Wednesday, June 30, 2010

let's help this woman and her newborn baby

Remember my post on the very recent death of young Henry Granju, Kate Granju's son- our fellow blogger and writer... Henry died at age 18. Kate has three other children and this week has had her baby girl, Henry's sister.
What I'd like to do is gather $100 to give to her for the new baby. Sometime back, not too long, she had posted a list of To Do's to get ready for the baby girl's arrival, and the list included things she needs to buy. I know from comments on her blog they don't have much money. I have a Paypal account, and if everyone can donate whatever amount they can here, I'm sure we can gather $100. My email is beezus 74 @ ( without the spaces, obviously ) I thought I'd accept money until next weekend, and then send it to Kate however she sees best, through Paypal or a check or money order. I haven't asked her- I don't know her. If we get together more than $100 in that time, great.

Thank you. xo

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer

This comes out days from Ever's due date. YIKES We go religiously, the whole family, to the opening weekend, since Lola was tiny. I hope Ever stays in long enough because Harry Potter movies rock my world.

Monday, June 28, 2010

fuck that because it's a true thing i hate

The lack-ness ( when lack just isn't enough to express ... _) of the entirety of my little blue pills is causing me to cry daily. My oldest son doesn't like this, understandably, and, because he is sixteen and a boy in our culture, cannot find a way to express how distressed and uncomfortable this makes him, so instead he gets pissy, irritable, rude. Being a teenager who neither drinks nor smokes dope just sucks. High school is a place where 90% of the population drinks every once in a while. We drug test, alcohol test, so he's in a no fuck up zone. He's dealing with other things to, other difficult and painful emotions. Tonight he blew up at me and left the house against my explicit advice to do no such thing. And ended up spending the night with his biological dad. It is the mother in me that instead of feeling angry or hurt at his bad behavior, I'm wracked with guilt and worry over him. I know he's struggling and I hate that I can't be 100% for him right now. It makes me feel horrible.
And I'm getting worse every day, face it folks. I cry more and harder. Please don't give me advice: My mother does that daily. I am exercising. I AM taking fish oil. I am doing every goddamn thing I can but nothing can change the fact that I have severe anxiety disorder and won't put a hole in my Ever's heart so that I can get through this pregnancy with a smile on my face. At this point I'd be happy not to depress my entire family by the time it's done. And my marriage has been awesome, my husband so incredibly sweet the last five months, working 6 days a week and 10 to 12 hour days because it's his busy season, and then coming home and cooking dinner and kissing my cheeks and telling me how beautiful I am and putting the kiddos to bed and trying to get in my pants. Nothing cheers up a girl like her husband trying to get in her bloomers, especially when they are size Large and she's not feeling so hot these days. But he's having a hard week and the last two days been distant, not a crime but a reality in long marriage, the need for space, but something I can barely handle when I'm so .... fragile barf Fuck that because it's a true thing I hate. And also it's possible he might be struggling with bipolar. Too soon to tell. It scares the living daylights out of me because for both of us to be bonkers at the same time.... I am making a therapy appointment for Mr Curry and I, hopefully for next week, and Dakota and I will be seeing his therapist next week too. Modern family, modern weapons, oldest problems in the hills.

The problem seems to be cellular. I was juiced young. Electrified, see. And so when the fever rises and the crazies begin, all my cells juice and release the electricity of past wounds horrors and fears. And the anxiety is like this great big pulley, this horrible machine with ropes and chains and great giant wheels that spin and drag the entire thing- me, see- down the hills of crazy and lonely and scared right until I'm about five years old and standing at my Daddy's brown loafers, sick with misery.


I'd have a stiff drink, but.

Yes, all those buts.

So- onward Christian soldier. **I've always wondered where that expression came from.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Da Birthday Boy Self

Robert (brother of my bestie since 5 years old, so I was there when he was born), Nick (Dakota's friend), Evan (his bestie), Dakota holding cousin Reef, cousin Andrew and Ian holding cousin Jacob



Mr. Curry, cousin Andrew, D, I, Uncle Carl and Grandpa Curry

They made Dakota spin art :)

Playing washoos. What? At least we got the dog poo picked up.

