Sunday, August 26, 2012

Miraculous Power

The monitors spoke and brightened the room,
his breathing was laboured and fast
I wanted to cry but no tears would fall,
my hopes for his future had past.
My foot didn’t tap; my hands were not wrung
my eyes wouldn’t study his face
His body lay still and mine mimicked his,
I longed not to be in this place.
 
The doctors poured in and spoke over my head,
they whispered in hushed knowing tones.
Though I was still I was screaming inside
but all that came out was a moan
the tools that they used; the ultrasound wand,
confirmed what they already knew.
My son was born with holes in his heart,
How many? They hadn’t a clue.

One by one they left me alone
the door hissed as it closed,
the shaking began, would I be sick?
I slowly redressed him in clothes
I phoned his dear dad to give him the news,
the axe that I swung cut him deep,
I chopped up our life and hung up the phone,
Death was so close, would he reap?
 
We headed on home to a future unknown
Milestones were newly defined
Smiles and firsts and all those sweet steps
were just not enough without time.
To live in the present, within a moment
a second, a minute, an hour
That is the gift that God gave to me
Loves miraculous power.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I am enjoying my new space

I am enjoying my new blog platform more and more and think it might be time to retire this blog. I will keep it up and maintained because of all the history here that may help others, but it's time I start new! So check out my new blog peeps and follow me there if you choose!

http://trulywrittenramblings.wordpress.com

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Blog

Well I started a new blog but I'm not sure if I will switch over completely yet. I am trying it out, trying to get a feel for it. Here's my first post at my writings new home.

http://trulywrittenramblings.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/metamorphosis/

What do you think? Do you like the new look? The cleaner feel? Or should I stay here at blogspot?

Perhaps I will use the new blog for metaphysical ramblings! I don't know. Advice please!

Monday, July 23, 2012

God's Waiting Room

He was in the pits watching the race unfold before him. The sounds of engines roaring and tires squealing filled him with adrenaline. They’d worked hard this year to get the car running smoothly and his role of crew chief was drawing to an end.  The smell of diesel and dirt might seem overpowering to some but he loved it. He took a deep breath, inhaling the familiar and soothing aroma. He started to feel a little ill, sweat speckled his forehead and he thought perhaps he had eaten something which hadn’t agreed with him. Then there was pain; an explosion in his chest and throbbing in his left arm. Gasping for breath and maybe mercy he stumbled towards his pit crew. His eyes rolled up inside his head and he collapsed, his body met the heated, dirty asphalt and sirens rang out in the distance.

Billy Sr. was rushed to the hospital barely clinging to life. Although he had managed to survive the heart attack, he had slipped into a coma. The community of racers at PGARA Speedway were devastated.

My brothers and I had never met the infamous Billy Sr. Over the next few days we heard plenty of stories as people reminisced and drank and hoped that maybe God might see fit to spare his life. I felt for my family of course. They had been close to Billy Sr. and he was a good man – one who deserved to know his future grandchildren, one who deserved to live. My family was hurting and for my part I could do nothing to ease their pain, nor even share in it, at most I could give my sympathy and prepare to give condolences.

A few nights after Billy's heart attack he came to visit our family. At first I had no idea what my mother meant. He was in coma after all. How could he visit my brother who slept across the hall from me? Apparently even at death’s door Billy Sr. could not be dissuaded from putting others at ease, indeed from being a good guy.

My brother said he dreamed about a conversation with a man who was in a bright and beautiful room. He looked calm and happy. My brother went on to describe the man in great detail right down to the stubble on his face. My mother pulled out the racing team’s photo (over fifteen different men) and asked Greg to identify the man he had spoken with. Without hesitation my brother identified Billy Sr.

My mother was astonished but she managed to ask, “What did he say?”

Greg glanced up and said, “He told me he was in God’s waiting room, but he’d be home soon”.

That night Billy was taken off life support; he passed away silently. But his message to my brother has lived on and although he is missed, he is no longer mourned.

For he is Home.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Diane

When I met my mother-in-law I went in expecting to meet Mrs. Cleaver as this is EXACTLY how my husband described her. It turns out my mother-in-law may be more like Marie Barone than June Cleaver. She's head strong, stubborn, and autocratic. I wasn't sure what to say or do; how to act or react around her. I mostly tried to do my best to avoid her while not inhibiting her from seeing her grand kids or Scott.We struck a silent and uneasy agreement; one that would not last long as it would turn out.

Diane has always been a woman who intimidated me. There's just no getting around it. She carries an aura about her. She's kind but can be quick to judgement; sweet but vicious if necessary. To be fair I can come off as snobby or superior because of how quiet and reserved I am. I can appear emotionless and cold as my skills at social interaction are severely lacking. I’m weird. In truth, we are polar opposites and connecting was nearly, if not, completely impossible.

And then something changed. Preston was born with his heart defect and everyone suffered. Every person who loved him bore a weight of dread that you could never know unless you shared the same experience. It equalized us. I kept family up to date with my blog which now enabled Diane a peek at my innermost thoughts and our relationship began to evolve.

Preston got better and things got back to “normal”. Health was now good, I felt free. Then last month I suffered greatly at the hands of an unfortunate condition and the house fell into disarray. I kept the kids intact, alive, fed and bathed but that was all I could do. At the height of my pain I literally sobbed in the bathtub and begged God for death.

Three doctors saw me but kept sending me home while only increasing my medication. I phoned my own mother in desperation knowing she was on vacation and might be able to assist me. I needed compassion and companionship, but my mother couldn’t make it. I was lost. Finally a doctor treated my problem and slowly I have been on the mend. But the surgery left me wholly unable to care for my kids or the house.

My husband phoned Diane. I was done. I was in so much pain I didn’t care how horrid my house looked when she came, or how dishevelled the kids were. I needed help, and so it was time to eat crow.

People say thing happen for a reason. In the beginning I couldn’t imagine what that might be. Now I get it. You see I’m not good at asking anyone for help. I’d usually prefer to suffer silently, excruciatingly rather than whisper those four little letters out loud. I swallowed my pride and I allowed Diane not only to care for me but also my house and kids.


Thank you, Diane.

I can never express to you how much I appreciated your help, indeed how much I truly needed it. The kindness you showed me in this brutal experience has been a life preserver.


I love you.


Carrie.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grumpy Gramps


My Grumpy Gramps was born in South Shields, England and lived through the horrors ofWW2. He was a great storyteller and his escapades as a Merchant Navy man were thrilling. During my college years I moved in with him and although living together would prove to be more difficult than I had foreseen he never gave up on my brooding form. One night he called to me.
“Carrie, Pet, come here and have a drink with me”.

I threw open the door of my room and stared down the length of the trailer to see him standing with a bottle of whiskey and a two litre of Ginger ale. Now we’re talking old man, I thought to myself.

