You know the rules

Jane-Anne knocked on my door on the morning of the 24th. I open my window and looked at her, confused. “You know the rules!” I say to her and her husband. The two of them are huddled on my front walk, taking their sweet, lovable dogs for a walk as they do every day, rain…

Clinging to a Styrofoam cooler

Yesterday, as I hid in flannel sheets to find a nap I didn’t really need, I realized why I think of myself as such a mediocre mom. It’s because I thought there would be a lake. All I’ve ever had is a river. My life has been a river. No, let’s have the proper visual.…

Too Polite to Ask

  They took a family photo yesterday, the first with all of us. The grandparents, and their three children with their families. I feel bad about the photo. My husband’s people are a good bunch. All of them, save Gus and I, live together in a serene little desert compound. Their three comfortable, sprawling California…

What a Lady Knows

A kid’s birthday party today, one where I didn’t really know anyone. So I took extra pains, as I have learned is necessary if I don’t want to lay the groundwork as a total outcast and then have to dig myself out. An outfit both slimming, feminine and casual. (I think. I don’t know. It…

transplanted monkey liver

  I am a Girl Scout co-leader this year. I didn’t want to be. I’m brutally lazy. I like to lay down at meetings. My body rejects order and organization like a transplanted monkey liver. But there was what Gus calls, “a power vacuum,” and I was the only one to fill it. Then he…

Smoking Meat in Stumps

  Every parent has a few gaudy tail feathers to shake at the world regarding the brilliance of their children. LE could ride a bike a 5, cross any monkeybars with ease at six. She doesn’t lie, she bathes and dresses her brother, and always says thank you. And stuff. Shake shake shake… But there’s…

I HEAR SOMETHING

  LE went to a sleepover. Gus told me, “Don’t think about it.”He didn’t mean, control your emotions, mama bird, dry your tears. Lord no. It was his response to my tenuous observation that everything was…so much more calm and easy and nice with her away. Cripes. No constant questions, no hearing “mama?mama?mama?mama?” repeated until I get…

We even disconnected the TV

  You’d think being responsible for someone else’s life would make you really uptight, but it has the opposite affect. You spend your days tending to someone else’s feces. In the before-time, you could enjoy the luxury of disgust, and silly fears. It was an indulgence, you know, to run screaming and flapping around when you saw a spider.…