Monday, December 26, 2011

Turning four

Punk has a whole list of things in her world that will change when she turns four--which is today, by the way.
She will no longer require a booster seat to eat her meals.
She will get a booster car seat.
She will be a big girl.
I hate to break it to her, but my daughter is a midget Not literally, but figuratively. She's small. Just over thirty pounds and still wearing some 18 month old clothes.
She can't reach the light switches in our house.
She has to stand on a booster to reach the faucets.
Even with the booster, at the movies, she normally can't see, requiring a parental lap and some juggling for her view to be unobstructed.
She's just petite.
I love my midget girl.
She makes me laugh like you wouldn't believe.
My daughter is a force of nature, and she's kicking butt and taking names without mercy.
She is a daredevil, hell on wheels in pink, a tiny tornado that has the men in our lives succumbing to her cute grin and wily ways.
My daughter is woman in training and HERE HER ROAR!
And I'm laughing all the way behind her, arms outstretched to catch her if she falls.
It hardly seems possible that, four years ago, I didn't know this person as anything but a demanding parasite who had a time share of my uterus.
I have miserable pregnancies, vomiting, bleeding unable to gain weight.
But Punk's was especially trying with 5 months straight of migraines that no pain killer could alleviate.
I know now why I had those headaches. It was to toughen me up to my tiny terrorist. It was my prenatal baby boot camp.
And, looking back, I wouldn't change a thing, because it brought me her.
My baby girl turns four today. Time is racing by and I know I'm forgetting to do some important parent to a girl things that I'll surely regret later.
But one thing is always true.
My daughter is the best daughter I could have ever dreamed of.
And, for that, I am humbly grateful.
Happy birthday, Punk. Know that there is love, and it pales in comparison to how I feel about you. May you rock four like you've done every other year in your short life--with style, flare, a few well placed curse words (oops!) and a laugh that rings through the air like handfuls of joy.
And thank you for allowing me to share in your life.
I love you, midget girl.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Today, I've been caught off guard by a sudden onslaught of deja vou moments where my children allow me to relive my own childhood holidays.
It's surreal to suddenly be standing there, and to feel like I'm five years old again, waiting for Christmas morning.
(Not that it's hard to see myself at about five--Punk is a clone of me after all.)
But I could see my Daddy, bushy mustache and white t-shirt, coffee in hand, watching me bang on a baby grand piano toy.
Or my mom, hovering just like I do now, over my brother and I as we tore through wrapping and ooh'd and ahh'd.
I can see my grandparents, grandpa on the floor playing, granny always nearby for a hug or a spare hand.
And I know my babies are having these same experiences, but with slightly different players.
The Man has the coffee in hand, no mustache or white shirt, gearing up to do battle with all batteries and fastenings those damnable manufacturers use to tie toys into boxes.
My mom is hovering, but as a grandma, ready with hugs and laughter.
There is another grandma and grandpa, on the floor and ready to play.
And there is me. Making it happen. Sitting back and watching it all unfold and knowing I did good by the smiles on little faces.
It's disconcerting the moment you realized these same scenes are played out time and again, mirroring my own childhood in such a way that, one day, the heathens will have that moment of deja vou and know they are the continuation of a holiday tradition they had no idea was being made.
And, that, despite everything, is a joy I can truly feel, knowing I"m just the temporary keeper of a legacy that was started long ago.
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Blessed Be.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Scrooge, yes, I am!

