Holy Hecklers

Lordy. Lordy. Lordy.

What in THE holy hecklers was I THINKING when I had nothing planned for the wee ones after school let out for summer break last friday?

I’ll tell you what I was thinking….

I was thinking….

“I got this”.

“oh summer! Watermelon, mud-pies, popsicles and sprinklers!”

“Picnic anyone?”

What I’m thinking now….

“Military school can’t be that bad”

“Why are all these monkeys crawling on my head?”

“Is it too early for a cocktail?”

“It’s only June 13th”

“HEEEEEELLLLLLLP!”

nomomever

If There Be Dragons Part 2

Rumi said that the origin of the wound is where the light gets in…..

Yet before it does, the darkness will always have it’s way with you.  To really know the difference means that each must have a waltz on your dance card. To dance with the devil was an experience I will never forget.

Initially the darkness came for me in the form of all things dangerous and destructive. Life suddenly felt better with wild and reckless company.  I  felt the sweet surrender as I let it have its way with me on it’s canyons edge taking me further and further from the terrain of hyper vigilance and overly capable.   It made me feel powerful to rebel against life’s constricting rules and unpredictable atmosphere and finally I stood in the face of all that I could not fix and jumped from it’s spring board as I took a full beautiful arching swan dive over it’s deep dark end.

It felt good to stop caring who I was hurting and how often I was doing it- it was a relief to plunge into the body of  indifference and finally escape the cloying, choking , trapped feeling that held me suspended between two worlds in which my opposing parents each stood, heels firmly dug pulling me in opposite directions like an under-dried wish bone .  The love I had for each of them had turned to a black unrelenting fear in the impossibility of not hurting one or the other and rather than face that end I turned inward until I could stand the agony no more.  My own fury and fear unleashed a path of chaos and destruction that blazed toward epic proportions as my inner inferno combusted from my own sense of helplessness and self loathing.

As I look back now I realize that I’d checked out long before my teenage years but had never had any wisdom or perspective to be able to understand that this is what I had done.  Even in elementary school I was always “distracted” and “If Monica would only apply herself..” but the truth is evident now as mother to my own girl child who holds an eerie resemblance to my former self in looks and in spirit.

At her age, I was simply too busy trying to put the pieces of my home and family life together to have the stamina for anything that seemed less important. The history of my own legacy seemed far more urgent in nature than something that happened in world history.  Textbooks seemed so factual and precise… and offered less stimulation than my heightened senses allowed for.  “Is everything all right at home ?” I remembered Miss Crysta asking when I was in the second grade as I sat frozen in place absorbed in some far away land as my classmates filed out for recess.  I had no idea at that time what was even wrong with me except that I was kind of thick apparently – my grades said so anyway.

After I joined Al-Anon later in my late thirties I learned about those roles that adult children of alcoholics play inside the home.  I sat in shock as I listened to the participants describe my life.  I’d felt like an alien on a strange planet who’d finally been reunited with it’s species. Kids in these situations will become the caretakers, the pack mules and the sentry for the events and situations that take place in an effort to survive and make sense of the pain and confusion. They will assume the roles of little adults who work overtime to keep the peace, distract, entertain. Tap dancing through the wreckage as the the tension continued to grow –  it’s equilibrium so delicate it teetered dangerously in this fragile pressure vortex that felt a lot like a balloon at overcapacity for more air intake….

****POP!!!*****

As I danced cheek to cheek with the darkness we shagged and tangoed with abandoned over ballon covered ballroom floor empty of eager party goers popping everything in our devastating wake.  BLAM!! BLAM !!BLAM!!! – I crashed his porsche, I smashed her things, I cursed and hurled and defied and howled.  I beat my sister, I stole from stores. I lied, I drank and I snorted. Even as I sat at the police station (again) waiting for my Dad to come and pick me up I steeled myself for his look of disappointment knowing that this fate was far better than the one that would have rendered our relationship extinct. I would rather die.

At the height of my performance as the anti-christ he was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer.  Our house seemed to heave a great sigh of relief as each side on enemy lines put down their weapons of mass destruction and began the peace treaty that all of us would sign.  There was still time to rebuild the city and restore the burnt out buildings and they did their best to mend the catastrophic woundings that took place there over the past five years in the name of progress.    There would finally be an end to the madness,  but it happen only after months of steady downward prognosis , grimaces of pain on progressively brittle bones as the cancer spread, and ineffective medical procedures to contain it.