18 weeks

Jacob the redheaded cutie. Maybe our Ever will have red hair?

We love you Uncle!

The Poker Players- Gma Curry, Andrew, Ian, Gpa Curry, Mr. Curry and his sister Kristi

Bodie contemplates his next hand

Roughhousing at the end of the day

Sweet Love

Friday, June 25, 2010

through the God ring

do not cross blood.
the crushed and blistered kind,
the leaves of bitter.

i will not be soft or feathered
i am the purpling beak which gouges
your open palms- i am not free.

dark things fly with dark things
the cloud of sky that is flock
this the home of my heart-

that which does not deny this wild ugliness
dress it in ribbons and lipstick
pink panties over the stink puss.

longer look with sentimental eye
longer my fangs, claw, the ripping
of scar and lancing boils:

who are you on this battlefield?
the doctor palm to finger
inside the rib of man

or the far off call of transmission:
a simple reporter, a secondary recounting.
i flew in the flame of the torch

tasted the tip of the arrow
into the ever open eye:
flew through the God ring

to shudder in cast and cloth
underneath that merciless gaze.
do not call me

dark make small of what you fear.
the world is alight in my eyes.

People In Your Neighborhood: Photographer George Downing

Visit George's work here
First found here

Thursday, June 24, 2010

family pictures

Lola was a flower in her end of year school play. A very, very energetic flower.

Ian Dakota and Lola at TGI Fridays on Dakota's 16th birthday. His party/BBQ is this Saturday
I feel guilty because the primary thing on my mind is not the family and friends and my son's ascent into manhood, but the work and chores and shopping and organization Mr. Curry and I have to do in preparation. He is working 12 hour day ( ! ) and I am working full time to come home exhausted and lately, feeling ill.

Mr. Curry is working his way through the Harry Potter series with Lola. Aren't his Irish boxers cute? His wife bought him those. He is from a large ( his Dad is one of 12 ) Irish Catholic family.
Our family is non religious but absolutely devoted to Harry Potter, down to each and every child.

Lola took this picture of me. My bra strap is so lovely, don't you think?

Ian's 8th grade graduation- with honors and awards for this brightest boy. He works so incredibly hard and we are so incredibly proud.

Ever, in utero, 16 weeks. I'm 17 now :)

Wolfgang is very scared of balloons. He has been keeping a close eye on this suspicious floater, protecting the family in case it tries to bob near us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dakota Wolf, 16

Everything Good About Dakota I Can Think Of Right Now

This beautiful boy was born 16 years ago, and so was I. Born into the world together. It is an amazing truth of human life that the simple existence of a life can heal another. In this photo he stands with my Uncle Robert, last month on the Eastern waters. He is incredibly emotionally intelligent, and adults have always, and still do, express their surprise and enjoyment in the depth and scope of conversing with him. I've had many people tell me he has a self-possession and confidence unusual for a teenager- and he always has been that way; I've always heard those words, since he was two. I can't help but assume that some of this is the constant ever steady presence- given in words and action- of unconditional love. Dakota's father said to me once after a disagreement over our son, One thing I know...Dakota knows he is loved in a way I never had. He has always known that with you. I think this is my greatest gift to my children. It matters to me who they are- I want them to be smart, kind, strong, etc- but my love does not rest on those qualities, or any qualities. For better or for worse, even if they were to somehow someway end up terrible, selfish and cruel people, I would love them, and find a way to their hearts. I have a determination to lift my children's hearts that comes through in every choice I make and the words I use. I feel this from the day they are nursing at my breast and looking into my eyes, sleeping next to me, keeping time with my heartbeat. I do everything I can- no spanking, little screaming, baby carrying, nursing, co-sleeping, kisses, hugs, weekly family nights ( Friday ) constant talking, listening, to feed that connection: nurtured throughout childhood, it is the most powerful tool in the years of raising a teen.