Have I mentioned I hate this time of year?
From the second week of October until New Year's has passed, I'm Ebineazer Scrooge, baby.
October is the reminder of my personal loss and my family's loss.
November and Thanksgiving are just bigger reminder's of a loss that created a gaping void in me and my family.
December should be for recovery, but instead is about birthdays and holiday's and work trying to get it all done.
I'm bah hubbugging the whole damned thing.
Add to that a dear friend getting diagnosed with cancer, and I'm just ready to be done with it already.
While she has a great, winning (and not in the freaky Charlie Sheen way) attitude, I'm stuck yelling at the skies and asking why? Why do we have to hurt? Why do we have to feel loss? Why do good people get dealt screwed up cards?
Picture me stomping my feet, shaking my fist at the sky, and yelling at the big old nothing and you've pretty much got it down pat.
The high points are my heathens, who look forward to this time of year with unbridled joy and excitment.
They listed all the fun things about winter during our car ride to school.
They look forward to warm mittens and cups of hot cocoa and snow ball fights.
They believe that Santa will bring them what they really want this year.
Me? Not so much. What I want, Santa can't fit in a stocking.
I want world peace.
I want money not to matter anymore.
I want people to smile more and bitch less.
I want cancer exterminated.
I want my lost baby.
I want my daddy back.
I want my joy back.
All big orders for one single fat man in a red suit.
So while I plaster a smile on my face and try to pretend to be happy for the heathens, inside, I'm just counting the days until January 2nd.
And muttering Bah Humbug under my breath at every turn.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Some wounds just won't heal.
No matter how much time has passed, no matter how different you are now, some wounds stay raw and painful.
My miscarriage is one such wound.
And every year, on this day, it bleeds anew.
Nine years. It doesn't feel like nine years. It feels like just an instant ago, and yet I know exactly how many minutes have passed.
Four million, seven hundred and thirty three thousand, two hundred and eighty minutes.
And I've felt every one of them.
In every joy, it's a shadow. With every pain, its another stone weighing me down. Every smile harbors a hint of sadness.
Because in my heart, there are always four.
Four faces around my table.
Four voices in my ear.
Four babies in my heart.
But that many minutes, that many breaths, I have learned a few things.
I used to think my first question to the Divine when I finally stopped would be, "Why?"
Now I know that answer. Because I wasn't ready. Because it wasn't time. Because it would have been too much.
The answer sucks, but I get it. Looking back, I know its true.
So my new question would be, "Where?"
As in "Where is my child?"
I've always believed we get the child we're meant to have when we're meant to have it. I know I'm meant to have Bug, Boo, and Punk right now. I know, despite ho weak I feel, I'm strong enough to meet Bug's needs, to hold Boo tight when he doesn't know he needs it, to dance with my daughter.
I know I'm strong enough, even when I doubt.
But when I finally keel over, the first face I want to see will be that child's. The first person I'll be reaching for will be that baby.
And God's help anyone who gets in my way.
A lifetime of pain, of a wound that wont' heal, and I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to call that shot in the afterlife.
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
Remember those mom's (and dad's) who struggle with their loss every day.
Because while my arms are certainly not empty, there is always space for one more.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How time flies, when you're . . .


In marriage.

Sixteen years ago today, I was an innocent, unmarried, virginal nineteen year old.
I was fairly sweet (My true nature was still in its infancy. Trust me, I'm not even in the neighborhood of sweet now.) and eager to please.

And I hadn't mastered the word "no" as a weapon yet.

It was the night before our wedding, and, while I didn't know what I was doing, I knew I had promised The Man my hand (and all the girly parts attached) the next day.

And when I make a promise, I don't' break it.

I don't remember saying I do, and if it wasn't on video, I might deny that it ever happened. But it is, and I did, so here we are, sixteen years, four pregnancies, three heathens later.

Married . . . with children.

Oiy vey!

Over the years (almost half of my life, mind you" I've had ample opportunity to wax philosophic on my I pledged my troth to The Man.

And, while I still haven't come up with any really good logical explanation for what obviously was a moment of sheer insanity, I have come to the realization bout a lot of little things that make me stay here and not find a hot cabana boy in Mexico.

1. He loves me. I mean, who doesn't? I am loveable epitomized. There's is nothing about me that doesn't want to make you call me snooky and to declare your undying affection for my general person.

2. He's a great dad. Who occasionally hits his kid's head with the car door, can't pick out girl clothes to save his life, and gets routinely outsmarted by our seven year old. But he's a great play toy for the kids, so I keep him around.

3. He does housework and yard work. There is not a damned thing more to say about this except . . .he also washes dishes. (Wipe the drool, ladies. Even if it weren't for the other stuff, I know I good thing when I've got it and I won't be letting my housekeeper go!)

4. He tries to stand up to me. And I have to applaud the attempted use of his gonads (taken off their resting place on the back of the toilet) in the attempt to stop one of my rampages.

5. He has his own built in heater. Cold night, warm husband, cold feet on back? Oh yeah, baby!

6. When I just can't, he does. When I have fought so hard that I can't take another step, he finishes the fight. When my heart is shattered and I can't find all the pieces, he does and glues them back together. (Even if there's always a hole or two left open in the end, but that's because those pieces when to the stars with the people I love). Even though I am the obviously strong one, when I am weak, he holds me up.

