Friday, May 20, 2016

*knocks mic* ... anyone still in here?

No one will likely read this, but I'm writing it anyway. I just visited this blog for the first time in months and fell down a rabbit hole of memories. It always happens. Jerry will be talking to me while I'm reading, and I'm nodding, and five minutes later I realize I don't know a thing he just said. He could have just told me the apocalypse had broken out or the super-caldera in Wyoming has just blown and I'd be all, "yes, dear, very nice. ... " nodding, nodding ...

Anyway, the last post I read before I decided to pop on here was written back just before Wilder started kindergarten, when he used to ask me tons of crazy, complicated questions at night. And then, out of nowhere, he'd say: "Mom, go pee." Because I'd be dancing around his room, half the time not even realizing I had to pee. You'll no doubt note I go through life in a half-daze a lot of the time. It's called having kids.

Anyway, the post reminded me of how much Wilder picks up on, even when I'm not picking up on it myself. He's always been like that, especially with me. It's like he's made it a hobby to study me, my facial expressions, my voice, my clothing, etc., and he knows what it all means. Her chin is jutted out, she must be mad. Her voice is low, she must be grumpy. She's wearing sweats, it must be a day of the week. It's somewhat disconcerting, but mostly it's just kinda cool.

So, on Fridays, I go into the boys' school and help out with something called Spelling City for the second and fourth grades, and usually go into the library in-between and shelve some books, then douse myself in hand-sanitizer (because children's library books have to be up there with hotel remotes on the list of invisibly disgusting inanimate objects in the world). I love doing the spelling thing, because it allows me to see every single kid in their grades, get to know them, tease them a bit, check in with them if they seem down, etc. Lest I make myself sound too holier-than-thou, I also scowl at them or try to catch them cheating if I know they've been mean to my kid that week. And I silently judge their spelling abilities some. I'm human.

Anyway, today, a kid sitting next to Wilder is having some trouble with his browser window size, so I go over there to help him. In about 15 words, I show him how to grab the edge and pull it wider. "Thanks," he says. And I start to walk away.

"Mom," Wilder says, "um, it sounds like you have a tone to your voice."

This is his new thing. He immediately picks up on what mood I'm in based on my tone (emphasis his, by the way). It's kind of nuts, and he's almost always right. Yes, I wasn't in the best mood this morning. In fact, I had a headache for about the 15th day in a row, felt crappy, fat, old and ugly. I'd tried to make myself feel better by putting on makeup and wearing a dress, only to notice that the right side of the dress dipped lower than the other. Because I'm deformed. I thought maybe it was the dress so I tried another. Yep, still deformed. Fucking hell.

OK, I digress. I turned around to Wilder: "I do? Yeah, I guess I do. It's all right, kid, I'll be in a better mood by the time you get home from school." The girl next to him silently snickered. "Yeah," she probably thought in her head, "this explains a lot." I resisted the urge to scowl at her.

Anyway, point is ... that boy, he's paying close attention. I guess most kids are, which is why being a present, non-asshole-ish parent is such an important job.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

"I'm NOT saying you're fat."

Bought Wilder a new mattress yesterday. New sheets. New pillow. Washed every piece of bedding and  put it all back. Comfy and inviting. He was so excited.

And last night he slept in bed with me.

The mattress is too hard, he says.

This morning, I get up and tell him I'm going to go lie in his bed to see how bad it is. As I'm walking into his room ...

"OK, mom, but if it's more comfortable for you, it's because you're heavier."

"I know, Wilder."

"What I'm trying to say is ..."

"I know, Wilder. It's fine. I know what you're saying."

"I'm NOT saying you're fat. Or big."

"I know."

"You sure?"

"Yes, kiddo."

He's a good boy.

Also, right now ...

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Jerry told me about something Hunter said just now, before he left for work, that I need to get down before I forget it. But first, it reminds me of something I was telling friends last night at dinner.

A friend was mentioning how her 2-year-old does not like her hair be in a pony tail. He always pulls it out.

Hunter was the same way, and when he was around 3, he told me once: "Mama, take your hair down. The sun does not shine on you when your hair is up."

