Archive for the 'Relationships' Category


I was sitting here trying to think of what to write today.. Nothing came to mind.. But then, as my husband was walking out of the door he provided me with a whole armament of issues to hash out on my blog today.  He had a headache last night.  And, apparently, I was supposed to cuddle it away. 

The reason this is even an issue is two fold.  The first reason is, usually, he wants nothing more than to be left alone when he gets a headache (which, can I note, happens quite a lot).  The second reason is that, thanks to my mother being uber melodramatic about hers and everyone else’s ailments when I was growing up, I have become somewhat desensitized about people who are hungry for attention when they are not feeling well.  I know that makes me sound awful, but it’s the truth.  When I’m sick, I suck it up and never complain.  I can’t understand why men feel like the world has to stop on it’s axis when they get something as mild as a headache.  I don’t understand.  really really don’t…….

So, we return home from dinner at a great wine bar and a showing of Monty Python’s classic Life of Brian which was showing and the Belcourt Theater.. Nice evening.  Then the headache.  We come home and I get to work on the computer.  I have a lot of catching up to do since the holidays have been so busy.  Silly me.  I thought that someone with a headache would want to be alone so they could go lay down.  I was wrong.  And, this morning, I have hell to pay for it. 

Realizing, of course, that I have a very low tolerance for sissies who can’t handle being sick, I apologized and even felt bad that I was not more attentive to his needs.  But, it leaves me with the burning question: what is wrong with men that they cannot handle being even slightly under the weather without having the emotional equivalent to a wet nurse at their side?  Am I being awful?  Is this a dreadful thing to think about men?

And the other question is:  is this what people without kids do all the time?  Titter about silly little emotional heartaches that really are quite insignificant?  I am finding this life without kids (even for only three days) quite uninteresting and overly self indulgent.  It’s grossing me out a little bit.  I have enjoyed resting and going out with friends.. But I can do without the constant self gratification, thank you.  And I can do without relating to the people at work who talk about their pets as if they were children..  I actually got into a conversation at work about my cat - don’t get me wrong, I love my cat - but I was talking about him as if he were reason the sun came up in the morning.  This is what single, kidless people my age do.  What the hell?  I never would have guessed that my kids were my source of creativity and energy and, quite honestly, they are what make me interesting.  Thank god I get to be back with them on Sunday.  Otherwise, John and I might start buying sweaters for the dog and arguing over who takes the trash out.  Our world in imbalanced without them and I need this week to go by fast……….

Posted in Lifestyles, Marriage, Daily Living | No Comments »

I’m back!

Well.  Well.  Well.

So the kids decided, after all, that a Disney Post Christmas extravaganza was in order.  We got back from delivering them to my parents last night.  I must admit, the drive home felt like I was reversing some kind of law of physics - the fact that I was driving in the opposite direction from my kids was the most unnatural feeling I have ever had. 

But they are knee deep, as we speak, in Little Mermaid and Buzz Lightyear heaven.  I talked to them this morning and they sound like they are having a blast!  Which was exactly what I needed to hear - it is hard to sleep without them in the house.  But, the fact that they are having an adventure with their Nana and Papa eases my mind greatly. 

So then.  What to do?  John and I are all alone - we slept in and ate breakfast in bed.  So many things that we could do with the rest of our holiday but, really, we both seem content to be home and dig into one another.  Since I was a single mom when we met, it is always painfully obvious to us - when we get a chance to be alone - that we never actually dated, in the traditional sense of the word.  We never got to indulge in one another the way other couples do.  Sure.  We had a good time, but always with the pretense that there was a sweet boy at home waiting for me (which meant our evening usually ended at 10pm).  We never felt slighted, it’s just that at times like these, we really realize that we never got to really revel in that new relationship splendor.  And, now that my mind is at ease with the kids being safe and happy, we are able to.  We are able to enjoy what we really love about each other and remember why it is we fell in love.  I hope you’ll excuse me this week if I end up being syrupy sweet about everything, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to stop myself. 