7. He just gets me. Despite the fact that he doesn't understand me ninety percent of the time, he gets me, and he's okay with that. When I'm on a tirade, he gets me. When I'm upset, he gets me. And he gets me to laugh so hard no amount of Keigel's help. And that's pretty important after sixteen years.

So after that much time, I still don't have a clue why I said yes except for one little thought. At the time, something in him needed something in me and vice versa. When I said yes initially, it was out of need. When I say yes each day, right before I walk through the front door to my screaming kids and frazzled husband, I say yes again out of want.

Gods help me, I want this life. I chose this life, admittedly without knowing what our lives would be. I choose to stay married and not bury his body in the pre-dug hole in our back yard.

I chose.

And while we don't make sense to anyone else in the world, we make a strange kind of sense to each other, which is all that matters.

So here's a happy anniversary to me (and The Man, if I must--although I still don't know what he has to do with it.) because we've not only survived, we've thrived. we've made a life out of a hope and a dream.

We've made ourselves out of nothing out of half understood promises made when we didn't have enough sense to know what we'd just pledged.

And we still have another fifty years to go.

Hopefully, by that time, I'll be a old biddy like Wheezer and The Man will be holding my purse in the mall.

A girl's gotta dream!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Loving a Buggy Boy

Seven years ago, my oldest boy took his first breaths of life.
At the same time, I took my first breath in a new world.
I became his Mommy.
And I had no idea what I was getting in to.
As a general rule, I am not a kid friendly person. To me, they are just strange, mini adults and should be treated as such.
I went into my new role with the mentality.
Only to be biddy slapped senseless.
And, while I still am not kid friendly, I am more tolerant of these mini humans that now fill my world.
When I was handed my son pink and new and as confused as I was by this strange new world, I had done my research.
I knew when he should be hitting milestones, how often to feed, how to feed--I knew my shit.
Too bad I didn't know his.
Bug turned my world on its axis, and it now orbits around three little worlds that make both more and less sense with each new day.
I still do my research, but two boys --one with special needs-- and a very opinionated little girl later, it's not written as firmly in stone.
Maybe quicksand.
That I'm standing in.
Maybe drowning.
The point is I'm flexible.
I'm better able to roll with the punches, to handle a gut shot with a smile on my face.
I'm more equipped to stare down the devil himself in protection of my babies.
I remember looking at my first born and wondering how I could already know I would die for my child, I would bleed, I would cut out pieces of myself to keep him whole.
And that was all before I really knew him.
Now there is no limit to what I will do for my child. For my children.
Being a mother is an empowering thing, a primal scream trapped in my chest that fills me with the strength of a raging grizzly and the drive to protect, to save, to cling to.
And it's a whimper trapped in my throat each year, when they inch ever closer to adulthood, to standing on their own two feet, to not needing my hand to hold.
It is awe inspiring and humbling in a way non parents cannot fathom.
And it's my birthday gift from my son.
And, every year, when the clock strikes the moment of his birth, I remember that gift, and how unprepared I was for its enormity.
And how unworthy I still am.
And I whisper a thank you, low enough, just for his ears alone.
I just hope one day he understands how precious a gift he gave me and how little I have to give in return.
I would give everything I am, and still, it would never be enough.
Happy birthday, DoodleBug. I hope you rock seven years old, and I hope you know how very much you are loved.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I've recently come to the conclusion sometimes it's just not worth the effort to speak.
People don't really listen, so busy with their own agendas that they cannot fathom mine.
People don't really care, so full of their own lives that they cannot understand mine.
So I've just decided, for now, speech is overrated.
Which is an odd conclusion for me to come to, considering my love of words, both written and spoken.
But right now, the only company I seek is that of my heathens and of myself.
I'll admit, I probably am a little depressed.
So the hell what?
I'm allowed my five minutes to pout when the world drops big steaming piles of shat on my head.
I'm allowed to tuck my head in the sand and refused to deal anymore.
Because I never stay down long, because I can't, because it's not who I am to not come up swinging.
But for now, it feels pretty damned good.
I'll deal with what needs me, with what I know will feed my soul, and tell everyone else where exactly they can go.
Because the rest of my world is just a big, blood sucking leech, draining me of any will to do anything constructive.
So here's my big screw you world. If you're not in my little sphere of people who not only take but give, you can go straight to hell, do not pass go, and you might as well kiss my arse along the way.
Those are my words to the world.