And when Jerry got home yesterday, they had this exchange:

H: Papa, my favorite part of the day is when you get home from work. Is it your favorite part of the day, too?

Jer: It sure is.

H: That's because your work is not alive, Papa. And we are alive.

Man, I love the way that kid's brain works. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Proof that I love you, W

Wilder will be 9 this year. I don't write about him (or really, much of anything else) on this blog lately. He's got to that point where he deserves his privacy, and so I don't need to be writing about the minutiae of his life here on the Internet.

But I also know that eventually he'll probably be reading this blog, if for no other reason than it will provide some sort of fodder or proof for his therapist. And so today, teenage or grownup Wilder, I want you to know that I did something that proves my devotion to you.

We all forgot something important, leaving it here at home when your dad took you to school. He called me, saying, "We forgot xxx." What it was isn't important. But I knew it was important that you have it, and so — thinking I could still catch you if I moved fast — I grabbed the thing, threw on a pair of sneakers and ran out the door.

It wasn't until I got to the school and saw you'd already gone inside that I realized what I looked like. Let me paint a picture:

  • I'm wearing oversized, black velour pants. Not cool-yoga-mom pants. More like "I've given up on life" pants. (I haven't, btw, I just wear these to bed sometimes because they're comfy.) They have a draw string — it hangs down to my knees and flaps in the wind. 

  • I have on a sweatshirt with rhinestones on it. Seriously. Like, a bedazzled sweatshirt. It can look cute with the right pair of skinny jeans, but with the rest of my ensemble, I might as well be wearing a sweatshirt embroidered with cats or something equally hideous. 

  • NO makeup. Totally still puffy-eyed and there were salt deposits under my left eye from my allergies (which make it water non-stop). 

  • Dude. The hair. We stayed up late last night to see the "blood moon" — it's happening four times this year, how cool is that?? — and when we finally went to sleep, apparently I crashed so hard that my hair was in a unique state of unkemptness when I woke up. So much so that I took pictures because it was that nuts. 

(Also, I didn't have on a bra. OMG.)

In this state, I saw a teacher still standing in the side doorway, near your classroom. "Can I please go in and give Wilder xxx?" She graciously didn't treat me like a mental hospital escapee and said, "of course." 

Thankfully, I found you just inside your classroom door. "Wilder!" I shout-whispered. You heard me right away and came and got xxx. I didn't make eye contact with anyone but you — part embarrassment, part belief that if I didn't make eye contact, they couldn't see me. But I'm sure some of them saw me, and I'm sure they wondered if your mom has a really ugly, lazy and maybe insane twin sister. Or at least I hope that's what they wondered. 

Anyway, I love you, kid. Sure, you probably already know that I'd get hit by a bus to save you, but when you were 8, I also sacrificed my dignity for you. That's true love. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Sweet Spot

Today is one of those days that you feel like you might just be doing something right as a parent. And just for posterity's sake, I want to record it. Because there's no doubt that in the next week I'll be feeling like a failure again. It's just the way the parenting merry-go-round rolls.

The picture above is of the boys, having dragged chairs out to the sidewalk, waiting for their Pop to get home. They do this every once in a great while. I hope we never forget that they do this. They love that man so much, and sometimes they'll remember just how much just before he gets home, and then this happens. It's been a long time since I've worked outside the home, but I have to believe that coming home to this must feel freaking awesome.

My moment happened earlier this morning. We walked Wilder to school for his first day of second grade. We got there, he skipped off to hang out with his buds, they chatted about lord knows what (probably Minecraft), then the bell rang and he ran to get in line. This year, I didn't even think twice about it. He's in second grade; of course he's excited to get in there and get this year started. But then, as I talked to some other kid's dad, I saw him running across the grass toward me. "Don't get your hopes up," I thought to myself. He probably just forgot something. And then before I had a chance to think another thing, he flung himself into me, hugged me tight, said "I love you, Mom. Bye! Have a great day!", turned around and ran back into line.

My whole life made sense at that very moment, I swear.

"You got a good one there," the dad next to me said.