He poured me a finger full of whiskey and topped it off with the pale pop and I remember being insulted. Surely I could handle more alcohol then that. I drank anyway.

“Good?” He inquired. I nodded my head.

“You spend too much time in that room, girl; you can come out occasionally and we could chat”.

“I know Grandpa” I said non-committedly.

“Did I ever tell you that I used to send money back to my mother; a big chunk of what the Navy paid me I sent back to her. She needed it. And that’s what we did back then. We took care of family.”

I mumbled something about how nice that was and greedily gulped the Whiskey. I was about to thank him for the drink and head back to my room when I glanced up from my glass. There were tears rolling down his cheeks and I was flabbergasted. I’d never seen him cry. I reached for his hand and he drew back, wiping the tears away.

“She saved every pound I sent her. She never spent a nickel of it and she gave it all back to me upon my return. I miss my mum. I’m an old man and I still miss my mum.”

I swallowed hard and felt a little uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure how to console him.

“She sounds wonderful Grandpa” I lamely replied.

“She was the greatest woman I ever knew. I hope your future kids will say the same about you”.

A long silence stretched out before us as we consumed another glass of Whiskey. I wondered what all of this was about. What was going on? My grandpa finally said, “I’m saving for you too, Carrie.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“The rent money you pay me. I’ve put it away for you, and when you’re ready, you can have it.”

I was stunned and before I knew it we were both crying. We drank together until the late hours of the night and I barfed the entire morning. Despite the alcohol poisoning and subsequent blackout his words have never left me. And while he knew one great woman, I can honestly say I knew an even greater man.



read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mediocrity

Sometimes I feel so lost; angry too. Life has given me so much, awarded me my every dream. But it feels cheap. It feels wrong to ride the coattails of my husband. Every success in my life from the house I live in to the food in my cupboards – all of it is because of him. God knows I love him. I love him, and our kids, but for the life of me I can’t find the will to love myself.

I don’t think I’m depressed. I’ve lived feeling this way for as long as Scott and I have been together. I’m capable of a lot. I’m smart and hard-working; I can string a sentence or two together to make a paragraph that’s clear, concise, and sometimes beautiful. But I haven’t used any of those skills. Anxiety ruled me for so long that even now I fear it will raise its ugly head if I dare to dream something more than “housewife”.
When my children go to school, when they leave the house, what am I then? Deadweight, a voice whispers. It shrivels me, the realization they won’t need me forever. It terrifies me that one day I will have to define myself outside of this house and how? How the hell do I do that? I was a chambermaid before I met Scott, a girl struggling to make ends meet, a girl dying from the heavy weight of independence.  

And now I am a wife, and a mother, and all of those roles can be lost in one form or another. Shouldn’t I have something more definitive, something that can be declared out loud and on paper – a career perhaps? But my anxiety – the disorder I claim to be cured of. Is it still there, lurking to send me for a loop? Last week I wrote that I was a loser. I meant to put it in the past tense, but I realized that it wouldn’t be true to how I feel if I changed it. I still feel this way; some days more than others. I’m a loser.
The irony is that I know how stupid this sounds. To judge your worth by how much money you make, or don’t make. The problem with this world is that “money talks and bullshit walks” and sometimes I just feel like I’m trudging through a whole bunch of bullshit – my own and others.

I just want my kids to look at me with pride. I want them to be able to take me to career day and to never think I’m useless; shallow right? Here’s my truth, laid bare for everyone who reads this… Every day I struggle with the inevitable decay of time and the realization that they won’t need me forever.
And I’m terrified. I’m terrified that in my search for myself, I won’t find anything great, just mediocrity.
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In the simplest terms...

"You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed". - The Breakfast Club

I’m a loser. I always have been. I was never a popular kid; in fact, I was the kid that the unpopular kids picked on. People look at me now and can’t imagine it. I’m beautiful, apparently. I don’t see it. I was told for too long how ugly I was and I’m the remnants of their words; scar tissue that still hurts.

I developed severe cystic acne as a child. Eleven years old, and tossed to the lions that are school yard bullies. ‘Pizza face, crater face, ugly bitch, disgusting, dog’ there are so many “original” ways to tear a person down. They tried to beat me with their fists too when words weren’t getting the rise they wanted. I was always able to stand up for myself, my father taught me well. Hit the biggest and the rest will fall. They learned quickly that I would defend myself and so they finely tuned the craft of verbal abuse. I guess it worked. The marks are still there.

At thirteen I finally saw a dermatologist who told me about a brand new drug on the market, a chemo drug that was discovered to cure people with stubborn cystic acne, Accutane.

I was on Accutane for a year and half before my acne disappeared. During my duration on the drug I thought about suicide endlessly. Apparently it was an unknown side effect. I refuse to blame the drug though. After years of endless teasing, and beatings, and having to defend myself it was no wonder I wanted to die.

I had five people who prevented me from carrying it out. Five people who loved me. Five people I owe so much too and have never said it. Youth and introspection don’t go hand in hand.  But they saved my life. And I will always love them for that. The distance between us now; spelled out through detached and impersonal online interactions is all that I have left of some of the most profound relationships I have ever had.

Lynsey, Alena, Marina, Laura, and Tasha are the girls who gave me courage to believe in myself, and who said out loud and through actions that I was worthy and awesome. We were the outcasts, and labelled by our peers and sometimes our own families. But all of us refused, on some level, to fit in, to compromise ourselves, or to change. We found acceptance with one another - and for a while it was enough.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’m a loser in my own mind. I’m ugly, and awkward, shy and so insecure. But with the right people around me – with people who love me for who I am - I can be a person who still hears the voices, but who chooses not to believe their accusations.




Carrie (me), Marina, Alena, Lynsey, Tasha.
You can kinda of see the acne that plagued me.
Laura had yet to enter our...unique group. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Three Days.


My husband left me once. I was stunned and frightened but mostly lost. He’d always been the stoic one. My faith in him seemed unshakeable, until the day he faded from our life and I was left alone to face an unimaginable and desperate situation. 
The seriousness of my son’s congenital heart defect was officially diagnosed during a weigh in. Three days after discovering the holes in his heart, three days on a drug called furosemide (a diuretic), my husband and I left our house with great hopes that it was a cold which had plagued our baby and caused his laboured breathing.

Three days would determine whether my son’s weight gain was baby fat or excess fluid caused by heart failure.

I bore out those three days and the days before them without my husband. He was there, in our house, but he had vacated our marriage and his role as father as wholly as though he had walked out the door and drove away.  He was a shell of his former self.  Our marriage, only five months old, was being tested and it seemed as though my husband had decided to skip the exam altogether.