Dakota has a physical and spiritual grace that reminds me daily of the simple words young man.
He is, to my mother eyes, the epitome of a young man: strong, generous, stubborn minded, a bit impulsive, intelligent, curious, funny, quick to grin, quick to anger, forgiving, adventurous, and beautiful. It is the great trick of love that I am sure even if he were completely different than this, I would find those qualities the epitome of a young man. It is because he is my child and my son that I can see the greatness in him, and I have always viewed it as my spiritual obligation to always let him know that I do see and believe in the best in him, even when no one else- himself least- can see it.

Dakota once saved Lola. Mr. Curry, baby Lola and Dakota were out front of this very house, when Dakota pushed the button to close the garage door. At that moment, Lola ran past the truck and into the garage. As the door came down on her crawling self, Dakota threw himself on top of Lola, taking the brunt of the door, and Mr. Curry was there to lift the door and let them both out. He was nine.

Dakota thinks deeply and carefully about all of his opinions and interactions with the world. He has never been a bully. He has been in a handful of fist fights, always provoked. He came home after being jumped by three boys in middle school with bruises on his face. The school suspended him for punching the main guy in the face instead of running away, and Mr. Curry and I called and complained to them about their stupid ass policy and took Dakota to dinner.

Dakota told me my favorite joke. How do you make a tissue dance? You put a little boogie in it!

Dakota cut Lola's umbilical cord. He wrote to Mr. Curry this Father's Day Thank you for guiding me through my teenage years. He is the best big brother to Ian Oliver that you could imagine or hope for- fiercely protective of his younger brother, he will not allow even himself to joke meanly at Ian's expense ( the way brothers often can and do ), and despite their huge differences ( Ian is a straight A student who loves school while Dakota middles by and is bored, Ian is Republican, Dakota is straight Democrat, Ian likes gun shooting and Dakota likes skateboarding, Dakota is cutting edge and Ian could care less, Dakota is a big talker and Ian is quiet, etc ) Dakota has always found ways to connect them and although they are not blood brothers ( Ian is from Mr. Curry's first marriage ) Dakota considers this irrelevant- they are brothers, in the truest meaning. They love each other deeply and spend every moment Ian is here- two days and nights a week- together.

I feel a sense of reverence and awe about the birthdays of my children. They mark a day- something that rarely ever happens- when you can pinpoint: This day is when my life changed forever.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I'm down to half the zoloft, those little blue fuckers that saved my mind once, twice, three times.* And: I'm half capable of handling stress, small slights, the UnFriending of myself by my oldest son on Facebook, the slight shift in my husband's thrust which assures me I am un-sexy, possibly disgusting, a ridiculous insecure vain stumbling fumbling creature doing the almost subconscious act of growing an entirely other human being directly above the triangular gate that brought her there. The unfriendly face of a co-worker makes me want to bite my knuckles or throw baby powder at her. The whine of my eight year old daughter competes with the hedge trimmers next door. I am sure that I will never want to have sex again for this entire pregnancy, and am shocked by the resilience of desire when I submit myself** and am stolen away into a hypnotic lustful trance, one I cannot exactly replicate when taking those little blue fuckers.

I read Susan Cheever's Desire the other night, and was stuck with the giggles when she quotes a man in discussion about male gynocologists- he tells her many of them over drinks are happy to say how much pleasure they get from fondling their patients during exams, and any vaginal exam over fifteen seconds is 'just playing'. I had a male gyno and was sure, once or twice, he was having way too much fun with my young body, then ended up not sure if it said more about him that he enjoyed it or more about me that I didn't care enough to switch doctors. I thought this particular doctor was very amusing; he drove a red Porsche, had balding cul-de-sacs and business in the front party in the rear, wore his white doctor shirts slightly unbuttoned and had a feral pointy face with the flared nostrils of a man perpetually aroused. He was married and had three daughters. All of his staff were young good looking women with big breasts.

