Posts Tagged ‘ Family ’

Everything Will Be Okay

{by Aidan Donnelley Rowley}

It is one of those moments. I am curled up in a bed not my own. Wrapped sloppily in scratchy wool. On my left side. It is late morning. The girls are outside playing with their father. Looking for hippos and dinosaurs. Making believe. Being kids.

And I am here. There. Resting. Because I am tired, so tired. And it’s quiet, so quiet, too quiet. In the distance, I hear the growl of a washing machine, the clanking of pots, the dragging of something big. But mostly? I hear the buzz of being alone.

An avalanche of anxiety. I think of all the things I must do and haven’t done. In the next two months. In my lifetime. I think of the sadness, sweet and stubborn, that lurks in the ale of adulthood; the pearly mist of melancholy we see and feel once we stop pretending. I think of my friend and the unthinkable tragedy she and her family suffered on Christmas day. On Christmas day.

I lie here. There. Body motionless, mind whirring with wonder and dread and, finally, some improbable and exquisite peace. I feel a kick. A thump. A something. Bold and strong and full of life. Just next to my belly button, that spot, small and centered, hidden so well. Beneath clothes and blankets and the most ferocious of fear. I reach my hand under the layers, real and imagined, splay my fingers wide and rest them there. I wait for more. For another movement. Another reminder. Another something.

And it comes. And here, there, alone, never alone, I smile to myself. And words come, a slow trickle, a silent stream.

Everything will be okay.

Our Hero

{By Karey from mackin ink}

this is one of those stories i need my girlies to remember. when i’m here. when i’m not. whenever. forever.

it’s a story about strength. the iron giant kind of strength. stronger than that, maybe. it’s a story about love. a fierce and fighty love as everlasting and as heartbreaking as old dan had for little ann. it’s a story about keeping your word until the very end. kind of like inigo montoya. hanging on to dear, dear life even while scaling the cliffs of insanity, even when battling rodents of unusual size, and even in the pit of despair.

oh, it’s a good story. because this story? this story is all yours. it’s about your aunt lin. a real-deal hero. who was all yours.

Time. Thought I’d Make Friends With Time.

Time. Thought I’d Make Friends With Time.

{By Stephanie of AdventuresinBabywearing}

Noah made microwave popcorn and in a span of about two seconds, max,
it smelled like moth balls and staleness and West Virginia, my Great Grandma Riddle’s mobile home,
cluttered with ceramic owls and rust-colored sofas and a murky fish tank.

Tonight we lay in the grass and I took pictures in the dark and the boys ran around like crazy people.
Gray carried his little bug cage with a lightning bug in it, his hands smelling like a lightning bug (they have a smell).

Smells like my childhood summers.

Once, when I was a little girl I left my crayons in a pencil box in the sun on the picnic table.
I burned my fingers in the colors… they melted and ran together. Made new colors. They were beautiful and naughty.

This is the kind of post you write to a soundtrack.

This is the kind of post I try to lasso time. This fleeting time. Time that slipped through a crack in the door long ago.

Gray wants to bring his bug cage into the house and I say why not.
I had pickle jars with jagged holes poked with a steak knife in the lids,
grass and sticks swishing and clinking against the glass, resting next to my bed.
I wished for them to light up as I drifted off to sleep.

In the morning they would be “sleeping” or had disappeared.

How to Mistletoe

{by Amy Turn Sharp of Doobleh-vay}

Put yr right hand on the nape of the neck and glide it up upwards to the back of the head.
Open yr hand wide, fingers lacing between hair or gliding on soft bald skin.
Direct eye contact always. Keep a distance between yr bodies but lean in ever so slightly.
Tilt yr head and let yr lips part. Move yr eyes up and down in tiny glances.
Let yr pupils dilate and stare swoony onwards.

Carrie if you are reading this? I’m sorry. And also, your husband sounds totally hot.

{by Brittany from Barefoot Foodie}

I’ve been places, people.

I’ve seen things.

24 hours ago…I could not describe to you the inside of the room someone would need to go into to produce a sample to test to see if their vasectomy worked or not.

Now I can.