After surviving three torturous days where we lived together but suffered alone we arrived at the weigh in. The pediatrician placed our baby upon the scale. Its digital face came to life and spoke a truth we hadn’t prepared ourselves for. He’d lost an entire pound in three days and was a “failure to thrive”. There was no denying that “his heart was the problem”.

On the drive home I doubled over and cried. Silent and hysterical I longed for my husband to reach out, to hold my hand or pat my back.  Instead he glanced at me and asked if we should pick up lunch.

“You are so fucking stupid” I whispered. I didn’t need to shout; my rage laced the words and poisoned the atmosphere more effectively than screaming would have done.

“Did you just call me stupid?”

My anger fizzled and suddenly I was calm again. Roles had reversed and it was my turn to be strong. I quietly explained that his detachment from the situation was hurting all of us. I told him that if our son died I planned on never looking back and wishing I could have loved him just a little more and could he say the same?

A marriage should never have to encounter the terror of losing a child. Although it is promised before God that we would endure the best of times and the worst – this worst – had the potential not only to destroy our marriage but also the people in it.

I lost my husband once. But with a little grace and a wealth of understanding I found him again. It would be months before any good news would be received, but they were months where we learned to live as husband and wife and love as parents should, unconditionally.



read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Friday, June 29, 2012

Popcorn

When you're a parent there are a few universal truths you learn to live by:

First of all, don't ever mutter, murmur, state, proclaim, or otherwise brag about your children. It doesn't matter what event has puffed up your chest with pride, bragging is akin to laying a curse upon your own house.

If you are so bold to state that your baby is now sleeping through the night - he will stop sleeping through the night. You proclaim that your son is perfect at toilet training - he'll crap all over your newly acquired white shag carpet.  You mock all those poor women who have children that tantrum in Walmart - you can be rest assured that the next time you go out your kid will be overtired, under stimulated and full of ear piercing, crystal shattering screams.

DO NOT TEMPT MURPHY'S LAW. He is an evil, sly, conniving son of a bitch and he will make you eat your words.

Also, if your day started out badly it WILL end badly - no matter what you do to prevent disaster you will never recover from a morning that has started with the words, "What the hell! It's 5am!!!" *expletive, expletive, muttered and murmured death threats*

And finally your children will always find a way to surprise you. Like that peculiar smell in their room which leads you to a corner by their bed (which you learn has been used as a night urinal) and your son will so pleasantly and innocently state, "Its okay mom, the carpet drinks it".

Whatever the day has been like - cursed or otherwise - children have a real gift for making you raise an eyebrow at their insane logic and crazy shenanigans;

which brings me to my story. 

While I was busy - or otherwise absorbed in some inane activity - my daughter asked me if she could have the rest of the corn pops. Given the day I was having I really didn't care if she decided to smoke crack in the corner just so long as she left me alone. Soon the baby was up from his nap and I marched up the stairs to get him. When I return (after a diaper change and some cuddles) I come across my daughter squatting on the floor and I find myself looking at this...



I'm sure you're asking yourself what the hell that is. I assure you that I asked my daughter that too.

"Edie, what in God's name are you doing with the corn pops!"

"I'm planting seeds" she states, a little tentatively - a tremor in her sweet, little voice.

I soften immediately and take a deep breath.

"What are you trying to grow?" I ask.

She looks up at me - all eyes and smiles - and says, "Popcorn".

The last universal truth all parents know; kids see the world in a way that makes it magically beautiful and you will envy them for it.

The Inspiring Blogger Award

I was recently given the Inspiring Blogger Award by two, count em, TWO awesome bloggers - and on the same day too. People love me, they really love me!

I received the first (of the same) award from Pish, over at The Pish Posh! She's sweet, she's adorable, she's American and she loves Canadians. What can I say? She's got good taste! Go check her out - cause on top of everything I've said she's also funny and who couldn't use a good laugh in these END TIMES (I mean in the world today).

The second wicked blogger who awarded me is the hilarious creator of Write Rinse Repeat, Zannah. I'm fairly sure she goes unparalleled in the realm of the hilarious, not to mention that no one can compete with the crazy anecdotes she spews forth on twitter as easily as (well if I could spew forth anecdotes easily I could complete that sentence).

And this is what the two of them awarded me with, drum roll please....




Isn't it beautiful! Now as per the RULES - which musn't be broken for fear that I will lose my license to blog, I must now award this Wicked little award to 15 other bloggers (I've already thanked and linked back to the people who knighted me). Now usually I write little blurbs explaining every single bloggers niche of expertise but there is 15 of them. So just go check them out, okay? Thanks.

Yeah. Good Times.

Thoughts On A Page

Pohlkotte Press

Busted Button

The Big C and Me

Clay Baboons

My Tornado Alley

Saalon Muyo

The Journey

The Dose of Reality

Zavtik Pregnancy

Creative Devolution

Sperk*

For the Love of Writing

Werdyab


Oh! Apparently I have to write SEVEN things you wouldn't know about me from my blog.

No. Because if its not here then I don't want you to know it.

But here are seven things I made up ( or did I?!)

1. I'm actually a Space Alien Princess sent here to save earth from the evil corporate empire it has become. Unfortunately I've been sidetracked by having kids. So I'm sorry to say, thanks to my children, the world is doomed.

2. I'm actually a famous author.

3. I'm a man.

4. The comic books series "Wonder Woman" was inspired by actual real life events of my grandmother's life.

5. I'm a cannibal

6. My husband is actually a part of a secret military installation that is doing its best to identify all parties of my Space Alien Race. My husband is an idiot - he does not know he's married to one.

7. I'm a billionaire - because I'm a Space Alien Princess and famous author.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happily Never After.



I know when it happened. I know when I became a cynical, sarcastic shut in. It's when reality came knocking. I used to be this mother who preplanned meals, and craft activities, everything I had inside of me was given freely to them, and I was ecstatic to do it, I found meaning and purpose in it. I was the mom to beat all moms.

Then one morning I woke up to my baby and I reached over to touch his chest, a morning ritual to ensure that he had made it through the night. My hand rose and fell with each breath and I finally allowed myself to open my eyes. I looked over at his sleeping form. And then I cried.

I shook soundlessly inside my covers, tears running down my cheeks, snot pouring from my nose - and that bitter silence that punctuated my life mocked me and everything I thought I was. He never cried, you see. He was too weak to cry. He was awake for only an hour or two a day and every time I looked at him I stared death in the face. My own fucking mortality, and theirs - oh my fucking god - theirs...

I never retreated from loving Preston when he was touching death - when his beating heart kept my own on life support - but now that he is so imbued in life I find myself...different. I'm more cautious and slow. More detached and less involved. I want to be the mother I was before but I can't find her. She's lost; somehow always wandering in that place - that awful place when I realized that even the best of parents can lose so much.

I got up silently that morning and stood underneath the scalding heat of my shower. I rested my head against the cool of the shower wall and I promised I would never take them for granted.