I am angry with half the world***. The more irritable I get, the more clear it seems that most people are full of shit and less clear why I bother to make nice. ( This is ... full of shit on my part, but I'm accepting these feelings as a temporary highjacking, making nice with the terrorists, bringing them bread and wine. ) If a person is irritated and makes a passive gesture ( a sigh, a face ) I'd prefer they'd just scream motherfucking bitch and get it over with. I'd just like to know what's on their mind. I'd like to be around a woman right now who can claim most of what and who she is so that I can claim my own with witness. Part of what I love about blogging is if I shared ' I can't really connect with this baby because the shadow self won't let me believe it's really going to be OK ' then every single one of you won't respond with platitudes or exhortations on how I just shouldn't think that way. Human beings don't seem to realize that other human beings just need, for the most part, to be heard. I think of this as often as I can with my children.

* yes I tried fish oil ( still take it daily ) meditation, yoga, SAME, St. Johns, therapy and everything but an enema

** yes, sometimes i submit myself to my husband. i have strong feelings about what keeps a
marriage intimate, and believe that a man and woman- if married on the basis of loving regular sex- should have sex with each other even when they don't feel like it. you know, take one for the team. i did this for three months after Lola was born and accidentally kicked my sex drive into such high gear Mr. Curry took to carrying a slightly worn, smug look around town.

***this, i realize, has no bearing on anything else i've discussed beforehand. it's a pregression- a digression during pregnancy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Her Name

❧ Ever Elizabeth ❧

Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.
W.H. Auden

Thursday, June 17, 2010

four miracles

gone to mrs. basil's files

maggie may ethridge

love anything

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Good To Be Queen {Guess What..}

...even better if you have a SISTER!!!!

We're having a GIRL!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

After All, Your're My Wonderwall: Marriage and Bipolar Disorder {Part2}

With my husband's permission I am going to write out the story of his breakdown and diagnosis of Bipolar 2 in the first year of our marriage and it's effects on our life since. This story will be told in segments. The stigma of Bipolar is enormous and has not begun to decrease in power as it has with other mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. This story intends only two things: to be entirely honest in it's telling, and for that honesty to help break down some of the
scleloderma stigmata of it's truth. In writing this I am assuming a level of respect toward my husband and his story in the comments, as well as an understanding that this is a man I love deeply and have committed myself to.


The next day was this: silence and slow moving pictures, a movie made for him about him starring him without him. He worked and when he came home his wife was weeping on the phone in the kitchen and the baby was crawling on the tiles and the boys were in their room yelling. He felt a hard place in his chest become harder and expand. It felt good, like a back brace feels on a pulled muscle, supportive and strong.

He was not aware and this felt like a good hard drunk. The silence began to push inside his brain and hurt. The drinking began and he was a quiet drunk. He saw his wife look at him and her face was twisted and strange and he looked away quickly and was able to live in the silence in his pictures. His family was for someone else. He was for drinking and at 8pm he passed out. The next day he drank and passed out and the next day.

One night after the baby was in bed his wife sat on the couch next to him and touched his face looking at him. His mind was a hundred still pictures moving and making and her hand and her gaze were distracting. She made him feel an ominous pull, something tugging something tugging something that at the end was black and diseased and half dead. He drank and offered her the drink but she would not. Then she was talking and crying and sitting on his lap. She pressed his hand against her breast and he felt her heartbeat quick like a rabbit and her hot mouth on his mouth and they were making love. She stopped him and held his face and made his eyes with hers, and whatever she saw there stopped her from looking. She held both his hands to her rib cage and his hands could give her something his face could not. Afterward he passed out and in the morning he heard her crying in the kitchen.

Time passed with this hard brace inside of him and his mind clicking and filming pictures and work and drinking and his wife kept climbing into bed with him crying and pulling his hands to her body. He felt the memory of feeling sorry for her.

In the hallway she stopped him one evening and her hair was wild, her eyes swollen and the blue hard and shiny. She demanded he tell her what was going on. Didn't he love her anymore? He thought it was best to help her, be honest, so he said, no. The boys were in the bathtub and the baby at his feet. His wife drew her hand back and slapped him so hard across the face that he was looking at the smudged hallway wall when she finished. The noise from the tub stopped and the baby cried. His wife was sobbing so hard she heaved as if to vomit. He left the hallway and closed a door behind him to drink and pass out.