I didn’t start out there. I started out in the car. With three kids. Eating donuts and waiting for daddy to come out.

But, he was taking forever. The natives were restless.

So we went inside.

All of us.

And, after I out-mean faced the lady at the desk (yeah lady, I do have all three kids with me, here, in the hallway of jack-off rooms, I’ve had a morning, get off my shit) she gave me his room number, and we crept down to Collection Room B.

It was quiet. I don’t know what I expected. Moans maybe? Lots of shifting around?


tap. tap. tap.

Me: Hunny, listen, are you done yet because we still have to go to the party store?


Me: Right, no rush, but the boys are getting super restless. Oh, and we went through Tim Horton’s and got donuts, we saved you some, they are in the car. I had a bagel, though. I think the cream cheese was bad, it smelled like vagina. *baby giggle, baby giggle* Oh listen hun, the baby is saying hi! Hi papa. Hi daddy. Hurry up papa, mama’s got a super busy day planned today, and she has to go to the party store to find some Jesus-y stuff for the Baptism.

Me: She is just adorable. I could eat her up. Yeah, so anyways, as soon as we are done here, I have to zoom over to order the cake and get some decorations. Do you think a crucifix pinata would be weird? I mean, I think the boys would have a good time with it, but is it tacky to beat Jesus on a Cross with an old broom stick handle? I feel super awkward about it.

Welcome Home. Again.

{by Lisa-Jo from The Gypsy Mama}

There’s a moment right after passengers have been told to “put your seatbacks in the upright position, stow your tray tables and fasten your seatbelts” and before the landing gear comes down when my heart starts to race at the anticipation of being home again.

First comes the weather: hot, dry, sunshine. Then the visuals: sky – big, warm blue, streaked with light, white cloud. Veld – golden, dry and a haze of heat. Smells of dust, fires, taxis, and the cologne of a welcoming embrace. The sound of family all yelling at once as they spot us coming through customs, “Here, look, there they are! Guys, guys, over here! Run, run to them – it’s ok, go!” Bone-crushing hugs. Salty tears. Smiles. Big, white smiles buried in a brother’s little dark, black face, behind a dad’s graying beard, beneath a mom’s cobalt, blue eyes. So many smiles. I feel them in my toes. Delicious.

Hair gel, lots of hair gel still shaping another brother’s do. He runs his fingers through it as we stand and look at each other, grin, shuffle feet and renew.

Relationships have to be nurtured to survive. They require close contact to thrive. Long-distance is the antithesis to family ties. Each homecoming is a rebirth of an old relationship. It takes effort. It’s a commitment. It’s rewarded by two boys who feel themselves at home in a country they visit only once or so a year.

Screaming hugs and highways that arch and lurch exactly as I remember them. Dad’s driving that my brother still tries to correct. Hawkers who launch themselves at our car whenever the light turns red. A steep, steep driveway over a carpet of jacaranda petals that leads up to the house. And more hugs. And tea and koeksisters, melktert and rusks. Home is where people feed you what you’ve missed before you ask for it. Home is a small cottage that sits side-by-side next to my parents’ house. Home is an old dog and two raggedy cats long since passed on. But their memories, their memories launch themselves at me as we walk through the door. An old ox yoke hangs on the wall. Steps lead up and words unfold themselves above each stair, words I can repeat in my sleep from a thousand times climbing those stairs, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Family pictures line the walls. My name, my husband’s, proudly on the family tree, our sons – wait, one still must be added. Our family tree has grown since I was last home. Flowers, pots of flowers in the kitchen soaking in the sink. And in the lounge a kudu head inappropriately perfect for the room looks down on the scene of suitcases scattered about, clothes unfolding, gifts unpacked and exchanged. Shrieks of delight, of laughter, of joy, of the first fights between the littlest kids reunited. A red guitar for one a green guitar for another. Rockstars are born. Parents have misgivings about the gifts.

More food, supper. Pap ‘n wors, sauces, mushrooms, mealies, cauliflower, samp, salads – oh the salads – a riot of color and texture and taste. Prickly pears for dessert. My dad demonstrates how to cut them open and peel out the sweet and juicy fruit. A whole box of litchis for one friend. A carton of nectarines for me because my dad knows I don’t like peaches. Five Roses tea for some, Rooibos for others. Amarula for everyone.