In this I have not succeeded - quite the opposite really.

Because although I am acutely aware of their fragility now, and the insane tick, tick, ticking of time as it slips through my fingers...I just can't. I can't commit like I promised. I can't give myself wholly to them anymore and I ache from this knowledge - in truth I feel like I am failing them. I was given a gift in the understanding that nothing lasts forever...but I have curled up tight and have ignored the knowledge like a stubborn and insolent child might.

Honestly, some days I feel like I just can't do this. I can't love them as much as I do and still breathe. I want boring and mundane, routine and schedules... I want ignorance or at the very least the courage...

to love them like I should.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Narnia

You wrung out the cloth as best you could, your toddler hands kneading the water logged towel gently. "It's a mess in here" you muttered to yourself and I heard my words tumble off your tongue, newly claimed and wholly owned. Deliberate and sure you moved towards the living room, a trail of water marked your path like so many bread crumbs - Gretel's insurance that she could find her way back.

You sank to your knees and made slow circles on my beaten hardwood floors. Gentle determination with your wax on and off motion carried you forth until you reached your first obstacle. "Goddammit" you curse as you hurl the Barbie toward the toy box and I wince. You are my mirror. And I seem to be a wicked Queen who curses and cleans and mutters under her breath.

Your older brother - always acting the clown. Hurls himself from the couch to the floor and slips on the newly washed hardwood. He scrapes his elbow and his hysterics are sharply contrasted by your calm. You step towards our medicine cabinet and insist I grab the alcohol and Q-tips. You nurse his injury until his tears dry and I think that despite my bad habits and poor example there is light in there also - a mother worthy of you.

You're a week away from three. One week where two will be lost to time and terrible was an exaggeration as well as an understatement. Sometimes I have to rub my eyes and force their focus because it doesn't seem possible that this colic baby is suddenly a girl. You seem to have morphed as suddenly as any horror movies werewolf, but instead of claws and teeth you have curls and personality.

The day winds down and the night settles upon us. I place you into your big girl bed as your eyes nervously search him out. You will not sleep without your big brother - he is your security object. After confirming and re-confirming his form you settle in and snuggle up with your mickey mouse stuffy. I open up "The Magicians Nephew" by C.S. Lewis and read you another chapter. You fall asleep within minutes; and although I'm sure you do not understand the words within its pages, it's the cadence of my voice that soothes you. I imagine you stepping through the wardrobe, or putting on those magic rings, and entering the land of dreams into the magic of Narnia...

If it were my wish this week, my candle to blow out, I would pray that you might travel there every night. Forever ageless, always innocent, and a child whose imagination is never beaten by the frayed and tattered edges of this world - one I can only keep from you for so long.

Three years old - so small and yet a big girl.

Happy Birthday Eden.


I love you.







To forgive.


We all left the house that night. One by one we trickled out like water, spilling onto the street. A fractured family so broken that we didn’t even go together. It was winter time – that much I remember. I hadn’t grabbed a coat; I barely stopped to put on shoes. I jogged the eight blocks to my best friend’s house in the dead of night while the wind whipped at whatever was left inside my shell shocked form. A trepid knock upon her door and hysteria finally gripped me. She couldn’t understand what I was saying. I gasped out the story – one that was as fractured and confusing as my life.
My father had always lost his temper. Swearing and cursing and destroying any inanimate object in sight. My first memory of him was the day he came and told us that "your mother doesn’t love me anymore”. She screamed at him and whipped him around to face her, “Don’t tell them that!” she yelled. He slapped her so hard she was deaf in one ear for two weeks. I was five. Over the years I’d seen plenty more violence erupt from his 6’1 inch frame. I’d seen him fly from our van, in a fit of rage, and brutally beat a stranger who allegedly kicked our vehicle. I’d witnessed him grip an aluminum bat and chase some teens down the road for insisting that he fight them.  I guess you could say I was used to it.

On this night he turned that infamous temper upon us – his children. We were teenagers and were experts at avoiding his triggers. But my brother Greg refused to back down from an argument and my father advanced on him. To speak truthfully I cannot remember who he struck first, my oldest brother or my youngest.

Before I knew what to do, before I could break the freeze that created a statue from my form and react, my youngest brother stood quickly to prevent a fight. He incurred my father’s wrath. My father moved lightening quick and punched him in the face. They tumbled onto the couch, Jared put his arms up instinctively, and my father delivered blow after blow. Greg jumped in and on top of all of them. Grasping my father’s arm while Jared screamed, “Don’t hit him in the head, don’t hit dad in the head”.

And therein lies the true story – the compassion even in the midst of violence.

My father is brain injured. From the age of fourteen to eighteen he had numerous aneurysms erupt inside his head. Finally a diagnosis and brain surgery corrected the problem but the damage had been done. A part of his temporal lobe is forever atrophied. His skull is soft and one sharp blow in the right spot could kill him instantly.
 

        “Don’t hit him in the head”

The temporal lobe regulates memory, hearing, language, learning and emotions. My father has real issues with all of these. Processing between the short term and long term memory is the most obvious. He cannot remember his grandchildren’s names a great majority of the time. The days pass one after the other with no real imprint upon his world – repetition is his saving grace.
“Commonly, these individuals experience increased verbal and, more rarely, physical aggressiveness. In general, even those patients who do not become verbally abusive may still experience increased talkativeness with decreased empathy to how their comments may affect those within earshot.” source

My father embodies this definition wholly. Some things cannot be unsaid, some actions cannot be undone. But I love my father. He is a kind and gentle man when his emotions have not taken him by storm. Brain injury is an insidious and hidden devastation; one that has a ripple effect on everyone caught in its wake.

It’s much easier to judge than it is to understand and I too have been caught laying righteous opinion at his feet. It would be easier to be angry with him, to hate him, to demand better. But to what end? His brain cannot be fixed, his life will never be “normal”. He has had to learn how to adjust and how to function; and as his daughter, so must I.  


Sometimes even difficult childhoods are marked with the greatest of lessons and mine was the ability to forgive.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Welcome

it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream--alone."
- Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


I carry many scars. Hurts bestowed upon me by – what seems at first – to be the cruel talons of fate. I cannot escape the bad any more than I wish to avoid the good.

I have been battered by many circumstances, and mourned many dreams. Some days I barely recognize my own reflection. My eyes are older; my mouth more drawn, a subtle but definitive change has taken place. I am wiser – but at what cost?

Adversity has so often butchered my stalk - cut me down at the knees.

I took it all in though and I recycled it. I turned the bad into good; Rumpelstiltskin’s name upon my lips, and I spun. I spun until my hands bled and my face was stained with tears. I spun until the gold equaled the pain.