The compromise was cuddled at home in a hospice bed centered in his favorite room, surrounded by his all of his leather bound books and his classical music collection. My mother was never far and most often curled by his side as she swept his hair over his still handsome irish brow with her soft forgiving hands, while murmuring nothings to his neck as we gathered on surrounding couches and armchairs shifting with the discomfort of their newborn intimacy.  Adagio for Strings would play along with classical pieces that met my fathers mood as his graceful surgeons fingers composed his opus on octaves outside our range. He died at age Seventy,  September 28th.  I would be turning twenty one.

Life is a paradox… filled with opposites and contrasts and events that must be gathered to each of us in our own time. As mortal humans we gather their confusing  straggling pieces to our chest  like a burdensome laundry pile one struggles to contain as it’s carried up the narrow dark cellar stairs only to realize that each sock that once had its match is now somehow,  mysteriously and maddeningly missing.  By the time the next pile is dirtied enough for that new lightening and brightening formula it’s formerly unavailable partner shows up out of nowhere like a long lost lover for game. set. match. to help make some sense of it all.

As his vitality lessoned over those last three years so did my bend toward destruction. On the day of his funeral I was utterly wracked with the grief of losing him, yet not a pew behind was the surprising rush of relief that comes when any horrible alternative end so narrowly missed releases you safely into the extended arms of mercy.  I had been rescued from the bitter taste of betrayal and the irrational fear of losing him in my life to losing him instead to a seemingly expertly choreographed death.  There these two impossibly incongruent emotions held each other in a tight embrace as my life seemed to know some strange yet certain alignment with fate.

I’d been allowed to love him without having had to call him out on the dapper coat tails of his hideous disease . It’s lack of decorum. spontaneous whims, and unpredictable mood swings  had held us hostage like a wedding party of wildly wilting buttonholed boutonnieres for so very long , yet we would miss it’s familiar hold on us like those who’ve known the blind bait and switch of Stockholm Syndrome.  Who were we now without him?

Al-Anon would also teach me that alcoholism is a “family disease” and once you know that the family unit is truly infected by it’s intoxicating fumes you won’t be surprised when I tell you that we all continued to flirt with it’s company as each of us set out for our own black tie event to live, love, and marry into the fun house mirrors of our fractured selves.

To be Continued…..

(ok- so it keeps comin… I thank you for reading and those of you who know me also know I struggle with writers block and have not been writing for some time.  Somehow last night as I was sitting with the keyboard this is the story that was coming up … and it just seemed to flow out but please know that it’s only my “story” and not my TRUTH if that makes sense?  This is all the past and I am happy and healthy and thriving and I’m telling it from a place of peace… so please know that I so appreciate you reading and commenting AND… I’m really good! -I love my mom and Dad and I love my family to pieces!  I think somethings just unplugging or something so I’m gonna keep it coming as long as it’s flowing and please feel free to read, ask questions, laugh, or none of the above. XO)

Thoughts Of Mothers Day

This is my first official portrait taken with my two children.  Why did I wait so long?! Last Saturday we lucked out with a beautiful afternoon and spent our time together in the competent and amazingly talented hands of  Terry Lee Cafferty. Terry Lee was offering a Mothers Day promotion at her new studio and I knew right away I wanted to participate. I’m still only ten years new at this mommy thing and who are these two look-alike children with their beautiful faces on top of mine?  I’m so happy we did this!

As Mothers Day approaches I think of my own Mother- a woman who has dedicated every cell in her body to making sure I am alive and well in the world and that nothing harms a hair follicle on my precious head.  I realize that the witchery of motherhood  comes as some instant hex when we deliver our tight fisted babe from the universal womb. Our instincts forever heightened and downright primal as we need simply tilt our heads in a certain angle in order to sniff the air- the scent of our baby inextricably glued into our every pore for ad infinitum.  I get it now-  no one could have ever explained how birthing another forever changes you.

