** mighty hawk **
My son takes my hand; he kisses me. His freckles are surfacing, now, with the spring changes. His face lean like a young wolf; no more baby, even though I search his features for that memory. And as we walk the sun floods our path downtown, lighting up the fresh green grass and the old crumb-bum sidewalk. At my right hand, our dog Hutch pulls at his leash.
And now Nels says to me – by way of affectionate teasing:
“with a crooked beak.”
“… Nasty thoughts in its head.”
and he smiles slyly and I pull him close, kiss the top of his head. I don’t even have to stoop.
My car is busted, and sitting at the shop. I can hear the meter running, cha-ching!, more expense. And even after mine is fixed – I have some concerns about Ralph’s car – the power steering, for one. The busted driver’s side window. Our children’s choice to attend school is a difficult one when it comes to working cars, and gas expenditure. A new(er) car isn’t something we can pull off any time soon, either.
The bathtub faucet has a drip: my dog has some mysterious ailment causing him to scratch, and chew on his skin. The house needs an overhaul: a winter’s worth of home clutter is gradually being sorted, categorized, recycled or used. Today I handed a large paper bag full of hair dye and half-used shampoos and other toiletries to a gentleman in a big truck, a liaison arranged via the free Facebook community.
We’ve got an upstairs art studio that needs to be tidied; I’ve a resume and cover letter to send out in the morning. I’m behind on our budget. I’ve been ill – kidneys acting up.
Maybe that’s why it matters. Putting my arms around my daughter and feeling her belly. Holding my husband close, feeling the strength and warmth of his body against mine. The sound of my children’s laughter while they play basketball next door – bounce, bounce, bounce. My cheerful (but small) little sewing studio; ironing the selvedge of new denim. Hot coffee, hot water for an evening shower.
It’s good to be alive, even if I’m usually lost as to what to do with the blessings scattered about at my feet.Read More
In the early morning’s dream, I am trying to get my son to safety. And when I do, when he walks through the door, I roll over in bed – and open my eyes. He is safe.Read More
I should have known a Grays Harbor sporting event would not be a chill occasion. When I walk into the gym a few minutes, behind my son – we’re late for the start of the game – the bleachers are stuffed. The room is a clamor of intense, hostile shouting. For a game of ten year old boys. First game of the season – somehow I forgot how people act.
My daughter and I park at the Wishkah end of the bleachers – by accident, I don’t even think about seating location until a few minutes in. Presently my son’s subbed in and I finally see him in action for this, his very first game. Within a few moments it’s obvious he doesn’t have the ebb and flow of full-court play down, at all. He has learned – in the brief two weeks’ worth of practice they’ve had – to dribble and shoot with confidence. But he doesn’t know the dance, where to be on offense; where to be on defense. I grew up playing and I feel the pull to jump in the game. My feet flex in sympathetic pace with the team’s choreography.
The game is a close one, and a lively one. It is a beautiful thing, watching these children turn into young men on the court. I feel joy in my heart, watching their errors and graces.
A time-out in the third quarter and my boy leaves his team and joins me. His face is flushed and shamed: his deportment hurts my heart. He turns his body on the bleacher against my warmth, tells me, quietly – “Mom, I can’t play. I don’t know how to play.”
I’m thinking two things, They should be teaching you that, and then: But this is how you learn.
But I’m silent in this moment, this beat – showing that restraint. I’m amazed at how much my son is growing up, how keenly he understands his inadequacies. Of course, he isn’t the only one still learning. Many boys out there have double-dribbled, performed traveling screens, fouled in all sorts of ways. One young man made two deft attempts at a basket for the other team before they all sorted it out.
But now: I tell Nels, “You don’t have to go back in, but you need to sit down there and support your team and coach.” I lean forward and return my attention to the game. For a bit he huddles against me, his hot little body in repose. In a moment he feels better, and returns to sit by his coach, and support his boys.
Our team catches up in a tense fourth quarter. The game goes to overtime. In those final minutes, I see the coach ask Nels if he wants back in – Yes, he does. He steals the ball. He goes for it. He gets back in the game. They win by two. I can see in his heart, in his face: he’s okay.
Despite the angry hubbub during the event, everyone is smiles. I talk to a few parents; give a hug to a friend I hadn’t seen. Nels is hungry – adamant he needs a burger.
We walk out into the late evening’s sunshine. “I’m proud of you,” I tell him.
Later in the car we four are traveling back from errands in Olympia; in the CD player a mixtape. The strains of The Police’s “Roxanne” edge into our space, providing tempo to the rain outside, which is not so much hostile as it is lonely, and spooky.