I was not taught any lessons from my hurt. Fate was not my teacher. I struggled. I clawed and fought and pulled myself up until I could find a reason for it all.

There has been no epiphany – no lightning strike. I have never dropped to my knees and thanked the heavens for my agony.

Instead I scrape and chisel at the exigency – the event, and like an expert sculptor I create my own art and I derive some sort of “epoch for [my] existence”.

In the moments where times are good I take it as my respite. Life cannot be lived without the devastation of time; without the bad balancing the good. But my own art – my own “impossible to convey life-sensation” is this…

When the sculptures complete; when my stone statue stands beside so many others and I begin to feel overwhelmed, I reflect on what I've made and I apply some sort of meaning. I force a truth out into the open - my truth.

Yes, my lessons are my own. I cannot preach or tell the world any categorical truth. Truth is different for everyone.

And though it might be right that it is impossible to convey every part that makes up my whole, I believe it is imperative to try.

I write so that I can reach others who might perhaps feel the same way I do. And I read so that I can find a lesson I may have missed.

Conrad is correct, my dreams are my own and I hope you’ll listen while I share them with you…

Welcome to my penetrating essence – welcome to Our Journey.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Road to Fatherhood

He emerged silent and limp. I only caught a glimpse of his lifeless arm as they rushed him to the back of the room where NICU nurses and his pediatrician worked on him.

One second, two, three. No cry.

Silence.

I glanced at my husband and he smiled at me. But it wasn't full of joy, it was filled with pity and worry. I strained to see around my delivery room doctor and ignored the resident who chatted away incessantly in my ear. My first born had arrived six weeks early due to a preterm premature rupture of membranes.

"Don't expect to hear him cry, he might have to be intubated; at this gestational age it's a toss up to whether the lungs will be mature enough to breathe on their own"

Fifteen seconds, sixteen, seventeen. No cry.

Silence.

I couldn't see what they were doing. There were so many people that they occluded the view of my son. I searched out my husbands eyes once more but he refused to look at me.

Thirty seconds, thirty one, thirty two.

Come on breathe. Oh please breathe. Please, please, please.

"Scott" I whispered and he took a few steps away from me and towards our son. I could see it took all his will power not to muscle his way to the back of the room. Nurses and doctors stood all over the place, anxious faces, stiffened bodies, fake and cheerless smiles.

It was our first introduction to what it would be like to be parents. The anxiety, worry and fear. The everlasting hope that somehow our children would make it through - if only given the chance.

Please breathe, please breathe. I don't know how to be a mother without a baby. Please, oh God...just breathe.

A minute passed maybe more.

Finally the waiting was over.

His screams shattered the oppressive silence and every person in the room relaxed at once. They wrapped Gabe up and let me hold him for a few precious moments before taking him to the NICU. I sang "Baby Mine" to his sweet little face and three nurses cried.

My husband stood beside me, stroking my head, "What should I do?' he asked.

"Go with him" I answered and not a night has gone by where Gabriel didn't know the sound of his father's voice, or the gentle caress of his hand, or the love he has for him.

The road to parenthood was a roller coaster ride and I'm not sure the stomach twisting drops and uphill battles will ever come to an end. But my faith lies not with God, or hope, or Karma. My faith lies in you, Scott. You have never dropped the ball, never failed at loving our kids, you have always been the rock in the middle of this raging river called life; holding steady and breaking through even the most devastating of floods.

You have given me the courage to stand tall when I felt like our life was crumbling. We have shared laughter in our best moments, and during some of our worst. And the one thing I am sure of is that our children are blessed and so damn lucky to have you.

Happy Father's Day my sweet, beautiful husband.

We love you.








Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award!

I won another award bitches. I know! What the eff? I guess this means people like me! Bahahahaha. suckers. So what Fool awarded me this week? Why Reanna from http://www.rockthesinglelife.com/

I love this chick because she writes about hilarious things, for example cats attacking testicles as if they might be filled with catnip! I suggest you read her because you are missing out if you don't!

As you all know by now there are RULES to follow when receiving an award. So here they are! Feel free to double check that I did in fact follow every teensy suggestion.

RULES For Accepting Kreativ Blogger Award


  1. Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
  2. Answer seven questions. (According to Reanna you should make up these damn question yourself. So I might just do that...or maybe I'll just be lazy...I haven't decided yet).
  3. Provide 10 random factoids about yourself. - (HA, prepared to be bored).
  4. Hand the award on to 7 deserving others. - (Oh Christ...SEVEN. I don't even know seven people in real life...)
Well anyway, let's get on with it shall we.

1. Thanks Reanna from http://www.rockthesinglelife.com I think you rock and I'm so glad you love me as much as I love you. Blogger crushes make me feel all shivery.
 
 
Seven Questions...
 
1. What is your plan if the world ends in 2012?
 
I have rum and coke. And I'll hug my kids. And probably have sex with my husband - if we have time. (but not in front of the kids - they don't need to go to heaven anymore traumatized than they already will be.)
 
2. What's your biggest fear?
 
That the Cascadia Fault will slip and a mega quake will hit, and my house will fall on top of me, but I won't die right away. Instead I'll have to be clausterphobically trapped while dying slowly from upper torso crush injuries...
 
I have an earthquake kit...which won't do be a bit of good if the house collapses...and my house sucks - so it will.
 
3. Whats the most frustrating part of your day?

Putting the kids to bed. They always act like I'm trying to put them into a vat of acid.
 
4. What one item would you bring if you had to live on a desert island?
 
Macguyver.
 
5. What's your favourite outside activity?
 
Drinking beer and laying in the kids kiddie pool...I'm not even a redneck. It's fun. You should try it.
 
6. Whose the one person you hate the most in this world?
 
I don't hate anyone. I'm Canadian. It's against the law.
 
7. If you had million of dollars what would you buy?
 
Admiration.
 
Ten Random Facts...I'm sorry in advance.
 
1. I'm awesome
 
2. I'm a mom
 
3. I have fake red hair
 
4. I hate my dog - she pees and poops everywhere
 
5. I hate my kids - they pee and poop everywhere (Just KIDDING)
 
6. I'm crapping on the toilet while typing this...sorry...
 
7. I have a TV
 
8. I write in this blog. A lot.
 
9. I can't seem to remember how to spell anymore (and I used to rock at it) and now I use spell check all the time! Even for Tweets..
 
10. I don't drive. I have a phobia.
 
And finally the moment you've all be waiting for. Seven Bloggers!
 
1. Amanda at http://www.werdyab.com/ She is so awesome. She wrote a post that made me laugh so hard I almost cried...because as a mom I have totally been there. Check this post out http://www.werdyab.com/2012/04/latte-of-embarrassment.html
 
2. Shan at http://www.thecrowdednest.com/ She is such a fabulous writer. I just love reading her work. It's so well put together that if she ever came out with a book I would not hesitate to buy it!
 
