Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Saturday

! Today is so beautiful here in San Diego, breezy and sunny and perfectly open grinning sky. Lola went with Grandma Mary to a birthday party of a friend, Ian went to his Mom's and Dakota, Mr. Curry and I went to Japanese for lunch. I had delicious veggies, brown rice and chicken. Then I walked with my arm swinging toward the Starbucks and caught the eye of a good looking young black guy working outside. He had seen me swing my arm and smile, and was smiling at me with all his teeth sparkling. Awesome.

Mr. Curry and I are going to dinner to see my cousin Amalia and her new baby, Elton. I am so excited! My cousin and I are like sisters. We lived together off and on growing up. She is one of those rare birds with an easy soul, she remained loving and hopeful and beautiful despite many hardships growing up.


This morning I woke late, after sleeping in ZZZZzzzzz After a bit, I wandered into the kitchen and found Lola Moon of the Moon Clan sitting buck naked at the dining table, gluing together a horse she made out of shapes she cut out and colored.


The harder I focus on what is in front of me, the more in focus it becomes. I have learned that one of the legacies of a  painful childhood has been that my mind stutters and misfires and replays old images and feelings over new experiences. Time becomes slippery when your mind is tethered to the junk in the attic. As much therapy (four great years with an Angel) and medication and prayer (although I not a 'believer', I am a 'flounderer') and love as I have used to heal, my mind is still capable of reverting in an instant to that panicked, lonely child. What I struggle to do each and every day is turn from that child, to my own. To accept who I am and what I have been through. The shame alone can be obstructive...I am not the woman I think I 'should' be. I am the woman I am. I am always trying, always failing and succeeding in the same long breath. I love well, and deeply. This must count for so much. I have provided all the resources for emotional and mental health I can think of for myself and my family.

Sometimes my son asks me why I have to be weird. Why, Mom, do you have to sing opera and dance with Dad? Why do you have to be a writer- no one else I know has parents who write. Why Mom, do you have to care so much about organic and whole foods eating? Why do you have to make us sit outside and stare at the stars, or take night walks, or snort when you laugh?

He is 14, you know. It's a hard age to have a liberal writer for a mother, especially one who was 19 when she was pregnant with you and is now 33, when all your friends parents are more...shall we say...settled? Suburbia wears it's inhabitants out this way at times. Conformity can be survival in the social structure of middle schoolers.

But other times..other times he looks at me a certain way, or listens with a certain tilt to his blonde head, and I know he is grateful for the love and support and wackiness of our family.

One of my favorite childrens books is 'We're Going On a Bear Hunt' because it is a great metaphor for life, something like:

' oh no! we can't go over it,
we can't go under it
i guess we'll have to go through it'

Avoidance is not an option. My spirit trembles in it's boots before the immensity of life's mysteries and suffering, but it stills in the hands of love.
melissa c said...

This was beautiful. I really loved the pics and the comments with each one.

I am surprised how much we have in common. I have a son who is almost 13. I make him read my chapters as I finish them. The book I am writing is a fantasy for young teens so I like to get his opinion.

Of course, he tells me it's fabulous but rolls his eyes every time I call him in to read!

I believe the answers are out there. We can know them all if we know where to look.

Life can be difficult, but it is through adversity that we grow most.

Good luck with your dinner and weekend!

Happyflower said...

It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with your kids. They might not appreciate how much right now, but believe me when they are older they will be glad not to have the cookie cutter mom like everyone else. Especially if he has some of your creative talents, he will thank you for that.
Plus for you daughter to be able to entertain herself while you sleep in shows how wonderful you are as a parent. Sometimes I think my creative juices of my 12 and 13 yr. old will get them in trouble in the future, I am glad they have it.
I am glad to hear another parent stopped the cycle of abuse, even that shows how smart and how much you love them. They don't even know, and don't need to know what they have, that you didn't, but they will reap the benefits of a healthy childhood, and you will share in that with them. Being a part of this will help heal your heart, but I am sure you know this already.
Sorry, it is very early for me to be writing anything, but I just wanted to comment. It is such a relief to see a parent doing something good for their child. Thank you.

Annie King said...

My son is also fourteen. I am also a survivor. This is a beautiful and brave post. You are farther along at age 33 than I was. I had just begun to deal with my childhood "issues" at about the age of thirty. I've given my son a few of my stories to read, and I value his opinions. Other times, he's like, mom, I don't care, I really don't want to read your writing. Since I write for adults, with adult issues, there's a limit to what I give him to read, but he's enjoyed the fantasy pieces and he made me feel good about a literary short story I wrote. As he gets older, there will be more I can share with him. I think it's important to be unique with our children, to let them know what we value in life, through the choices we make. (I'm also a vegetarian, but unfortunately, we all eat junk food.) One thing I know: enjoy our children, enjoy life. I think writing is a valuable way to process our world, and share our hope for the future.

Carolina Maine said...

I've enjoyed all your posts. I'm painfully sad about the bird, the writer's death is a tragedy, and this last post is nice. My oldest daughter is always whining about me being weird too. Don't feel bad:)

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