On International Women’s Day

three women used their phone app
to find Lois of Clovis
who was in over her head
with more than a child or five (or six?)
how had those golden thread heads dissolved
like Splenda packs in lukewarm water? just
where did they go, and where are they now?
now Lois was lost in her haystack house
with a sugar lump melting on her hip,
a vacuum cord ominously threatening to stop her
should she try to open the front door,
say “this is it.” “come in.”
Lois bit her lower lip,
and the three friends immediately came in.
one woman lit to the kitchen, started running
hot water, adding gleeful soap suds.
one woman’s hands began skillfully
folding tiny clothes and undersized underwear
careful to separate picture books from zippered pajamas.
one woman knelt on the toy room floor
separating Mr. Potato Head’s limbs and lips
from a smattering of what was labeled this-n-that.
and the three women loved her.
and Lois of Clovis fed her sugar baby
while the two little walking bumble bears
robed, disrobed, giggled and hid their winsome smiles
beneath plastic woven laundry baskets.
and all at once, when everyone saw the haystack was re-moved
that the floor was clean, – well, their gumption exploded
into pink, blue and green party balloons!
and Lois of Clovis, -awake, sleepy, anxious, stunned,
was changed, –

::

for Quickly & Real Toads

Some Wisdom Please

I’m not the same person I was twenty years ago.  I’m a mess.  I show up at school functions with two different shoes on my feet, and end up at grocery stores with my shirt on inside-out.   Although I’m not a drunk I can empathize with seeking an escape from the constant demands of life and motherhood even when all I ever wanted was a family.

I had four daughters in the prime of my life.  I gave them my best years (geez I sound like a wrinkly old geezer shaking my bony fists at the heavens).  Nothing of course prepared me for motherhood, not all those years of babysitting, not my own mother’s spittled advice, not even a Master’s degree in counseling, or Tony Horton’s Beach Body boot camp double DVD set.  For shame.

I imagined motherhood to be a breeze with my arm around my beloved well-spoken child, strolling along the beach, discussing her loves, her fears, her dreams, etc.  Ahhh.

The reality I got was my eldest hiding the fact that she had her first period, which apparently sent me into full-throttle I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening mode and I put my daughter in the car and drove her to a remote location, basically locked her in, and asked her why in the hell she wouldn’t include me in such a momentous moment I’d been anxiously waiting for.  Her nails scratched at the passenger door the whole time.images

Needless to say I must learn to communicate better with my babies before a)  I die of a coronary, or b) they go off to college. I’ve had more time to think about what’s important.  Here’s my attempt to impart some wisdom which I realize they may hear now, with the possibility of understanding later.

Five Truths I Think Kids Should Hear: 

  1. It’s not all about you, contrary to popular belief.  The quicker you realize this, and change your mind about this, the more free you’ll be relating to and enjoying other people around you.
  2. You are not the sum of your parts.  A hyper focus on your perceived physical flaws robs you of being the you you were meant to be.
  3. Say no thank you sometimes.  You can people-please yourself right into a psychotic break or a dangerous situation.   
  4. Try something hard.  You’ll never get stronger if you don’t break a “bone” or two.
  5. Ask for help when you need it.  Pride does come before a fall, and if you look at it in another way, the helper is probably stoked about being helpful, as long as you don’t abuse this power that comes with humility.

[What do you think is paramount to teach your kids before they crawl out into the outer expanse of the universe, besides the obvious ones we learn in Kindergarten about sharing our toys and putting them back when we’re done playing?]  

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Something Useful

Ya, I write poems and stuff, which my kids say is a non-essential compared to baking cupcakes and other “useful things a real mom does.”  But when they have a writing assignment from school, who’s their inspiration, editor, typist, poet then, huh?  Huh??

Say it louder, kids. Mom can contribute something useful. 

Like this limerick for high school science–

“There once was a state of matter
A liquid too easy to splatter
Without definite shape
My teacher went ape
The beaker fell off of the platter.”

Please, don’t feel you have to “like” this post. It’s enough that my daughter loved it.