Weeks passed and his wife was making whatever plans she was making, he couldn't be sure he knew. If she had told him it left with consciousness at 8pm every night. He drank and she cried. Her mother came over almost every day and helped with the children and sometimes made his wife leave the house. This was when he felt something. He was sitting with the bottle in his hand, planning to drink, and he remembered his wife saying Something is wrong, this isn't you, I think you need help. And he remembered his wife's face for the two years after the divorce from his ex-wife, when his wife now was his best friend. He remembered her face watching his for the hours no one else would watch. He felt a sour place that churned and bled, his heart picked up the foul blood and pumped it until it reached his brain and he thought I do love my wife. And with this the movie stills all exploded into sound and he could hear all the voices in each room of his brain talking and yelling and ordering him around and he began crying and he felt afraid.

His wife came home and he asked her for love and she gave it. He felt the baby's hands on his ankles and picked her up and found his arms were shaking. He saw the baby's calm smooth face and large blue eyes and he was able to understand that if he did not love this family then he was lost to himself.

Decor: Children's Rooms

Saturday, June 12, 2010

probably the worst poem i've ever written*

removed due to excess ego

* except for the one in high school where i was high and listening to Madonna's Erotica

the most strong minded commenting in a long line of possibilities

I read Motherhood In NYC and her recent post and commenters* HERE brought two comments out from me that are the most strong minded and slightly pissy comments I've ever felt the need to post.

What do you think of it all?


* Boy. I sure said comments a lot in this short sentence.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


in the eruption and sick quickening
with only sweat and fluid between
we made fingernails, eyelashes.

a small collection of bones.
the easy flesh and un-kept
DNA, parcel by parcel delivered.

the rain came a tendril
or two against my cheek
the air smelled like birth gut.

this baby rolled and punched,
thunder rolled in announcement.
in the wild,

things do happen like this.
too amazing to be believed
for we have forsaken our own

bodies and land-
seeking thrills
we own by birthright.

here, put your mouth on this
swollen river, your hand against the world.
someone is speaking to us

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

scenes from a marriage: photo essay

please note that anyone who finds these offensive can feel free to leave a comment, provided the comment is not full of shit, or shit flinging. any losses i may accumulate to my followers will be accepting gracefully because i have always and still intend to keep this blog as a place of shelter for myself, not a creation of media for others. thank you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

girl culture

image sally mann blowing bubbles

Today is the day of bursting jaw. I stay home with my tooth that I have nursed since 3:30 am when Lola Moon woke and whispered Mommy I had a bad dream......can I watch TV? I lay with one arm round Lola's cream hair and one hand pressed onto the pebble in my jaw, soft and painful, like mumps. It humped blood and disease through the lymph nodes, swelling them like tiny water balloons. I called work at 6am, the dentist at 7.

Late last night I watered the lawn by myself in the dark. The neighbor girl next door sat smoking a cigarette silently, staring at the concrete. Today I left the house and saw the neighbor's boyfriend's silver sports car had LIAR spray painted in large letters across it's side. Later still a police car circled and then stopped across the street, perched there for an hour. What did he do? Promise marriage. Change his mind about having children...and a girlfriend. Cheat? Is she the same girl I called the police on in the morning hours months ago after a night of listening to her scream, sob, catch her breath and begin screaming again. The police came, lights flashed, it was quiet.

If someone does things to you so horrible and painful that you act crazily, are you crazy, or are they?

Do you believe if you are adult and mature and smart and honest enough you can avoid loving someone who will make you feel insane? I don't.