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Notes to my Girlfriends Without Kids

  1. One day, when you have kids, you will realize that it is not so disgusting to clean a kids face with your spit. It’s practical.
  2. Talking about poop is not gross.
  3. If my kids are sick, all plans are off.
  4. I can no longer trash talk with you about someone without realizing that they have mothers that would be heartbroken if they overheard us. I still might trash talk - but I will have undying guilt for the rest of the day.
  5. If I make it out to drink and party it up, it is because I really, really want/need to. Sometimes, I use the kids as an excuse because, the reality is, after you have kids, going out to bars and listening to loud music is really not fun.
  6. Your problems don’t seem miniscule to me, I just can’t sympathize with the fact that you got three hours of sleep last night because you were at a midnight showing of a movie that I am dying to see but will have to wait to watch on DVD. Sorry.
  7. I don’t anticipate my outfit changing for the next five years and neither should you. The worn out blue jeans, old puma tennis shoes and hoodie that I always wear is what works for me. I love your new skirt and boots and wish to god I looked that cute. Sorry you have to schlepp around with me and my unfashionable self and thanks for understanding.
  8. You’ll never understand how much I, as a young mother, appreciate your love toward my kids. You treat them like the best aunt in the world would. It makes me want to cry when I see how much you love them.
  9. You stick by my when I am behaving like an overworked, exhausted, irrational mother who is at her wits end. You are part of the reason I never, ever, lose myself and my identity and my sense of control over my life. For that, you are a saint and deserve a gold plated seat in whatever heaven there is….

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I Get Dizzy Just Watching…

I have two sets of friends who each have three kids.  They are brilliant and capable women.  I never thought I would be able to have two kids and somehow I pull it off, sometimes moderately well.  I think something takes you over when you have kids and you just act instead of thinking of acting.  When I watch these women, with their brood of children and their insanity just a boat ride away, I feel nothing but complete admiration for their strength.  Aaaaaaand a huge dose of relief for the fact that I don’t have three kids.  As much as going from an only child to two children is a shock - going from two to three seems maniacally deranged.  You’re outnumbered and, when you’re outnumbered, it seems you live in a complete state of cyclical dizzyness that is gaining control, losing control, taking deep breaths to maintain control, gaining control, losing control, taking deep breaths……..

So.  To keep myself from being faced with something I don’t think I will ever be capable of - I have started to think about serious (not just whimsically basing it on the moon cycle) birth control.  Until my husband gets the snippity snip (soon!) we are having to change our ways to insure that our perfectly numbered family and my moderately stable sanity doesn’t get rocked.  Check it out in our health section.

Posted in Lifestyles, Health, Sex | 2 Comments »

It’s Just a Song.. I know.

There’s a Ray Charles song that I can remember my grandmother singing when I was a girl. Everytime I hear it, I can picture her singing it - it is so vivid I can remember the sound and pitch of her voice and the way she smelled and the way she would sing half in spanish….. 

When my mom came to visit, we were playing the Ray Charles CD and when the song came on - my mom teared up and said that it was her mom’s favorite song.  She was crying only because she missed her mom - she died when I was ten and it was a pretty traumatic event for all of us as she was a huge part of our lives. 

Today, it made me cry as I listened to it taking my son to school.  I didn’t cry because I miss her, which I do.  I stopped crying about missing her when I had my kids.  I realized that I didn’t have to miss her - she was everpresent and I could feel it.  Hard to explain unless you have had someone close to you die. 

No, I cried because the song is confirmation of my deepest suspicions that she was unhappy in many aspects in her life.  Her marriage was a mess.  Her choices in life didn’t work out the way she thought.  There was a marriage before my grandfather that resulted in the pregnancy of my aunt.  Her first husband wanted nothing to do with the child or the pregnancy and he abandoned her.  Which is when she met and married, at a full five months pregnant, my grandfather.  He was as good to her as he could be and I love my grandfather, despite all of his mistakes, huge personality flaws and adultery. The song is “I can’t stop loving you” - which is a heartbreaking ballad in itself.  The fact that my strongest memory is of my grandmother incessently playing and singing it breaks my heart. 

