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.

Friday, January 04, 2013


Not expecting superhero powers, but if yoga can make me
slightly less lame, that would be good.
For years friends have been trying to get me to do yoga. As recently as six months ago, my attitude was something along the lines of "hell to the NO."

I suspect it was more unfamiliarity than anything else, but there's also the small matter of my knees. After two ACL repairs (one of which left my right knee with tons of numbness and, where there wasn't numbness, a lot of nerve pain), I just didn't think I could do it.

Have changed my mind for a lot of reasons:

Pain. I'm pretty much living with constant pain right now. Hip, back, shoulders, neck ... you name it, I've got it. Some days and some areas are worse than others, but it's there, and I know I shouldn't be living like this. Incidentally, I've also started going to a chiropractor, something I swore I'd never do after growing up with a dad who frequently espoused the crook-like qualities of the chiropractors he came into contact with in the insurance business. (And for the record, I think even my dad has gone to a chiropractor at this point — turns out I might be the most stubborn and dumb member of my family). So anyway, yeah ... pain. Ouch. Enough's enough.

New friends. I'm friends with these women who I've met through Wilder's school. And they're all fit. Like yoga-practicing, running-at-4-o'clock-in-the-morning fit. Anyway, turns out if you hang out with people who all move a lot more than you, you start wondering why you're such a lazy bastard whose biggest physical accomplishment for the day is chasing your fence-jumping dog down the block. Now, believe me, I will never run early in the a.m. Just not programmed to get out of bed that early. But running at midnight? I can see myself doing that. I'll take pepper spray. Or a taser. Or Betty. And beware, hookers (you know who you are) — come spring grandma's gunning for your butts on the tennis court. (Combining hookers and butts in one sentence might have been ill-conceived, but it stays ...)

Depression. A few months ago, my meds started not working. So I went to the doc and she doubled my dosage. Back to a moderate amount of depression. But I know, sooner or later, that same thing is going to happen again, and I'm pretty sure I'm on the highest therapeutic dosage for the anti-depressant I'm taking. And I don't want to try this drug or that drug and see what the side effects are ... given my side-effect history lately, I'm thinking it's only a matter of time before I take something that makes my eyes bleed or I spontaneously grow a goiter or somesuch. So I gotta figure something out that doesn't involve the pharma-industry. Hey! I hear exercise helps your mood!

The xBox. Not what you were expecting for No. 4, eh? A few months ago, I got this Kinect "game" that has a bunch of workouts on it. Dance, cardio boxing, tai chi, etc. And, you got it, yoga. Jerry and I have done it a few times together and I'm always surprised by how good I feel afterward. My body hurts less, my mind focuses more, my mood improves. Yay for modern technology! And I've been able to do it in the comfort of my own living room, and have proved to myself that I can actually balance on one foot for longer than two seconds. It's also proved to me that yoga is one helluva workout. I stay in one place for just under half an hour and I'm sweating by the end of it. And even somewhat breathless.

Anyway, I start a bonafide yoga class — one with other people who are presumably better at this than me — next week. I'm really hoping that the benefits outweigh the embarrassment because, honestly, I am so out of alignment, so inflexible, so, so incapable and unbalanced (not mentally ... although, yeah, that too ...), I can't imagine what a challenge I am going to present to my instructor.

If you do yoga and want to offer me a few words of encouragement, please do. I'm gonna need it, I think.

Oh, and PS! I forgot Reason No. 5. If you haven't seen this video, watch it now. Talk about the transformative power of getting your ass off the couch.