) that she thinks Obama is the best of the 3 presidential hopefuls….. my god…..that is pretty amazing if you ask me…. cheers.

Next Page »