The familiar, nightly chorus of frogs begins. You can easily forget how loud they are. They almost overpower the jasmine. Almost. Because nothing can outdo the rich, heavy jasmine in full bloom on a summer night in Pretoria. Nothing.

And on a first night back home all that is left to do is stare at the stars. Because as if all the rest isn’t enough, the stars for definite will reassure you that you’re back in the Southern Hemisphere.

I hope I’m wrong

{by Jennie from She Likes Purple}

I can’t remember if my relationship with my dad has ever been really easy, has ever been really good. I think so, I hope so, but still I can’t remember. I remember plenty of good times, sure — the way he used to swerve the car to the beat of the music on the radio, how he’s always up for a donut, when he drove so far out of his way last summer to see me another time before my plane left California. He appreciates good music and art and movies. He is whip smart and funny, too. When he’s on, he’s one of the most enjoyable people to be around. He’s not always on.

He can tell you who won the World Series 10 years ago and by how many games and who the winning pitcher was, but he’s forgotten my birthday more than once. I laugh because that’s funny, right? I laugh because what else am I going to do? “Remember when you forgot my birt….” I try to joke. “Don’t go there,” he warns. He means it.

I remember being so proud to be his daughter when I was much, much younger, but that feeling faded into something else entirely when I caught on to all the cheating and then it was smashed to smithereens once he walked out for good.

It’s the biggest conflict of my entire life, how to reconcile the very, very good with the very, very bad. There have been plenty of both.

I don’t blame him anymore for what he did all those years ago. What good would that do? But I have held out hope he would change, that he would stop doing it over and over again, year after year. I hoped he would get it, would see that his temper and jealousy has polluted every good relationship he has ever had. His temper has knocked so much over, left it broken on the floor. There was always so much wreckage left in the wake of his fury, wreckage I spent years sifting through. I’m done sifting now, and I’ve forgiven him, but, my god, I can’t fight anymore. I’m too tired.

I’m struggling, fumbling, tripping over myself to figure out how to have a relationship with a parent as a parent. “We’re both adults,” he said to me recently. Yes, we are, I thought. But I’m still your daughter.

I write here knowing anyone could read, imagining everyone I know is, just to be sure I don’t say anything to end friendships or make dinner parties especially awkward. He could find this space with one quick Google search. He could already be reading it. I’m fine if he is, if he has. I’ve said all this to him and then some. This is my therapy, this is how I heal, how I figure shit out, how I rise up out of the wreckage of all the broken dreams left shattered below. It’s not what you’d do, I’m sure, but write through it is all I can do. Those who love me will allow me that.

There’s been another fight, another long string of heartfelt, wounded emails, sleepless nights of thinking about what’s best, what I need, what I want. I wonder if it’ll ever end. I hope less these days.

One thing I used to say to Kyle when I was pregnant, when I’d be lounging, beached-whale-like, on the couch, was You don’t have to give back, you never have to give back. I’m not having you for me. I’m having you for the world. I’m not made of steel, but I mean it. I don’t have to be his first choice or his last call. He can prefer people over me and live a life apart from me. People have already gasped at how easily I hand my kid to anyone who wants him, how little it bothers me when someone else sees him roll over for the first time. God, I could never do that. I could never leave my kid! I don’t know how you do it! I’m not heartless. I just love him enough not to pin my happiness on him. That’s a heavy burden for him to carry, don’t I know.

I’ve often felt my dad has done things for me in order to have something to sling at me when we’re arguing. He wants to give, give, give, so he can remind, remind, remind. So I overcompensate. I tell Kyle as I rock him to sleep, Loving you is enough for me. You owe me nothing.

I try so hard to be different that I forget how much there is to love. My dad will hand money to any stranger in need, he’ll take me to In N Out Burger whenever I visit, he raised me to accept all people for exactly who they are, regardless of their race or who they choose to have sex with. He’s a good man with a good heart, and, yet, I can’t remember if we’ve ever really had a good relationship.

I’m afraid we never will.