3. Shosh at http://shvaygshosh.blogspot.ca/ I have only read two of her post, from two of her blogs. BUT I love how she tackles huge topics. She is amazing-o!!!
 
4. Dawn at http://www.happinesscubed.net/ She tells stories like nobodys business and without fail I am left wanting MORE.
 
5. Jen at http://mytornadoalley.com/ I know. I awarded her last week and I don't think she's into doing these award things because she's awesome and not at all in need of flashing her badges all over the place. But you know what? I don't care. Cause I like her. Check out her blog peeps because she is on my Roll for a reason and it's not because of Loyalty! It's cause she writes really WELL.
 
6. I can't find her name...so embarrassing yet here goes... "Mom" at http://www.treadingwaterinthekiddiepool.com/ I love her blog and she's totes probably not into these Meme's (look em up) either. But I don't care. I love her writing. I look forward to reading her!!
 
7. Vanessa at http://www.5thingsaboutnothingimportant.com She's so funny. You should check her out and read some of her gardening stories. Holy good god they make me laugh!
 
 
 
AHAHAHAHAHAH. I did it!!! WOOT!
 
All rules followed. All peeps discovered. Booyeah biotches!
 
Love,
 
me.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Irony Sucks.


Here I am four fingers deep in rum and I still can't come up with a thing to write. My husband's no help at all.

"Babe, what should I blog about this week?!" I whine helplessly at him.

"I don't know, what's on your mind?"

I want to say big things; huge topics and great fields of inquiry like politics, global warming, or the terrifying threat of Fukushima...but no. What's on my mind is that my clothes dryer is on its last legs and we don't have money to fix it. I also keep thinking that this one hemorrhoid feels like someones rammed a piece of glass up my ass. And I should probably stop drinking while I write - it could lead to an alcohol problem (or embarrassing revelations about hemorrhoids).

I love that dog...but she is so dumb. Today I gave the kids flashlights to play with because I'm awesome and lazy. They got her to run full bore, face first, into the wall...repeatedly! She was chasing the light.... At least she's cute.


None of these topics would interest readers for very long. I would hope anyway. I guess I could do a post on alcoholism...but really. I'm not an alcoholic, yet.

Then a revelation! I will write about not writing. I'm a genius.

.........

*crickets*

..........

Well...not writing sucks. I feel I have this greatness contained within my brain. This one tiny, little talent that enables me to stand above the crowd, thumping my chest, and proclaiming myself *gasp* a Writer. But then it comes...that ancient demon, that wicked monster known as Writer's Block. It wiggles and worms its way into my psyche, whispering doubts and tongue lashing all topics.

"Oh please, that's so over done" he groans (I don't know why he's a man, he just is).

"Really, you're going to reveal THAT and expect followers...?"

"A post about your dumb dog...no" he jeers.

"Another post about your kids...Jesus...get a life".

And round and round the "Wheel of 'FUCK'!" turns and I can't, for the life of me, figure out a topic this demon would like. Nope, nothing; I got nothing.

And then while I'm passing out in front of "Weird or What?" - and is Shatner really in his 80's? - It comes to me. I will write again. I will defeat this grotesque and demoralizing voice. My solution is to pen a blog about him, about this creature that lurks and skulks inside my brain waiting for the chance to laugh at my misfortune.

He's hypercritical and all around a giant dick.

D.I.C.K.

Did you hear me "Writer's Block" - if indeed that is your real name? I'm defeating your sorry ass by writing about your sorry ass.

Irony sucks, doesn't it?

BAM. Blog post. Done.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Liebster Award Goes To....

Hey bloggy friends! I've won a Liebster award from my twitterite friend Pish over at http://www.the-pish-posh.com  She's a super cool lady, and a wicked friend, but mostly she is a fantastic writer. I highly recommend you browsing her words. She's quite the versatile blogger and is a fan favourite amongst many bloggers and tweeters alike! Here's an excerpt from ONE of my favourite posts...


You Smell So Bad I Could Cry

Here's the thing about stink. It lingers. It lingers on fabrics, in the room, and it lingers on you. It's an aggressive act to stink: I stink and now you will too... muahahahaha... I'm not talking about smelling ripe once or even twice, or a being just little stinky. I mean the only way to describe this smell is refried poop sweat with a side of vinegar piss.


Obviously hilarious. Read her!


Now moving on to the nominating part of the gracious acceptance speech. You see my bloggerite friends when you receive a prestigious and awesome award from a fellow blogger, it's only polite to nominate others. Plus it's in the rules. There's this long contract you have to sign - something about your soul and the fires of Hell. But that's not important. Let's get on with the nominating of some other great blogs!












When you get a Liebster:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for it.
  2. Link back to the nominator blogger(s). See above. Then click the links!
  3. Display the Liebster Award Logo. Proudly.
  4. Nominate 5 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers - actual followers, not Facebook friends or Twitter followers.
  5. Let your nominees know so that they can do the same and keep the awards rolling.



1.Tara at
http://www.pohlkottepress.com/

Her most recent post about grief was ridiculously good. Her words can so often find an audience and make that audience gasp from the beauty they paint. I am a HUGE fan of her work. HUGE. Please check her out!


2. Renn at http://thebigcandme.blogspot.ca/

What can I say about this jewel of a blog. Renn is such an awesome lady. Strong, vibrant, and brave - she's also a good Internet friend. She blogs about her journey through breast cancer and you won't find a more awe inspiring story. She's also a beautiful writer and I can guarantee you - even if you've never experienced the beast that is breast cancer - you will be able to take away so much from this blog. Renn writes about cancer, yes. But it's the life she found while dealing with it that will leave you breathless.


3. Heather at http://www.creativedevolution.com/

Are you depressed, sad or anxious? Do you need a pick me up? How about a hilarious blog? Heather is so frickin funny you'll wonder why you never read her before. She's SUPER fantastic and I have a blogger crush on her. You need to go read her now! NOW.


4. Tye at http://www.tyetyson.com/

Are you looking for a spooky read; a blog that's different in content than one you've ever read before? Here it is. This awesome guy goes out and hunts ghosts - and he's no slouch either. He used to be a police officer, which means he's not screaming like he just got kicked in the nuts every time a shadow walks by. Check him out!

5. Jen at
http://mytornadoalley.com/

I've had her on my blog roll for a while now because I love her writing. She is a fantastic blogger who tackles tough topics but can also keep things light, refreshing, and funny. I think she's one of my fave bloggers because she's just so honest. She doesn't pull any punches and you can always be guaranteed an insightful post when you come across her.


Well that does it friends. Thanks for reading and go read a little more. Reading is good for the brain!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ghost


I'm a ghost. I live within four walls, married to a man, mother of three children, but I do not exist. I possess no credit card, no driver's license, I have not adopted my husband’s name, and there are many more tiny discrepancies. Some of this is by design, some of it was due to circumstance, and some of it...

is because my husband is a police officer.