I get very angry when I think about an ex-roomate of mine. She threatened to call the cops on me because I showered with my daughter and kissed her on the lips. I also nursed her until two years old. What made me mad wasn't the threat. It was living somewhere where I know that is a real threat; I could get in trouble for doing things like Sally Mann. I can take naked pictures of my children but if CPS ever showed up at my door and found them that would be HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS. In our culture you are not nude around your children and they are not nude around you past the age of two, or maybe three, or maybe four, depending who you talk to. Girls are encouraged to be half naked, wear makeup and pump and ooze rampant femininity from age twelve

and discouraged from showering naked with their mommies. Girls have tee shirts made for their pre-pubescent nipple buds that say FLIRT but are not supposed to see their Fathers naked body past toddler-hood. Girls are given lip gloss called Cherry and Victoria Secret clothes called PINK which they wear across their asses but are not to sleep in bed with their parents past two. Girls are supposed to learn about sex from 'talks' with their parents at the 'right age' and educational videos, instead of a natural integration of discussion and healthy physical affection shown between their parents, when having neither, they learn solely from music videos, magazines, school and experience. Girls are told their vaginas are 'hoo-haas' and ' girly parts' and don't know how many holes they have until teen years because the female young body in America is not meant for understanding and respect and care, but for exposure, lust and men.

Girls in our culture are raped, beaten and murdered more than ever. The sexual lives of girls often begins not at home in safe loving discussions and private exploration with good role models but with ass pinching breast squeezing and aggressive name calling middle and high school.

My roomate could have called the cops on her own dad who beat the shit out of her. Or her ex husband who didn't touch her for years during their marriage. But instead she'd like to lock me up for being disgusting. She is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with our culture and our girls. Every choice I make is informed by this. The magazines I buy, the shows I watch, the clothes I buy my daughter, the rules I make for her, the example I set with Mr. Curry, the example Mr. Curry sets with me, the unspoken lessons about female worth and pride in our family's behaviors and interactions.

Sally Mann's family pictures were and are controversial. Her naked children play and think in their Southern home and land. Then there are the pre-teen and young teen girls in Abercrombie and Fitch catalogs and Victoria Secret ads, sexual looks on their faces, stomachs revealed to the public line, tops of breasts curving outward in invitation, their bodies thrust into positions of sexuality- ads based entirely around the sex appeal of young girls.

Which bothers you?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

You Can't Handle The Truth

I had a son of a bitch tooth that I never finished root canaling and it decided to eat me. All week long it ate my gum and I chewed on the right side of my mouth, until today when a kind dentist with quite impressive polar ice caps on his front rack dug, hacked, hammered and drilled that tooth into small hunks that he yanked out over the period of one long hour. My mouth feels like someone just dug, hacked, hammered and drilled into it, finally pulling out a large chunk of what first formed in my mouth in utero. Jesus God.

Mr. Curry worked 7 days this week. He moves furniture, which I think is hot. There is nothing as sexy to me as Mr. Curry with slightly dirty arms and hands in his shorts and tee shirt lifting an incredibly large and unwieldy piece of furniture in his arms, all business, quick and strong. Well there is when Mr. Curry holds our children in his arms. Good thing he did too, because we needed every penny, with my $300 dollar surgical extraction.

Dakota has been on the East Coast all week with family, due to return tomorrow night. He will be 16 on June 22cd, my firstborn. We are saving to have him tested in August for the paltry sum of $1400 to $2500, depending. Maybe depending on if I offer myself to this neuropsychologist. You like pregnant sir? I'm disgusting.
The testing is for various processing disorders and ADD etc. If we find something this will force the school system to make some small accomidations and changes for Dakota that could be the difference between failure and success for him.

Lola was just a flower in her school play. She did wonderfully, all exuberance and smiles and hyperactive running around afterward. All three of her parents were there, plus a girlfriend of mine who brought Lola yellow flowers, knowing Lola does not like pink.

Ian was in big trouble because he was getting a GEOMETRY. IN EIGHTH GRADE. This kid is so incredibly smart and focused, it teaches me. I love him to pieces. He's got this quiet goodness and capability about him that is beautiful to see moving toward manhood.