I cried because I want more for her life.  I want her to have a chance to relive all of those incidents and accidents and not be resigned to swallow it down with a forced, martyred smile on her face.  I want to picture her strong and capable, not degected and a victim of her slim choices, as many women of her time were.  She loved us with all of her being - and all that love that she poured out onto everyone, I’m afraid, was never returned to her from the men in her life.  And, being in the marriage I am - one that is beautifully composed of respect, admiration, pride and passion, I feel nothing but sadness that she never had that.  Because she deserved to feel all of it - she deserved to have more.  I want more for her.  But it is too late.

And, then, I look at my daughter - and myself - and I think that it can’t be too late.  We are how her life becomes rectified.  I know she is watching me - the choices I make, the way I will show my daughter how to be better than I could ever be, the way my daughter and I will expect more from any relationship that we forge in our lives, and the way we will remember her for all that she was and all that she couldn’t find the strength or support to be.  And I know she is proud.  But I am sad.  And, I don’t know that her sadness will ever be washed out of my heart. 

Posted in Relationships, Grief and Loss, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

High School Reunions…

Happiness is watching five of the snobbiest girls from your high school shaking their very hefty bottoms to “Hey Macarena” at your ten year reunion.  It was dizzying.  I hate that I got so much gratification from the fact that they were all obesely overwight but then I remembered one of them saying something to me at the grotesquely awkward age of fifteen about how I might one day be pretty enough for someone to marry me.  Yeah.  

Katie and I were the “weird girls” in high school.  We were drama dorks and we listened to a lot of Bob Dylan and Pheobe Snow.  We were far from dark or mysterious though.  We used to do cartwheels down the hall and shove funyuns up our nose just for a good time.  I’m pretty sure people thought we were high all the time - even though we had never seen the stuff yet in our lives.  When we showed up at the “Castle” (the very odd stucco building where the reunion took place) I’m pretty sure people were expecting a show.  But, we strolled in, the quiet adults we have become - and I am happy to say we were greeted with a horde of people who were anxiously awaiting our arrival. OUR arrival?  How bizzarre.  But, we were calm and quiet - two things no one from high school would have expected.  Katie had a two month old strapped to her belly and I had just been in a car with a six year old and a two year old - I’m sure I wasn’t bounding with the kind of energy that they were all used to.  But they missed us.  We were two out of three people there that had actually made homes out of state and it was kind of frightening to see how much people had not changed.  I am so far from that weird girl that I used to be.  Or am I?  As much as they were everything I had expected them to be, maybe I was just as predictable.  And we embraced that about each other.  Even some of the “snobby” girls.  They hugged me as if we were inseperable in ten years ago.  It’s a weird thing to realize that there is a whole group of people who know you so well because they watched you grow up.  And even though you don’t know each other at all, you still own territory in their hearts and minds.  Their faces will never leave my landscape.  That impact is really bizarre.  I thought I was completely seperate from these people but the reality is that we really helped each other become who we are today. For better or for worse.


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Old Friends.. Sat on Their Park Bench Like Bookends

I am going to see my closest friend tomorrow.  She has recently had her second child, a beautiful daughter named Maysa - she plans on calling her May. We haven’t seen each other in over two years..  She hasn’t met my daughter yet.. I am giddy with anticipation and I am also feeling very lucky today. 

I don’t have any sisters - or at least I didn’t know I did until I met Katie.  Something happened the day we met - call it worlds colliding, souls reconnecting.. Whatever you want to call it - that was what happened fifteen years ago when we met at the tender age of fourteen.  I had found a part of my family that I had never known - and that I wasn’t born into.  As women I think we search for parts of ourselves in the people around us.  We define ourselves a little bit by who we love and who loves us back.  We are not entirely isolated - our fulfillness partially comes from how we are, or are not, connected with those around us.  Our inherent aim is to nurture - and to be nurtured back.  It is blessed (and I don’t use that word. ever.) when we find women who see us for our true selves.  There is no feeling like the feeling of two women who can look at each other and see the joy and pain and relate and communicate about it.  This is what I have with Katie.  An almost unexplainable comraderie that began with just being two girls who weren’t sure where they were headed but still felt greatness welling up inside them just the same. 

