Archive for August, 2015

monday❤melt : everything's gonna be okay

I was just a week or two away from delivering my younger son, Littler J, when I met Ra in person.

I’d read–and savored–a few of her blogs before I met her. I knew I liked her, but I was pregnant and distracted. I didn’t really know how much I liked her until I met her.

I met her and loved her simultaneous clarity/strength and vulnerability, a rare combination.

And then I delivered Littler J, and lost track of where she was, though I distantly knew she was in prison.

I came back on track far later than I’d have wished …

… and yet: What was, was. What is, is. The past is past when driving with Ra, when I am struck–though never so heartily as reading this blog about me and my guys!–by her rare appreciation for the good in a little chaos, and an ability to adapt (fairly) swiftly to whatever challenges the moment casts.

Farscape, Ra, kid chaos, burps/farts and lots of snuggles: These are all things that make my household what it is. And I’m glad for it all, even if I don’t know for sure what to make of The Great Big Everything ahead. I suppose I’ll deal with “ahead” then.

Now is now, and there is so much loveliness in it.


Mail is late and we’ve already been locked in for the night.
A letter is kicked under the cell door. 

“Just one today,” the officer ponders, “Maybe they all stopped loving you.”

I laugh, a low peal of chuckles– revealing as much about my comfortable relationship with him as my confidence in my world. His booming male-guffaw follows him down the hall.

I pick the letter up off the floor, noticing that my tiles are a little dusty. In a minute, I’ll take out a maxipad and wipe it down by hand. Tomorrow supplies will be restocked, so it should be okay to use one.

But for now, I tear open the seal of the letter with my thumb.

It’s a series of notes.

One from each member of the family.

My family.

Just one I haven’t really met yet.

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First grade, first week

Graduating kindergarten, a couple months ago

Graduating kindergarten, a couple months ago

My five-year-old just finished his first week as a first grader.

He knows his mama doesn’t believe in bad people, just bad acts. When I chastise our dog, he says, “But he’s good! It’s just the act that wasn’t good, right? He’s still good.”

All the same, my little man finished his first week with the proclamation, “It was good! I’m a good boy!”

My faith isn’t as firm as his papa’s. It varies day by day, and sometimes minute by minute.

When Li’l D asked religious questions this week, I wanted to say, “It’s all mythology!”

Instead I said, “These are great questions. Let’s answer them together,

in the weeks ahead!”

Just keeping on

I feel,
at day’s end,
like all I am
is my work:

Work to
pay the bills-to
cover the heads, to
feed the bellies, to
keep water flowing

Juggling many balls to
keep things going, to
keep family sheltered, to
merely maintain

Who I am? Well,
that’s irrelevant,
just as long as I
keep working,
keep paying the bills,
keep putting one foot after the other
as if I am no more,
in the end, than
the just keeping on

Blank spaces

I used to draw a lot.

I’m not sure why I stopped, but I’d wager there were many reasons. For example:

  • It wasn’t very practical.
  • I wasn’t an artist. I was “just playing.” I found better ways to play.
  • I was busy figuring out how to live independently, which took a lot more effort than I realized.
  • I wasn’t innately an expert. (Back when I stopped, I thought you were either innately an expert or wasting your time.)

I revisited my sketchbooks over the weekend. I was surprised to see some of my drawings were pretty good. I wondered how well I’d be drawing now if I hadn’t stopped drawing. Imagine what twenty more years of practice would have done for me!

I was also surprised to see how determined I was to fill every inch of each page.


It was as if I was allergic to blank space. Read more…

The opposite of stability

My son started first grade today.

Except he didn’t really start; he only brought school supplies, met his teacher, his new friends and toured the grounds. I’d have taken Tuesday off instead, had I realized, but today was a good day to share with Li’l D anyway.

“I’m scared,” he whispered as we neared his new school. He wrapped his left hand tight around my right one.

“I understand,” I whispered back. “I feel scared when I start new things, too.”

I couldn’t vouch for anything we were about to see, honestly. Read more…

Lifted into the light

“How do we get the medicine on her?” Rache asked after we received it.

Our mom didn’t want medicine as she died. She’d cut herself in younger days; the physical pain felt more real, more justifiable, than her emotional pain. In her final days, I think it felt like a reminder she was still alive, still strong enough to endure any pain short of death.

None of us doubted her strength. We’d witnessed it firsthand for decades. Mom’s pain was evident, and excruciating, and we chose to ease it.

“I’ll ask if she wants to watch me nurse D,” I said. “She loves that. With Mom focused on that, you can give her a back rub and slip on the patch.” Read more…

Last day passed

me n miss aToday
should be
my son’s last day
in Miss Angie’s classroom.

But when
he awakened me
at three o’clock, clutching
his belly and saying,
“Mommy, it hurts!”
I knew that
was it.

Li’l D,
he’ll be okay.
He perked up
at the thought
of TV the whole day!

I’ll drive alone.
Instead of taking
that exit we’ve taken
every day for two
whole years,
I’ll drive
on by.

Passing it,
not exiting,
I will not sniffle
(rare for me!), but
will instead say thanks
that, for two years,
that was our exit:
our entrance to
in love.

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