We hide in the open. We're cognizant of our surroundings. He never wears his wedding ring at work and his vocation never whispers past my lips in casual conversation. His job makes us a target. You will not find our last name within this blog, or any insinuation of our residence. I've learned to hide in plain sight; ghosts in an effort to stay alive.

So you can imagine my horror when an intruder stepped onto my newly bought property. His shadowy figure looming large through the glass French doors. I held my six week old daughter tight to my chest as midnight slithered into life.

I'd just finished watching television. The baby slept soundly within my comforting arms. I stepped towards the back of our house -- the easiest route to our bedroom. My attention was solely on her sleeping form. My movement was tentative and quiet. Smoothly I glided towards the stairs. I stuttered to a stop when I became aware of him. I strained to see in the gloom, the dark morphed and oppressed my line of sight -- or so it seemed at first.

We stood mere feet from each other. Both frozen in indecision--at least I hoped. I wondered why he remained so still and why he continued to stare without action. He didn't move, not even a hair's breadth. A pane of glass is all that stood between us and I was painfully aware of my home's security risks. I slid my eyes towards the phone base, but didn't dare turn my head. I couldn't risk tipping him off. Another half a minute passed - he never wavered.

It was then I realized I couldn't make out his face. Not one feature. He was darkness personified. A shadow within a shadow. I swallowed hard and broke the spell. I reached for the phone, juggling my still sleeping infant, and in that second the man turned abruptly and walked towards the end of the deck.

My heart beat so hard I would swear my daughter moved in rhythm with it. I dialed my husband. The nervous intonation of his voice betrayed his usual calm -- I never called this late. I inched towards the doors, while my terror soared through the line and spurred my husband to immediately dispatch a patrol car. He talked me through. I turned on the porch lights and extinguished the night that threatened to suffocate me. The man was gone. The gate was locked. And the deck...was still full of boxes, furniture and impossibilities.

In that second it dawned on me...

He could not have moved across my deck without making a substantial amount of noise. He could not have exited my yard without my witness. He had disappeared into thin air and my terror took on a new dimension of fear.

In my rush to tell the story I wrote with abandon. I blogged our location, I blabbed the scenario, and I even posted our neighbourhood. "Ghosts" I said because it was all that made sense.

In the light of day I felt silly and moved to delete my post-- it was dangerous and stupid to have revealed so much. It was then I noticed one lone comment. It was from a neighbour. A neighbour who said I wasn't alone. She claimed to have met this shadow man within her own bedroom. She swore our neighbours had seen him too. I checked her trackback. She'd found my blog by googling our neighbourhoods name and the word "haunting..."

Image © Jason Jam. Image Source:Doctor Fong's House of Mysteries

He stalks our community and spies on those who live within his "territory". He's cognizant of his surroundings. He watches silently. He does not hide.

A ghost more real than me.








read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Friday, June 1, 2012

He Shines.

"Life is not a matter of milestones, but of moments."
-- Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy


I haven't talked about him. He's here of course, spread extensively throughout my blog but my words barely scratch the surface of who he is. My fingers drum across the keys and speak in foreign tongues. Lasics, congenital, ventricular septal defects; over and over I have labelled him. But there isn't truth here, not really. Nothing that speaks to who he is.

I love him so much this boy of mine. He alone has the ability to coax me out of a mood that's dark and deep and so damn awful. He holds my stare until I acknowledge him, and then he smiles as if to say "there you are". He makes me want this world. He makes it beautiful. He glows. I can't explain it, there's just something about him.

He demands attention even while not actively searching for it; and people want to touch him, ache to hold him, long to tease that smile from his somber face, but he's not easily enamoured by anyone. He's vibrant like a sunbeam you can touch, but he'll skirt your hand and flee your touch if you move too quick or demand too much.

He dances too. This crazy, goofy dance. He uses his whole body and moves expertly to the music. No matter what I'm doing I have to stop and watch. Occasionally he'll toddle over to me and grunt. His arms raised above his head, his eyes pleading. We'll move together - swaying like a willow tree caught in the winds gentle caress. And I'll live there for a beat or two - perfectly content.

Mischief is his creed. His siblings aren't interested in him. They refuse to call him by name and instead refer to him merely as "Little Guy". They push him from their games and ignore his pleas to play. When the rejection becomes too much he'll steal a crayon or toss a toy across the room, and then giggle excitedly when his name is finally screamed. "PRESTON!" Their faces red and spittle flies and I have to stop them before accusations turn violent.

Without a doubt, they also love him. I'm not sure they have much of a choice. He's enigmatic and full of character and not one person can deny what shines beneath his surface. He's brilliant and like a shooting star I have nothing but wishes when I look upon him.

And my wish is simply this. That I have not jinxed him. Here now, before me, is proof of his brilliance. No more foreign tongues, no more medical lingo. He is not his defect. He is so much more and I've seen it since the day he was born. But I could not write it. I could not put it down in words. I could not testify to his impact. In truth, I refused to make it real.

When I faced the possibility of burying him I did what any practical person might do. I listened to the doctors, I followed all their orders, and then I practised the impractical. I called him Puck for the longest time, his true name never crossing my lips. I refused to mail off his birth information, fearful I might have to eventually apply for a death certificate. And I never wrote a single word that spoke about the enormousness of his being because what he is  - is a love I cannot touch with all the breadth of my words.

I live my life in moments now, but it doesn't negate my ache to live a million or more with the boy who changed my life.

I love you Preston.




Monday, May 28, 2012

My husband

Dear Scott,

You are thirty three years old today and I wish I could make that easier for you. The crowsfeet and hunchback your beginning to sport must be a horrendous adjustment. Just three hundred and sixty five days ago you were gorgeous, vital and in the prime of your life...but as the days ticked by and the seasons changed, your age progression was intense and unfortunate.

Now when we go out people pat my hand and applaud me for taking my father on a daddy daughter date, and I have to smile politely and correct their erroneous assumption. I'm sorry for their ignorance babe and for the pain they cause you. I can see it in the way your crowsfeet scrunches up as you try your best not to cry, and in the way your hunchback hitches as you hold back the tears.

Aging sucks. And I wish I could turn back the clock so that your feelings and my pride might be saved. But we both have to accept that life as you knew it is over.

So for your birthday this year I have decided to fore go the usual electronic gadget gift. Instead I think some revitalizing cream might do you good. I have also purchased you a gift certificate for botox. The doctor said that it would not only erase those nasty crowsfeet, but that he could inject it directly into the muscles in your back - to ease the rounding that your shoulders seem to be taking on. What a deal? No crowsfeet or devastating hunchback. Modern medicine is amazing.

