Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I still have two of your voicemails.

Hello, farewell

Those voicemails riled me up when you left them. Marry that sweet man of yours! you told me. You loved Anthony the moment you met him. And why wouldn’t you? He exudes loving patience, something you had so little opportunity to experience in your life.

Just drive to Vegas and marry him! you followed up, in your living room, on the phone, in your voicemails. It’s really not that far, and you’ll be glad you did! Even if he’s bad at finances. What couple doesn’t argue over money?

I grumbled that I’d stop taking your calls if you kept trying to push marriage on me. You knew that wasn’t what I wanted. I’d hid under the table as your own husband beat you black and blue. I’d heard your screams as you tried to keep him from hurting my siblings and me, too. I’d absorbed every single word of blame others spoke not only when you tried to leave, but afterward, too: Read more…

Gonna getchu!

Tomorrow I’ll turn 36. Were she alive, my mom would have turned 57.

Same as last year, and the year before, and the year before that, I’ll be writing a birthday post. I’m not ready yet, though. I must first write with my heart before I can type with my fingers.

But as I prepare to write, I see the present world as my mom might have seen it. She would have delighted in seeing her grandkids–plural! from those daughters who’d escaped their 30s without giving her a single child!–playing together.

I laugh at this photo for myself, but I laugh for her, too.

She so loved to laugh!

the chase

Race outside these walls

Race didn’t matter much to me when I began dating a black man.

Back then, I believed racism was in Ku Klux Klan parties and racial slurs. I had no reason to understand it was much more likely to express itself in sneers, glares, patronizing speech and other microaggressions that sail under the radars of the inexperienced.

My turning point was my now-husband’s stark proclamation that our baby would experience racism someday. There was so much more I’d discover in the years ahead, but that was when I began my journey to seeing not only through my own eyes but also Anthony’s.

As I read and observed more closely, I came to understand I hadn’t seen racism before because I’d had the luxury of not seeing it. Not because it didn’t exist.

Nine consecutive months of rain annually sent me running from my Oregon hometown. Read more…

Lifehomelove

My six-month-old and I are visiting Portland, where my brother-in-law just finished his first term of medical school.

I was earliest to rise this morning, which gave me a little to think about the concept of home. I summed it up like so:

With Rache and Nick no longer in our hometown, I felt sad to no longer have a home base there. And yet, stepping in here, I felt that the location is probably the least important part of home. Here are the same couch, the same dog, the same beautiful portrait of my mom. Best of all, here are the people. Here is my home.

Little space, much love

Little space, much love

After everyone had awakened, we bundled up our little ones and went for a walk. I savored the Autumn weather, so evocative of my childhood and so unlike that in my newer home of Los Angeles. Read more…

My last day

Today I say farewell to one job.

I say farewell to the things that frustrated me and the people who made me laugh.

I say farewell richer in knowledge and friendships than when I began. I smile at the goodness of what I will take with me after today, most especially friendships with one of the two best managers I have ever had and the treasure who inspired this post.

I am smiling wider still at the prospect of all that is to come: a little extra time with my babies, whom I’ve barely gotten to see most my long days away, and steps toward fulfilling my own long term objectives that have very little to do with paychecks. I will be pinching pennies while relishing presence and prospects.

It feels amazing to follow my husband’s lead and, for once, take not the safe route but the right one.

I am not my work. Indeed, I feel poised to discover who exactly I am meant to be.

What uncertainty! What joy!

Hand in hand: much better than either in the garbage can!

Onward

My blog’s search terms are scarier than yours

Most folks who read my blog are bloggers.

A handful of others got here by searching for a particular word or phrase. After peeking around, they decided to stay awhile.

I love posts about funny search termsI meant to write one of my own. Unfortunately, most my blog’s search terms are either appropriately earnest or scary pornographic. I want to erase those latter ones from my own memory, so I’m sparing you the scarring and avoiding them here. (My mom might have chosen a different superhero name if she’d known!)

This search term landscape called for a different plan. I’m still going to share search terms. I’m just going to share–in order of number of times they’ve led folks here–the most frequently occuring ones instead of the funniest ones.

  • 2,073 searches — “katniss”

I wrote a throwaway post about liking Katniss in the Hunger Games movie. I deleted it out of grouchiness that something so irrelevant should be The Great Beacon to my blog. Because, y’know, I’m opposed to people finding it.

  • bunches — “TMiYC bullying” (and similar)

I deleted these ones accidentally and could still kick myself for it.

  • 10/30/11: Reading While Walking revisitedbunches — “reading while walking” (and similar)

I’m the expert. WordPress made it so by Freshly Pressing this one. ‘Cause that’s how experts are made!

  • 67 searches — “one of those hideous books where the mother dies”

I accidentally deleted this post about one of my favorite YA books. Read it! (Pick up Stop Pretending while you’re at it …)

  • 43 searches — “irrelevant” and “your belief is irrelevant”

Oh, yeah, baby! This is me. Read more…

Walking on ants

It started with a simple request.

“Sweetie, please put on your shoes and socks. It’s almost time to go.”

I tended to a few other odds and ends before returning to my older son, Li’l D. He was busy painting Transformers in a coloring book. His feet? Totally bare.

“Sweetie. Stop your painting and get on your socks and shoes. Now!” He appeared to be gravitating toward his nearby socks, so I ran to take care of another almost forgotten errand in the kitchen.

His feet were still bare when I returned a minute or two later. “I’m going to have to take away your coloring book,” I warned. The warning spurred him into action. Victory! I knelt to put his baby brother in his car seat.

When I rose, Li’l D was still sockless. He’d turned his socks into puppets. Read more…

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