I had a conversation with the mother of a friend of Lola's which I thought was going well, as in, maybe we could actually get along and I wouldn't feel like a freak the way I do with 99% of the school moms, until she said ' know, the moms that stay at home and volunteer at school all the time are working and they are doing something very selfless so you know, it still counts, and they are there all the time, and ... ' As soon as she said selfless I felt sad. I know it's such a snap judgement but women who view these realities in that light often don't like me. They don't get me and they think my attitudes are strange and unfriendly toward good parenting. She continued ' ...then you know there are those moms who stay at home and are never at school. I mean, whatever, that's there choice, but .... ' and the implication was clear. If you aren't working, your ass better be volunteering for Cupcakes and Snack Plates and stapling every week, because what else of possible equal worth could you be doing? The bitch in me wanted to tell her I was too busy writing my novel and having kinky sex with my husband while I'm 15 weeks pregnant, in addition to exposing my children to homosexual rights and the options of contraceptives and the liberal beauty in breastfeeding a two year old. I didn't.

My head hurts my tooth hurts and that's all the writing I can squeeze out.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Loss of Young Henry Granju

Henry Granju

I have visited Kate's blog Mamapundit only a handful of times. And yesterday, I learned that she has lost her oldest beloved son, Henry age 18, to drug addiction. The boy of sky and soul and intelligence above these words is that child, her child. She writes with more eloquence and heartbreak than is almost bearable here.

When there is an ending like this, where to begin? What touches us most deeply often resonates intimately. Kate's loss resonates with me because she is a writer, she is pregnant, a mother of siblings, a mother of a beautiful, sensitive teenage boy who was troubled. She is 31 weeks pregnant now with a girl baby, in the first breaths of new air that the world will forever hold for her, a world without her son. Her most recent post is entitled simply Harder Than Labor.

A few weeks ago I wrote Delicate Bulls: An Open Letter to Parents of Teenagers. Reading it again, held in the mind against the image of Henry's face- here, a child clearly deeply loved and who has experienced joy and safety in this life- my tone is more clear, sharper, more shrill: it has the distinct tone of desperation. Of a mother begging to the universal workings to help her protect her son. My Dakota is 16 at the end of this month. I know from reading Kate's blog her pleadings were loud and true and from the straight and endless love of a mother's heart.

What can we do, each and every one of us right now, what can we pledge to do to help protect our young from drug addiction?

If we know a young person- even distantly- and suspect they are in emotional pain, we can find a way to reach out privately to them, in person or letter, and make a real connection. Ask if they are all right. Find a commonality and speak to it. Share an experience, voice your concern. Be the living embodiment of a society that makes nets to catch the falling young.

Make a friendship with a young person. Invest time, energy, maybe even money. If they need tutoring and can't afford it, pay for it. If they need therapy, find a good one and tell them how much you believe a good therapist can help and give them the business card and tell them they have two paid appoinments on you. Take them to eat and listen more than you talk. Don't judge. If you are, hide it. If you don't know an answer, don't make it up, figure out how to find it with them.

Offer solutions. Therapy, meditation, karate, extreme sports, testing for ADD or processing disorders, nutritional changes, books, ideas. Offer solutions and offer gently and understandingly.

NEVER let teenagers use drugs or drink around you or give any impression that you think it's OK to do so. Be understanding that is is a part of teenage culture, that pot and drugs and drinking are all the time, but also be lovingly firm in your expectation that they are not involved in this. Reason Number One is simple: it's illegal. After this you have to be willing to talk and hear things you don't want to hear. Like What do I do when everyone is my group is smoking pot after school and I can't get closer to them without doing it? You will have to answer to these things if you have a teen that really talks to you. If you don't know the answer, read a million books on teenagers. I'll list recommendations at the end of the post.

Give teenagers respect. It can be hard to do, even impossibly frustrating when faced with a passionate know it all sarcastic rude teenager, but find a way. Make eye contact. Don't interrupt. Acknowledge their feelings even if they seem ridiculous or overblown or self absorbed. Reflect what they say back to them God that made you really pissed off. Offering respect of their emotional and mental life is the first and absolutely crucial step towards being able to help in any way. Most teenagers are incredibly confused most of the time. Having the adults around them- even ones they only speak to for a moment- be respectful and kind is important to the way they percieve themselves and their future in the adult world.