And now, she and I both have daughters.  Our sons are cherished, of course.  But I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a very deep twinge of happiness to think about her holding my small daughter and passing along all of that wonderous woman to woman love and me holding her daughter doing the same.  We are continuing our passion - our love of this feminine mystique and existence.. And, like thousands of years before us, the wheel keeps turning……

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True Love…

They can’t keep their hands off each other and their faces are so close that they must be breathing in only each other’s breath.. kisses in the middle of a crowded breakfast nook where everyone is racing to get to work and they sit, locked solidly into each other’s space, unaware of anything and everything that surrounds them.. he touches the tip of her nose.. she flips the fine hair falling over his eyes.. he hasn’t looked away since he sat down.. when she gets up to refill her coffee, he stares out of the window, short of breath because the air isn’t as breathable without her sitting in front of him.. he loves the way she chews.. sips.. blinks.. everything about her he absorb into his skin, into every fiber of his being, and he wants more.. you can see it in his eyes.. he wants everything about her. and she holds back just enough to keep that yearning in him greater than the satisfaction..

Where will they be in five years? Will they fall into a rhythm of everyday passions, like so many of us do with our true loves - the sweet little nudges of love, instead of overwhelming gusts of desire and need?? Will it end in a fight, her wanting all of her CDs back and him wanting the bike that he bought her back? Will they tell sneering stories about one another to their friends and future lovers? What will come of that unpenatrable desire?

Were we ever like that in our beginnings? It’s hard to remember. It’s hard to recall.

I know it existed but when? And do I necesarrily miss that? I can’t say I do. With those feelings come a very exhausting turmoil. I like our cozy comfort. I like our ease with one another. I like breathing my own air - and every once in awhile, when we are cuddled in close under our sheets on a cold night, breathing in his. I’m sure, at their young phase of love that our marriage looks idle and passionless. They probably can’t imagine the joy that comes with our ease. But one day they will. One day, they might be lucky enough to see the loveliness that comes with waking someone up with a cup of coffee every morning… watching your children sleep.. talking about home loans.. picking out paint colors for your dining room.. I guess it only makes sense to those who have it. And aren’t we lucky.

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Setting Fire To The Apron Strings…

My visit with my mom was, well, nice.  But, I find myself, this Monday morning, looking up article after article about mending the strains between mothers and daughters that seem, in the most cliched way ever, inevitable within our culture. 

It is hard for some of the elder women of the tribe to see younger women change the course of things, I guess.  For every ounce of effort that I put toward balancing my life with the life of my children and husband, she gains fifty more ounces of confusion about it.  In general, I think that most women my age struggle with either a mother that holds very true to a more modest and self sacrificing style of living for her family OR a mother who is a stringent feminist and isn’s supportive of anything to do with family or “settling” down.  Mine would be the former.  Either is dangerous and it leaves us girls who are starting our real lives (the lives that we will be in for the next fifty years - you know, as opposed to those early 20’s when we were making decisions for today rather than for tomorrow..) are left out in the cold because there is no one there to say “damn. You’re doing well. You have a passion that isn’t at all about your family AND a family that you are passionate about.  WELL done!!”.  Sure, our husbands and our friends are there as support systems but when it comes down to it, we just want our mommy to look at us and be proud and, more than that, UNDERSTAND what our lives are about. 

My mother and I are far from estranged.  I am happy to say that we have a lovely relationship, for the most part.  But I hold back.  A lot.  and I see the confusion in her eyes when she comes to visit.  My need to write.  My urge, and subsequent decision to hold back, to show her the art studio that my husband and I share and the paintings that I have started and finished.  The girlfriends I have made who are all, themselves, quite talented artists and musicians and scientists - some who have kids and some who don’t.  All of these things do nothing but challenge her upbringing and her idea, I guess, of how my life was supposed to be.  I feel like she is wondering the entire time “where’s the Tupperware party?  There is no Tupperware party.  There never will be.  I just wonder when my idea of success will match up with hers.  I guess that has been the question for thousands of years between mothers and daughters.  Funny how it never seems to get answered.