Killing Fairies

Family Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on Halushki.}
first appeared on Blog Nosh Magazine on August 6, 2008

One of the most important responsibilities – nay, obligations – of any parent is, I think, to encourage our children’s daily awareness of all that is magical and mysterious in our great, big fantastical world.

And, yes, I am a hippie.

To point our children toward a sly glimpse of the crystalline fairies in a drop of dew….

To wonder in awe at Titan voices booming across the evening sky during a summer thunderstorm….

To marvel at orchestras captured on silver discs, musicians trapped like microscopic genies to be released in song only at the listener’s wish and command….

Ah bliss! Ah joy!

To support and stimulate their creative selves and thusly nourish their hearts and souls with the food of poets and saints!

(And I’m not talking cigarettes and day-old baguettes.)

But, as a bittersweet fact of life, every day my children grow a bit older and, so too, a bit too wise for the world’s magic.

Mostly, I blame science.

(That honeymoon was over quickly.)

One golden-hued afternoon, my girls are sitting on their bed happily naming the angels they insist they can see dancing on the head of a pin. The following week, they’re discussing the atomic force microscope and how the sharp point of the carbon nanotube would determine once and for all whether and how many angels were actually boogying down, even though the super sharp point would probably poke the bejeezus out of most of the angels such that from thence forward, angels would stay the hell off pinheads altogether and begin dancing on clouds, where they belong. Although, then they’d remind me that in their lesson on the weather, they learned that clouds were made mostly of condensed water droplets and could probably support the weight of a few very small celestial beings, but not an entire host of seraphim because, c’mon, six wings each? The whole shebang is becoming suspect.

Learning to Accept My Autistic Son

Overcoming Adversity Blog Nosh MagazineOriginally published on Mother of Confusion
first appeared on Blog Nosh Magazine on July 24, 2008

My son was born after midnight during the cooler days of May, before the Central Valley could blaze triple-digit temperatures.

The delivery room was packed full of people. The doctor, several nurses, my husband, my parents and my mother-in-law were in attendance. As my son emerged into the world, I expected him to gasp and then cry about the abrupt ejection.

He did not.

Instead he was quiet and blue. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his slender neck several times. Of course I didn’t know that yet, but the jubilant faces of the others gave way to peaked, pinched expressions.

When I asked what was wrong. The response was, “Nothing. Everything’s okay. It’s okay.”

The reassurances scared me. I was only 20-years-old, but already I knew people lied when things were really, really wrong.

Did I not push hard enough or fast enough? The doctor had yelled at me to stay focused, but I kept passing out. He had to assist the delivery with a vacuum device.

Before I could convince myself my baby wasn’t coming home, he cried.

Once assured my son would keep breathing, the doctor plopped him on my belly. When his skin touched mine, I panicked. My stomach felt as slippery as satin sheets on a waterbed. The baby was going to shoot right off and smack the floor. I grabbed on to him and asked for a blanket — something, anything — to give some traction.

Maternal fear knifed sharp and deep. The days of planning the nursery, rubbing my swollen belly and wishing my son would be born sooner, rather than later, felt whimsical. What the hell was I thinking?

I searched for my mom. She sat on the left side of me and appeared happy, but exhausted.

“Mom.” I felt shaky. “I can’t do this. I can’t.” I wanted her to hug me and to tell me it was going to be okay. I wanted to be reassured.

It took her a moment to process my proclamation. When she figured out what I’d meant, she chuckled. “Well, too late now kid. You already are.”

The Very Strange Day of Miranda P. Stick

Birth and Adoption Blog Nosh MagazineOriginally published on Anne Nahm
first appeared on Blog Nosh Magazine on July 18, 2008

Dear Diary,

I could tell the moment I woke up: Today was going to be a day like no other. The sun was shining and birds were chirping. I knew because guess what? My wrapping was open! I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

pregnancy test puppet annenahm

Free of my plastic restraints, I decided to call my BFF, Carmen. We went to the pool. It was pretty awesome. You can tell I totally need a tan. Give me a break – I’ve been sitting in a bathroom drawer for six months.

at the pool pregnancy test

Around noon, Carmen said we should order some drinks. So we did.