Thursday, November 20, 2003

Psssst...over here...

Come see my new home!

I can't wait to see you again and show you what I've done with the place. Oh, and please don't forget to change your links.


ETA: I gave up the ghost on Baggage Carousel, so that's a dead link. You can find me blogging at Her Able Hands

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Stop. Look. Listen.

Last night Chris brought wee Lila upstairs to the bedroom where he engaged her giggling evening spirit and told me to go on down to the computer and have at it. I had in front of me at least a half hour of quiet, baby-free, both hands on the keyboard time so I could get a piece written for the online writing workshop I just joined. As I made my giddy way downstairs, Tyler met me on the steps with a notebook and pencil.

"Mom, I want to write a story, will you help me?"

Heart sinking and racing at the same time, I stammered something about wait a minute, let me think while I took inventory of the selfish thoughts flying through my mind.

What do you have to do that now for?
This is MY time. For Me. Alone.
I could cry right now.
I'm a bad mother.
If I loved my kid I'd invite him to write with me.
I hate writing with anyone in the room, I can't even think.
Oh, God, he's going to want to chat about his story.
He's going to ask me questions.
I won't be able to write anything coherent.
Dammit, just go to bed we'll do this tomorrow.
No we won't, I'll have something more important tomorrow too.
I have to learn to do this and have a family.
Is he trying to get a rise out of me?
No, he wants to be with me. He needs my attention.
I can't give it to him and to my work right now.
Yes you can. Just do it.

I compromised as best I could, "I've been looking forward to having a little time to write by myself all day and I'm tired so I need to focus. You can sit at your desk and work on yours and I'll sit at my desk and work on mine. Deal?"

He grinned and ran to his desk, jabbering on about how he wanted to write a scary story but did I think that was a good idea because it was almost bed time. He didn't think he'd scare himself, but what if it turned out to be a really good scary story. Did I want to see the drawings he already did of aliens who want to take over the earth?

He switched on his desk lamp and got busy. I stared at the screen with my fingers resting on the home row, trying to hold back the flood of tears brimming in my eyes. I felt so inadequate-as a mother and as a writer. I felt so in love with my boy who has more enthusiasm and hope in his left pinkie than I have in my whole body. How did I get so lucky? Why can't I remember to appreciate it without having to be humbled into it again and again?

He rolled his chair back and held up the notebook with a paragraph in his best cursive and two small drawings. "Can I read it to you?"

It was good. He showed instead of telling, he used strong, descriptive words, eleven year old descriptive words full of drama and passion. He finished and I told him how he painted a vivid picture with words. He said, "Maybe I'll grow up to be a writer like you."

Oh boy, there went the water works again. "Honey, if you write, if you enjoy writing, you're already a writer-at least that's what my teachers tell me."

"Good. Then we're a writing family." He turned out his light and left his story on the desk, came over and gave me a too-wet kiss and wished me goodnight. He brushed his teeth and tucked himself in without the usual comedic coersion routine and I think that's because he got what he needed.

I opened a folder of writing that I haven't looked at in a while, copied a poem I like and pasted it into a post window for the workshop and hit send.
Take these broken wings...

You know how when you're driving down the highway and you see those huge flocks of black birds (Grackles, I think—millions of them) and they're flying in waves as if they're all attached to the same string that's pulling them in swooping dives all over the sky and they all land in the trees at the same time then rise up again and the air looks like it's alive because there are so many of them, pulsing and vibrating and making you look away from the road when you shouldn't and you can feel the rythm of their flight as if you and your Oldsmobile have wings too?

They just flew into my front yard.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Hills are Alive With the Sound of...

Lila makes that spitty, raspberry pssllllllssppfffffffsszzzzttt sound, punctuated with anngggh, cough, cough, cough, zaaachooo, eiplahk, and snort.

I think her father may be Mork from Ork.

When I look at her she stops, breaks into a face-splitting grin and sucks in air so fast it chokes her.

This is how we've spent the last twenty minutes.

on continuous loop.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Scene from last week's early, windy, winter storm:

a taste of what's to come.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Please hold for the next available service representative.

I received notice in the wee hours of the morning that the five days of bleeding I experienced twenty eight days ago were not another round of postpartum bleeding brought on by carrying those eleven boxes full of books like I thought it was. It was, in fact, an untimely and uninvited visit from my Aunt Flo. She showed up again at three o'clock this morning unannounced with her cramps and headache thinly disguised as a reaction to eating too much cheese and halloween candy.

I'm one hundred percent certain that when I signed on for this whole pregnancy and childbirth thing—even paying extra for the insurance successful breastfeeding without supplementation supposedly guarantees—I would receive in return for my service to the betterment of humanity, at least six months, if not one full year without having to set eyes on that batty old bitch.

I bled for twelve weeks postpartum. Twelve weeks. That's just shy of three months, twice the norm. I hobbled and then walked around feeling like a ghost of a human being, anemic and pale to the degree that I jumped if I saw myself reflected in a window I was passing, terrified for a split second that a vampire was stalking me. When the flood finally stopped I got two weeks off which was not quite enough time for the blisters on my ass cheeks—caused by three months of sanitary pads chafing my tender skin—to heal. Then Aunt Flo showed up in all her unwanted, busy-body, time-to-go-through-another-Costco-sized-case-of-pads glory.

I'm pretty sure my uterus is in breech of contract but I don't know who to lodge a complaint with. I'm not even sure what I should ask for to compensate me for this inconvenience.

Dear God,
I want a refund?