My Mother- The woman who somehow just “knows” when something is not quite right  -the invisible thread.  Was it a message sent to her by way of  the wind? A tug in the umbilical aura? A shift in cosmic energy? How does she doooo that? Oh, yes… this is me now… I too can summon hurricane force winds and lift John Deer Tractors if given by threat to my children.  YES,  HEAR ME ROAR.

This beautiful creature – my mother, as time wraps it’s wisdom in a shawl of crinkled lines around her sparkling eyes
every
single
time
she looks at her children… her grandchildren
growing even more beautiful with age.

This being who brought me in, knew long before I ever would what it really takes to birth another, raise another, love another, bury another, honor another… what it takes to keep the memories of past faces and places like heart shaped moments on the tin of a freshly baked cookie sheet…  smell the goodness.

“Mom- i’m home!”

home again home again jigged de jig….

She was always there….

bigger than life …even when she wasn’t…

…  her face and voice the echo and compass inside the heart she grew, inside a heart that knew inside a heart of another, mother… hers.

Her love-  combined with the waterfall of (other) mothers…. never ending – it’s force coming down to cleanse and rebirth even the most prodigal child…

never did she lose faith or hope.

never did she stop giving.

believing,

loving.

and so…it’s mothers day, and I will follow her lead – with every cell in my body which inherently knows the true depth and power of  this love. This awesome mom- me power so pure and this connection so strong that yes, one gentle breeze might simply touch my cheek and I will know, oh I will know that moment before I know- because that is the power of mom, and somehow in this cosmos come hell or high water I will lean in with every fiber of my being to kow that my babies are alright and if that’s so – then:  ALL is right with the world….  YES. All is right with the world.

Happy Mothers Day.

STOP CULTURE is the new POP Culture

Ear Muff It.

My friend Jackie wrote about this experience while listening to the radio with her son on the way to school.

*Sigh* – Sometimes I feel so helpless as a mom to protect my kids from “Pop” culture.

I think we should call it “STOP” culture.

Our american culture is most decidedly de-culturing to our kids.

It’s sad. It makes me so upset.  I’m not perfect when it comes to media and my kids but I do control the dial at home in terms of what they watch and listen to.  Sometimes I think it’s really innocent and then i realize…

Not so much.

Can we please request some wholesomeness and REAL culture back into our lives and the lives of our children?

Children of America

I hate politics, and feel pretty much the same way as five year old Hudson Hinkley Does “YUCK!” But if you want to grab my attention as a mom and get me to listen in- start talking to me in terms even a five year old can understand and focus the conversation of the future of my children.  ALL our children.

I want to be more involved in “conversations that matter” not  “Politics”- PLEASE! Stop wasting my time!

I don’t want to watch a bunch of grown men sling mud and create media chaos that distracts from the real issues at hand, and for god’s sake I have better things to do than listen to the endless rhetoric and wah wah cry baby antics. I’ve got noses to wipe, meals to make, laundry to fold, bodies to cuddle and story’s to read.  I also have a full time job and I’m trying to make an income so that I can afford money to send my kids to camp this summer and to keep them out of the public school system because it’s a travesty. 

We are seriously messing up the future of our children.
They collectively SIT for 8-10 hours a DAY passively taking in volumes of information so that they can be tested.  They don’t move their bodies much , are not playing outside, are having their art and music classes cut, and eating a steady  diet of GMO’s, Sugars, and artificial ingredients.

They have parents who are overstressed, overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated in their jobs who come home and are so tired that they can’t even find the strength or time it takes to engage with their kids in meaningful ways.

Because we are so dis-connected, and numb- our kids are phasing into more connectedness with video games, television, food and poor behavior.  The results are tragic:  anti-depressants, adderall and any other drug we can get into them so that they will COMPLY and not be “difficult” – We’ve taken away their freedom, and rights, and their voices because guess what?  We don’t have any to give.   Our country is filled with the unconscious.

We have become slaves to the dollar, the deficit, and the detriment and we have sold our personal sense of integrity, and our morals and values for a chance to be on reality TV.  Double U TEE EFF?

Our children are angry, lonely, anxious, hostile,  violent, and SAD.  They need us.

This post isn’t about getting more votes for Barry Hinkley   It’s about the lengths we need to go to for us to wake up and come together as parents in order for change to happen.