We’re all silent for a bit, and I don’t know what the other three are thinking. But I’m thinking: This song is musically Perfect.
I turn to my husband. “You know this joker doesn’t even have a job,” I say, of the plaintive vocalist.
He nods.Read More
I am elbows-deep in supporting my kids through their schooling and extracurricular activities, paying our bills and keeping house, practicing yoga daily, firing up my B-movie site in a big way (as well as participating in the Bmoviecast and attendant community), and working on a semi-secret (but not really) and massive sewing project.
Also: setting up a 3D super-Wi-Fi blu-ray projector system in our house!
But sadly – all too often, movie night ends in a senseless napping tragedy.Read More
I am the mother to a teenager as of today. As of today, I only have one child who’s still a child, still a tween. One child who sleeps in the home, who creeps in my bed. Another who has set her foot on the twisted and dark path, through the forest.
As of today, I don’t have two children gamboling under foot. Today I watched a father who did, who had a little one. Those days are gone, they slipped through my fingers. I enjoyed every moment, every bit, but that doesn’t mean I was ready to see them go.
Today, I have a daughter who is a young woman. Never again will her fields contain childhood until the day, perhaps, she stoops to catch up children of her own.
Today is auspicious indeed. It marks that blossoming of hope, that cause for celebration: a child who’s survived childhood. Intact, with a lot of fierce love blooming in her chest, with a lot of laughter.
My daughter is my hope, my strength, my roots but then she is the green shoot out of the wet earth. She is my strength and grows tall like a tree. She is a fierce prickly thorn in a rose and she is the sunset when its impossible beauty takes your breath away. She is stronger, kinder, more intelligent, less spoiled than I and than anyone I know. She is my heart.
She is my heart!
We took a page out of Phoenix’s 2013 birthday trip, and headed off to Tacoma today. We had a carload of rumpus!
I seriously cannot with five preteens. As in, cannot believe how wonderful they are! Here I’m just ordering them buckets of chocolate milk because we were on the first leg of the trip and had to get from point A to point B etc.
They were all grownup and ordered salads with their meal! Instead of applesauce. One child ordered applesauce, then hid it from view when this choice was remarked upon. Can you tell which child?
And then – off to the zoo!
So like, in no way was our sole male attendee shunned by the girls… but neither was he particularly invited in when they’d cluster up like this. Which gave me no small amount of amusement!
Rarely do I regret having just a phone camera (and no training) – but failing to capture the African Red Tip Starfish is one of these times. Gorgeous!
Six tigers sighted – including these little tigers. Some feistiness in the tiger enclosure. They are wonderful animals!
So, this lobster was massive. I found the other zoo attendees comments about eating him quite insensitive. Isn’t it exploitive enough he’s in a cage being bored off his ass – or whatever lobsters have for asses?
UM A DADDY SEAHORSE, PREGNANT
Her last day of being twelve. Excuse me, I have something in my eye!
And after the zoo – I got us to Krispy Kreme. Because, hello!
Home to yoga, and delivering a meal to a new family with a brand-new baby, and unwinding a bit before crashing into bed.Read More
Today I finished a birthday dress for my sweet soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old daughter. I traced a tailored garment template for my super-secret relatively-ambitious large sewing project. I got through our laundry pile and attended two back-to-back yoga classes. Ralph took a final test and got his second A+ Certification; he’s on his way to a Bachelors. When he got back in tow, we had lunch together – and helped a friend out with a wee errand.
I am feeling better. Can you tell?
Not everything is in tip-top shape. Incredibly, my cough still hangs on – and it if wasn’t for a recent chest x-ray I’d be worried. My shoulder injury affects my yoga practice a great deal. I am learning patience – and humility.
My children are cheerfully growing up – I am relegated to a support position, mostly. My son is entrenched in afterschool basketball. This week he gets a 98 on a big math test – and tonight he asks if I’m proud of him. Of course I am. He went from having absolutely-no-formal-math ever, to acing a math cirriculum so controversial and oblique that the untrained adult can’t figure it out.
My daughter is looking forward to her birthday. She probably doesn’t realize just how many special little things we have planned for her. Tonight we’re watching “The Venture Bros” and she’s snickering at my shoulder. But after one episode she stands and says, “Mom – I love watching with you, but I have to respect my body. I’m going to bed [early].” She shakes her hair out of her eyes and exits. I’m left here with a bed full of cats – Ralph off in Nels’ room, putting our son to bed.
I’m thinking family life, I stressed way too much when they were younger, my little ones. I’m only glad I started easing off a bit while they were still in the home.