Posted in Parenting, Building and Maintaining, Communication | No Comments »

Ok.. umm. So.. It Goes a Little Like This..

Holy BU-jeeeeeebus!!!!!  Last night as I tucked my formerly innocent, tender faced six year old into his bed to dream about knights and horses and fast cars and things that have nothing (nothing!) to do with sex (right??) he popped the question.  My head is still spinning from the incident - an incident, quite, frankly, that I was no where NEAR prepared for.

Kid:  “Gosh, I’m so glad that I am not a girl.  Having to go the hospital and get needles poked in your arm and back to have a baby looks like it stinks”

note:  unlike most of my friends and east nashville mothers-in-arms, I happily had both my children with lots and lots of drugs.  Though, I can tell you that I tried to be all natural and made it until I was trying, desperately, to rip my husband’s face off and nearly succeeded in sinking my nails into his forearm.  He still has scars. and nightmares.

Me:  “Well, not all mommies have needles and go to a hospital.  But, it does hurt and it isn’t really any fun.. At all.  But we get beautiful children that we get to love and… blah blah blah”  (you can picture the rest, right?).

Kid:  “Soooooo, does the guy have to be put in the hospital to - uh- get the seed out?  Or, wait, so how does that work exactly?”

This was the point in which I shoved my fingers in my ears and starting singing “mary had a little lamb” to wash out the filth (utter filth!) that was coming (no pun, sorry) out of my son’s mouth………”how does it work exactly??”…. I can’t go into exactly…….. there will be no “exactly” here.. stop.. no more questions…. who put this garbage into your head!?!?

Me (calmly and angelically):  “Well, ummmm, see, it’s kinda like, well, you know, it goes in and that’s all - do you understand now??”

Kid:  “what are you talking about? I want to know how a boy gets his seed to a girl’s belly and how it comes out of him.  Do they have to go to the bathroom and take off their clothes to do it?”

Me: “The bathroom is only for when you have guests who are using your bedroom - wait, I mean - no, not necesarrily..”

Kid: ” So, then how does it work?  Does he put something up her butt??”

WHAT??? WHAT WHAT WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Me: “Woah.. No. No.  No..  Ok.  Look.  It is a very special thing that mommies and daddies do when they decide they want to have a baby.  The daddy puts his penis in the mommy (wince) and his seed goes into her belly to make a baby.”

Kid:  “But WHERE mom?  Which hole?  Her ear? Her nose??  Her mouth?”

Alright, I’m thinking, which perverted kid brought the russian porn to school?  I swear it must have been the doctor’s kid.. they ALWAYS have weird sex books and videos.. damn it!

Me: “Women have a special hole made just for a seed to be put in”

Kid: ”Does it hurt?  I bet it hurts and you hate it when daddy does it to you”

There was no stopping John Mellancamp’s “Hurts so good” from immediately popping into my head. 

Me:  “You’ll understand one day, Joseph.  But, no.  It doesn’t hurt and it is a special, fun thing that mommies and daddies share.”

What the hell.. Did I just say fun?  I did.  I just told my six year old that sex is fun.. Idiot. idiot.. idiot…..

It went on like this for at least another five minutes.  I could tell he smelled the fear and sheer terror in me and he loved every minute of it.  Why did I not see this coming? 

After I satiated his urge to know everything sexual, I tucked him in again - feeling like a totally insufficiant mother.  He seemed content, though - I am not sure if it was because he got his questions answered or if it was because he made his mother squirm unlike she has ever squirmed before..

Regardless, I kissed him goodnight, rubbed our noses together and started humming a lullabye to get him so sleep…. “sometimes love don’t feel like it should.. you make it.. hurt so good…”



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