I’m grateful for the video that stars Hudson Hinckley – because our children SHOULD be starring in this “movie” we’ve created out of our lives. If you look around though you’ll see a burnt down hollywood of thugs, thieves, liars, and zombies.

We’ve lost our real authentic selves, our sense of integrity, nobility and duty.

What are we teaching these kids anyway?  Kids model the behavior of adults, so if that does not scare you then nothing will.

HUDSON’s  got my attention:   You know why? Because he has no idea what he’s saying in this “campaign” video. He’s just a kid who loves his Dad and that’s about as simple and as complicated as it gets.   All of our children are all trying to tell us something…

are we listening?

When you can’t beat them join them.

Shaw: “Mom she’s looking at me!”

Manon: “No I’m not”

Shaw: “Yes you are don’t a- lie!”

Me: “It’s lie not a- lie and then stop looking at her”

Shaw: “I can’t!!” “oooh- she’s doing it again!”

UGH!

And this has been going on now for several months mostly in the back seat of the car or at dinner time.

For her part I caught her practicing her glowering in the bathroom mirror…

“It’s effective so you really don’t need to practice” I said casually

Manon: Glower.

Me: Gulp

Me: “Shaw… your sister is looking at me!”

 

PMS = PACK MY SUITCASE

When am I going to learn that PMS means:

PACK. MY. SUITCASE.

But No.

No.

Instead it’s like the reoccurring mysterious behavioral phenomenon every month and when it finally arrives I’m all:

“Ooooooh so Thhhhhats why I was such a psycho last week!”

(insert mortified remorse as I flash back to the week in detail… oh, those poor poor people.)

Ok so seriously?  You’d think I’d have a routine down here- you know- every month for the past 28 years like clock work (except for 2-3 of those years when i was pregnant/nursing)   You think maybe i’d have a plan in place to deal with the “situation”- you know, in case it should arise.

NO

Nope.

Instead,  I use the week before to simply wonder if perhaps I might be going crazy….  ?

I use the time to be completely reactionary and practice new and more creative ways of losing my grip.

RE action ZONE. Proceed with extreme caution.

Common scenarios and thoughts (one might refer to as clues) that cycle through my head the week before:

“Wow,  I wonder why I am soooo hungry today?- I feel like I could just eat the entire house” (Run kids run for your lives before you get eaten toooo!)

“No one appreciates me – I’m outta here!” (I could just pack my bags right now and leave!- that would show them!)

“I’m soooo tired and I think i need to take a….. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz”  “just putting the kids to bed honeyZzzzzzz”

“I am NOT being irrational! I’m NOT! It was MY box of Nutter Butters! MINE!- you hear me?!!”

“Did she just cut me off?  Dirty Whore!!!”

” WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH… that commercial is so. so. sad.- it just gets me every time!”

“Are you done with that doughnut?”

“I have such a headache- it’s like a migrane – I wonder if i am coming down with something?” (taking my temperature every 20 minutes)

“I love you”
“I HATE you!”

TURN DOWN THE MUSIC! Is everyone DEAF?

Don’t look at me in that TONE!!!!

So… there are in fact a few red flags you know?  but no, every month there is like a big surprise party to mark it’s murderous arrival.

Wait!

Why am I bleeding? !!!!

Oh, is it already that time of month?

Chit Chat – WTF is that the Cat?

It never fails.  My son has been coming into bed with me at 3:00 am since he was 2 years old- he’s now six.  I’m sure it’s just habit that wakes him, and although i’ve tried everything to deter/reward him for staying in his own domain nothing seems to work and at 3 am- frankly I’m  just not interested in arguing.

The funny thing about him, however, is how chipper he is when he wakes at that ungodly hour.  He seems to think it’s perfectly ok to make chit chat while he clambers into bed firmly locking my head under his armpit like I’m some giant teddy bear that has no need for breathing.

The Goodbar and I always chat about it in the morning – like- what the hell was he saying last night?

It’s always a little tricky because if i wake up too much – I can’t go back to sleep so I’ve really mastered this half asleep little dance we do at night to insure that my glorious nights sleep is not interrupted.  Every so often it fails… epically- ahem.