Yep. I do. Sometimes I am very, very lucky.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pep talk

The sole reason for this post is probably that I need a pep talk. From me to me. So feel free to abandon ship on this one.

I don't know at what point it happened, but I stopped caring. About my body ... about keeping it in good enough shape to serve me well into my advanced years.

And then this thing with my hip happened. I have no idea if it's a result of my apathy, but it's there, and it's not going away. No one seems to know or agree on what's wrong and, while that's frustrating as hell, one good thing has come from it: It's gotten my lazy ass to the doctor and to the physical therapist. Where one thing has become abundantly clear: I'm worse off than I thought.

My body might as well belong to someone 20 years older than me. 

I could make a lot of excuses. Back-to-back knee surgeries. Two pregnancies —one complicated — and two c-sections followed by the raising of the kind of kids I tend to have — the GIGANTIC kind. And there would be some validity to those excuses. But mostly, I just gave up trying to make a comeback from those things. I guess I thought if I wasn't getting fat, I wasn't that bad off.

Truth is, there are people who are much larger than me who are in much better shape. They might not be able to wear a single-digit size (to which I'm clinging with the tips of my fingernails), but they can run and bike and swim and touch their toes and they don't need an extended recovery period afterward.

And now there's this hip. And it's not getting better. And no one has figured out a treatment plan to make it get better yet. And so, beyond going to PT and doing everything they tell me to do and then some, I can't forge some massive comeback plan and emerge triumphantly from that with a new stronger, fitter me.

In its own way, that fact — that I'm not able to go all Sylvester Stallone Rocky-style on my own ass — is its own blessing. For two reasons:

1. If I could just start chipping away at this problem with a some big, grandiose strategy for Operation Make Kris Strong Again, chances are I would do it, probably half-heartedly, get semi-successful results, and then go about my business. And maybe go right back to being a shiftless shit.

But the fact that I can't is making me consider — and I mean really consider — why I let it get to this point. I can't physically dive into anything, so I'm having to do the same thing mentally and emotionally.

Jerry tells the boys that their mom is the toughest woman they'll ever meet. While that might have some truth to it in terms of my just plain stubborn resolve to not let life take a baseball bat to my heart, it does not, in any way, apply physically.

And his insistence to them that this is true about their mom makes me feel somewhat like a fraud. 

So, why did I give up? Why did I let my inner bad-ass fade away?

I don't know the answers yet, but I'm hoping that by not being able to hit the pavement or the court or the pool or the gym, I might be able to figure them out.

I can't pretend, and so I have to be real with myself. 

And ...

2. If there is one thing that has been true of me damn near my whole life, it's that I don't perform nearly as well without a huge mountain looming in front of me. Tell me I can't do it and I'll prove to you that I can and I will. Give me a challenge and I'll rise to it, and I will tell that challenge to fuck right on off the whole time I'm overcoming it.

And so, that stubborn resolve I mentioned a minute ago, yeah ... it's there. I've been wanting to lose 20 lbs. for, oh, about 20 years now. I realize that 20 lbs. is not 150 lbs. and that makes it even more pathetic that I haven't been able to do it.

But now I'm betting I can. Because if I were anyone else looking at me right now — the sad lazy gimp who can barely even touch her toes — I'd bet against her.

And of course it's about much more than losing the weight. I could blather on about how I want to return to my former physically strong inner bad-ass, but I did that last year after my friend Karen died, and I've proven, in a very embarrassing way, that I was not up to the task. I'm not better than I was a year ago — I'm worse.

And let's be honest, that formerly strong inner bad-ass never really existed anyway. Maybe for a brief moment in time she was there, but mostly she was too busy ordering cocktails and being concerned with making people laugh and deflecting any attention away from her insecurities.

And so there's today. And today I think I can do it. Today I'm betting on that gimp, because I know her better than anyone else on Earth and, hip be damned, I thinks she's gonna rock this motherfucker. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fireworks and sunshine

Last night, at bedtime:

Me: What's your favorite season?

Wilder: Autumn

Me: Why?

Wilder: Because the trees change to all different kinds of colors and they look like they've become fireworks. And the grass turns yellow so it feels like you're walking on the sun.

Sigh ... I love him.