Don't lie. Sometimes it's incredibly tempting to exaggerate or even lie when trying to make a very important point to a stubborn teenager; sometimes it feels like the only way to reach them is to inflate everything the way it seems they do. But teenagers are the hounddogs of incincerity and dogma and lies. If you lie they will know or find out and they will not respect you or listen to you the same ever after. I was SO tempted to exagerrate certain facts about pot smoking to my son, but resisted because I knew the backlash would expose me as corrupt. Teenagers above all destain corruption in adults.

Help teenagers find their passions and interests. A teenager who is busy is less dangerous to him or herself. This is certainly- like all these suggestions- no cure all, no saving grace: Henry was passionate about music and guitar- but it helps tremendously. Too much time to sit around and a teen has two things going on: 1 A sense that more exciting things are happening elsewhere and that his or her life SUCKS and 2 Time to dwell in emotions that are easily overblown and lack perspective. Teenagers do not have long view. Their emotions are in a sense like a toddlers: immediate and the only reality. Being involved in sports or groups or classes or projects keeps their life with a sense of purpose which is as of yet to be self-defined for most teens.

Help them stay connected to Nature. The elements are not meant to be apart from our bodies. The woods, water, mountains, dirt, beach and wide world is for our health, both physically and emotionally. This is closely connected to regular physical activity, which is crucial to managing stress and fear and sadness- frequent in the lives of teenagers.

Recommended Reading (linked)

I offer to Kate my love.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Lura,

I think of calling you. Now that I see this picture, I see your face, only you are the one in the smart vintage hat, red on your short hair, you are sitting in the chair in a old time room with old time clothes and it is you that has reached for the phone, to call your sister, to tell me you are all right, that you love me, that it's not my fault. I wrote those words and paused because I thought I'd erase them but now I don't know. Maybe those words came out because I wanted them to. I'll have to think on this.

In my mind you are in your 20's, like you were of course the last time I saw you. It is hard to force my mind to even imagine you as a woman in your 30's, because my mind is as selfish and self centered and anyone's, and acts as if things went on without my witness, they surely did not go on at all. When I know you did. Amalia told me you are all right, at least you were, the last time she talked to you. Living, is the point.

I watched Into the Wild with my family and it hurt hard, it hurt in the pulp red center of my chest, in my veins, in the closing up of my throat. Do your folks know where you are? the kind hippie asked the young man. A call inside of me was twisted- ask him if his sister knows? What about the sister? In the movie it is the sister's voice telling her family's story, just like it is my own that will tell ours, one day. The sister tells the story of the parents and the brother who ran away and they found his car and that is all for two years until they found his body in a van and he had died without ever touching them again. The sister tells the story in a calm and intelligent voice, a voice that sounds as deeply resigned as anything I can think of. I understand this because I can't feel you like I should because it hurts too much. I can't feel you like I should because it hurts to endlessly and engulfingly. My baby sister. Half the time when I write to you I end up drowning in sorries. I just want to say I'm sorry over and over and over until somehow that incantation brings you back. When I'm not sure what I even mean. I'm sorry he hurt you that badly, that long. I'm sorry sometimes I didn't let you sleep in my bed. Jesus I'm sorry I ran away high and fucked up and left you in that house. I AM SORRY

I am sorry I was angry and scream freckled and loud spoken and got left alone more. I wish it had been me.

I'm sorry that you are a grown woman with grown woman desires and thoughts and loves and cares and confusions and fears and discoveries and I don't know a single one. A single one.

Every time I think of you you get younger and then I am with you until finally we are always this way: I am four and my hair is white and you are two and your hair is white and we are tan and white haired and blue eyed and beautiful and fat bellied and we love our fire haired mother very much and we love each other and we love our father. This is the only time we will. But we love each other in that completely oblivious way of love since birth, a thing you take no notice of, like an arm, until it is cut off.

I miss you.

I miss you.

I miss you.
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