Lets see- a few nights ago he stood by the side of my bed and whispered in a voice loud enough to wake the dead:

“Mom… it’s me.” (oh? really? because I kind of expected the Munroe Dairy Milkman to be standing at my bedside at Oh Dark Hundred)

“Mom- Move over, I’m getting in”

I’m pretty sure I whimper or moan or something because I’m previously sound asleep and possibly even dreaming- he’s woken me from a few that I’d really been enjoying.

“Mom- do you think when you get married I can be the ring boy?”

“um hmmm… sure honey (first I have to get officially divorced) but sure… go to sleep honey”.

“Ok- I wuv you mom”

me: “I wuv you too honey” ( because I’m pretty sure that’s how I talk at that hour anyway)

Then last night was a classic…..

“Mom? It’s me… push over”

As he’s getting in I feel the pressure of my bladder and so I struggle over him to get up to go to the bathroom.

“Can I come with you mom?- I have to go too”

me: “whimper mumble- uh huh”

After I pee I make a stumble line toward the bed again figuring he found his way there once – he can find it again…

“MOM!” he whispers in an I just saw and intruder whisper looking over his shoulder as he stands peeing in the toilet and my heart skips a beat.

“YOU DIDN’T WASH YOUR HANDS MOM!….” he whispers with a fierce knowing: and then with a little more compassion:

“It’s bad for your manners Mom”.

me: “whimper” (i’d be so proud if only i did not want to choke the life out of him this very instant)

I quickly rinse and dry them and head for the bed.

We manage to get into the bed and settled with my head tucked peacefully into his pit and thankfully I can feel myself juuuuust on the verge of getting back into a sleep when i can tell that the cat has found something to play with towards the end of the bed.. Shaw seems to be moving too….

me: “whimper… Shaw, are you?…”

“yeah, mom you do this thing where you move your feet a little bit and they think it’s a mouse and they go all crazy n’ stuff”

me: “whimper… ”

he falls back to sleep without effort and I lay. thinking. till the sun. comes. up.

Today after school the little sh*t had the nerve to tell me:

“You’re kind of cranky mom and kind of not very nice”.

Mom Can I get a Guinea Pig?

her: “Mom? Can we get a guinea pig?”

me: “aaaah, no.”

her: “Why not? we’ve never haaaad a guinea pig!”

Me: ” But you have had a dog, 2 cats, 2 bunnies, and goldfish”

her: “yes, but that’s different”

me: “What’s different about it is that mommy will have one more animal to care for”

her: “WHAT?!!!! I TAKE VERY GOOD CARE OF MY ANIMALS – I PET THEM AND I LOVE THEM!”

me: “Yes, but you don’t pay for them, clean up after them or pick up their poop.”

her: “Well YOU never asked me to!”

me: “Ok, I’m asking. I’ll tell you what – you can start cleaning out the cat litter box”

Huffily- “FINE”.

Response: “FINE”.

Next Morning she walks into the laundry room….

her: “UGH! What’s that smell?”

me: “litter box.”

her: “That’s disgusting!”

me:  “yep,…clean it.”

(I can’t EVEN describe the look on her face)

her: “I think i was overtired last night when we were talking about guinea pigs and i’m not sure I was thinking clearly and feel that I don’t need one anymore- I’m happy with the animals we have”

me:  heh.heh.heh.

Moving On

My brood is in Alabama for the Thanksgiving holiday and I already miss them so.

I am “Moving” this week though and so it is such a blessing that I am able to actually get this done without sticky fingers and hyper extended mommy management.  I’m very excited for their arrival back next Sunday because they will arrive to their new abode and I think that they will be incredibly excited.

We’ve been preparing for months.  We’ve had countless conversations, and many goodbye big ol’ home ceremonies and even gotten nostalgic about this big beast even before leaving her~ yes, they will miss this house- she’s been good to us.

Each child processes this big move differently.  Since my son was younger when his Daddy and I separated he’s trying to process it all.
Manon on the other hand is just can’t wait to get this party started- she see’s a new bed and desk in her future… she was born ready.

I on the other hand am some where in between them… still processing all the changes AND ready to GO! This house holds far too many memories and has far too many needs.  In shedding this house I feel like I am shedding my own skin … it just does not serve me any longer… none of it.

It’s time to enjoy life now, and all of the joys that come with a smaller space.  I am feeling a deep gratitude for all of the blessings my life has given me over the past year that made this happening possible in our lives.

AMEN.