Yapping and growling, a tiny white dog raced across the street toward me and my 50-pound canine, Sai.
The tiny dog’s owner shouted at it from her front yard. Her words were indiscernible to me, lost to the quiet hubbub of my own thoughts: wordless prayers that the approaching dog would stop its approach, or that its owner would quickly realize shouting at an attacking dog is as useless as asking the rain to stop falling and move.
The snowball of fury reached my dog and began biting his paws. I shouted words I can’t recall as I struggled to keep Sai’s mouth away from the other dog. I was momentarily successful, but in a flash, Sai had lifted the dog in his own much larger mouth.
38 weeks pregnant, I struggled alone to separate two dogs without harming myself or my imminent second child. It felt like an eternity before the shouting woman reached us and another eternity before the smaller dog was dislodged from Sai’s jaws. Read more…
I watch my twelve-week-old son sleep in the middle of my bed. His belly rises and falls ever so slightly it sometimes looks like he’s a doll.
For the last twelve weeks, I have been with him most his waking moments. I’ve watched him learn to smile, laugh, and roll over. I’ve kissed his forehead as he’s done his baby push-ups against my chest. I’ve had countless conversations with him.
And now, it’s time to relinquish these moments to someone else. My heart breaks, but holds together at some seams knowing it’s still my arms that will rock him to sleep each night.
The last couple of years, I’ve seen the same lovely lady for waxing. I’ve enjoyed our amicable, easy conversation.
I was surprised when today’s conversation took a more melancholy turn. I mentioned how I’d reached to stroke my older son’s face earlier in the week and been startled to see my hands are aging. I started crying, not because of new wrinkles and spots, but because
I go back to work next week. I’ve written a 5,000-word post about this in my mind over the last couple of weeks, but can’t bring myself to type it yet.
I’ve survived this shift once before. I know I’ll do so again, being brave as I hold my eldest son’s words close to heart. But for now, it’s moments like these I hold close.
“Your mom’s father was a real jerk,” cooed my husband to our infant after I wept while reading this post aloud to him. “But I’m thankful to him all the same, because he brought me your mom, some awesome in-laws, your brother and you!”
I smiled through my sniffling, taking the opportunity to say quiet thanks not only for the newer, kinder dad in my life, but also for my own dad. He brought me into this world I so love. He might not have done great afterward, but without him, I wouldn’t be here at all.
Below is a repost about one of the most important lessons I learned from my dad. It’s not one he meant to teach, but it’s one that’s served me well nevertheless.
And so I say, happy Father’s Day, Dad. I’m grateful for all you taught me.
Happy Father’s Day, Husband. I’m grateful for all you teach me.
Happy Father’s Day, dads. Your lessons shape the world.
An abridged history of my hate
Originally posted June 22, 2011
Back in the mid-nineties, I was the proprietor of a fount of love and joy I called my “Hate-O’-the-Day page.”
I added to it daily for a few months before it started making me tired. I couldn’t give it up after all the time I’d poured into letting my webpage’s four followers know every little thing that bugged me about the world. No way! What I could do, I figured, was create a counterpoint. This I did via my “Things to groove to” page.
I didn’t keep that page too long before I became enchanted enough by the idea of living that I opted to stop keeping track in favor of just doing. I let both list pages slide.
A few years later, I looked at those pages and wondered if it was really important for everyone to know all the little things that drove me bonkers day to day. The groove-tos hardly lingered on my mind, but the list of things I hated felt like a train of boulders I was trying to pull up a hill. Was any of it important enough to keep up in a testament to my super-sized powers of grumpiness?
I’d reveled in regaling my mom with tales of who I told off any given day throughout high school and my early college years. I didn’t offer these of my own accord, most days; I’d get home only to have my mom implore me to tell her who’d earned my wrath, and how. Often my answers led her to call her girlfriends and share my caustic disregard for others. I enjoyed these products of my fire-breathing. It pleased me being likened to Sarah Gilbert on Roseanne. I was one tough bitch!
Working at the YMCA introduced me to a world where (a) I was forced to be kindly to others and (b) a handful of others were kindly to me because it was in their nature. Those 5 a.m. swimmers? They changed my life.
“Oh, g-d, Deborah. You were out yesterday and you know what happened? That jerk at the front desk opened the doors at 5:02 a.m. FIVE OH TWO. You know what those minutes mean! My whole morning was off! Thank g-d you’re back. Please work here every morning I swim. Please.” Read more…
“Congratulations!” cheered the lady behind me in the check-out line. “When are you due?”
“Oh, I already had the baby!” I replied, smiling.
The look of horror on her face passed quickly. Faux pas: in the bag! “How long ago?”
“That’s a very pretty dress,” she replied, shifting gears to divert my attention.
I wasn’t miffed. I feel great! With only ten hours to go in my second Whole30, I’m down from a size 14/16 to a size 10. My husband is asking me almost daily if I’m sure I’m not pregnant, I’m glowing so. There’s newly returned spring in my step and I no longer get hangry. Just hungry.
This Whole30 was harder than my first. The first time around, I’d already been eating an extremely restricted diet for months; doing so helped manage extreme sensitivities brought on by exposure to environmental toxins. Shifting to Whole30 then meant ditching rice and occasional beers. This time around, it meant giving up my much beloved lemon cupcakes and all manner of delectable but unhealthy delights. Deprived of those, I found myself doing the unthinkable: shopping for distraction.
I do not like shopping. Read more…
In nineteen years of blogging encompassing several teenage years, I’ve written surprisingly few angsty poems.
Tonight, gazing at my infant son and mulling over many news stories reflected in this depressing XKCD comic on climate change, I decided I was overdue space for one such (warranted) poem.
I dedicate this to my son and all the children–current and future–to whom older generations leave mere echoes of the natural majesty we hungrily eroded.
I leave to you a world
I leave to you a world
Less full of nature’s magnificence,
For my generation and its forebears
Favored wealth above all else
Sacrificing the intangible future–
For its immediate tangible gains
I leave to you a world
Where provable fact is
Dismissed as “opinion”
Because it’s easier to change one’s mind
Than try to change
The world Read more…