*Snickers*

Okay babe. Obviously you don't look a day over 32. I love you more than I ever have and I hope this year grants you whatever wish you snuff out on your birthday cake.

Love you,

Carrie.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lost


Yesterday I woke up to bright blue skies and a steadily climbing temperature! The day was blistering hot by 10 am with no relief in sight. Although there was a hardy breeze, I knew it wouldn't be enough to keep us cool. I decided that it would be the perfect day to take the kids to the water park. Since my husband was sick I figured I'd leave Preston with him. The park is just too big for me to watch all of them satisfactorily. So during Preston's nap my two oldest and I snuck out for a day of fun in the sun.

We walked the short distance together and I didn't have one issue with them listening to my instructions. I had high hopes that this visit would go off without a hitch...I should have known better. Outings that start off that great always end in disaster - it's Murphy's Law or something.

Anyway, we arrived at the park entrance and had to step carefully around the sun bathers. Once we successfully navigated the minefield of bodies, my son dashed towards the park as fast as his legs could carry him and was in the water before I could remove his shoes and shirt.

I called to my giggling son and was soon in a wrestling match - I yanked and pulled at his dripping wet clothing articles and rifled through my bag for the sunscreen. My daughter played beside me and seemed content to hum to herself. While I was preoccupied with slathering lotion on her brother she took the opportunity to go exploring. I happened to catch her fleeing frame out of the corner of my eye, and after asking a fellow mom to keep an eye on my son, I was in hot pursuit. By the time I'd arrived at where I saw her last, she was gone. It was as though she'd disappeared into thin air. Only mere minutes had passed since I lost sight of her - it just didn't make sense.

I darted towards the busy parking lot, skirting in between cars, and calling her name - the annoyance in my voice abruptly turned frantic as the reality of the situation began to sink in. She was nowhere to be found. My stomach inched it's way towards my throat and I could taste the bitter bile of its contents. I stood motionless in the middle of the parking lot - a deer in the proverbial headlights.

Worst case scenarios ran through my mind without invitation. What if someone took her? It was the only explanation that made sense. How else would she vanish so suddenly? I did my best to hold the panic inside but it was bubbling up anyway, escaping my throat in hitches and gasps. 

I was dialing my husband when I noticed that the YMCA's main entrance was open. Near tears and completely breathless I sprinted into the building. I stopped short when I saw her little frame playing with the candy machines. I covered my mouth and stifled a sob. The lady at the front desk smiled warmly at me and said, "I was keeping an eye on her, I figured someone was missing her". I could only nod in gratitude as I scooped my daughter up and crushed her to my chest. I did my best not to cry in relief and managed to escape with only a few wayward tears to spoil the attempt.

"Eden! Don't you ever leave the park without me again, do you understand?" I whispered at her.

"Okay Mommy, can I have some candy?" Not a snowballs chance in hell I wanted to snap, instead I said nothing and we returned to the park where I followed her around just like a helicopter parenter might...

The rest of our time at that blasted water park was uneventful, but when the day grew long and my kids finally tuckered themselves out, I was more than ready to leave. I packed them up and took their hands as we headed for the safety of home. Gabriel chattered non-stop about the friends he'd made and Edie...well she complained the whole way back about my obvious oversight in neglecting her candy needs.







Thursday, May 24, 2012

There was this one time...in Mexico.

Please refrain from reading this post if you are afraid of female nudity or drunken debauchery...You have been WARNED.


I'm not an exhibitionist when I'm sober.

 I'm a person who loves routine. I feed off of the mundane tasks in life and I celebrate the smallest of victories. Sobriety ensures that my life is one I can be outwardly proud of. I can cook a six course meal and coerce my kids to eat at least 5% of it. I can walk the dog and pick up her droppings with the jubilance of a lottery winner (because now she won't do it in my house). I can even clean a bathroom while humming a happy tune because sobriety doesn't beg for excitement - it only sighs with resignation and assigns the tasks that need to get done. And somehow I find a way to do these things without complaint...mostly.

I'm not an exhibitionist when I'm sober...

But I was drunk in Mexico. Rip roaringly, barfing all night long, wondering what my name was kinda drunk. Plus I had no kids at the time...does that even need an explanation for it's awesomeness? My cousin Krissy Jane Doe and I were finishing up our dinner at Senor Frogs when a couple of her friends - she LIVED in Mexico - stopped by and asked if we would like to go bar hopping...as though that was even a question. And so we set out to find any bar that would let us in (Jane was only 17 and underage).


I didn't black out my own eyes...those were cool shades in 2002...

Note to judgemental reader: I was 18 so let's not freak out about my responsibility in this whole debacle; arguably we were both too young to be so wasted on our own.


Finally a bar that was loose enough in its regulations to allow any Tom, Dick or Jane inside granted us access. Unbeknowst to our little group at the time it was a strip joint. Now I'm not offended by naked bodies so I had no issue with this, and let's be honest, I was looking for a place to drink not pray to Jesus. After three rum and cokes and an infinite number of tequila shots I decided that I couldn't continue to live my life without doing something crazy.

I convinced my cousin to get up on stage with me. We talked to the owner of the bar, picked out our music and then bravely stepped upon The Stripper Platform. We shook our fannies to two pop songs. I can't for the life of me remember what the first song was - this was just the warm up anyway - the one where our clothes stayed on.

The second song - Christina Aguilera's "Dirty..." - was the one Jane Doe and I took our clothes off to. We had agreed, before our dancing began, that we would NOT under ANY circumstances take our underwear off. I was fine with this since I was sporting a 1970's Afro down there. But man...when that music starts to move you... it just carries you away on a cloud of euphoria and bad decision making. Before my cousin knew it I was cartwheeling past her face...sans underwear...

The crowd cheered wildly as I performed some naked gymnastics for them; and I want you to know that I'm not exaggerating...I used to be a competitive gymnast. My crazed fans then began to chant "Panties, panties, panties" to encourage my cousin to fully strip too. She wasn't quite as wasted as me though and she declined the "enticing" offer. To subdue the crowd I performed the most flexible feat my drunken mind could imagine...and did a full 360...to this day I'm amazed I didn't fall flat on my face while doing This.





This is a lot more interesting to people when you do it naked!


Soon our night came to a close and we stumbled back to her condo to recover from our alcohol poisoning. The next morning we had to meet our family for breakfast. We dragged our sorry asses out of bed and did our best not to vomit, all the while giggling insanely about what we had done the night before. We hailed a cab and were lucky enough to catch one on the first try. We got in. The cabbie gave us one look and with a huge smile said, "You're the girls from last night". We both turned three shades of crimson and bailed out of the vehicle as though it were on fire.

We caught the next cab without any issue and we vowed never to tell the tale of our debauchery...

Until now.