I Want Them to Remember

I want my kids to remember the little things.

I want my kids to remember that I carried a junky old towel to the park after it rained and I’d wipe down all three slides so they could play and not get their cute little butts soaking wet.

I want them to remember how, when they were each 2-3 years old, I’d lay out their clothes exactly how they’d go on their cute little bodies: pants front-side-up and shirts front-side-down.

I want them to remember how I’d set out a morning snack the night before weekend mornings, so they could munch on cereal and raisins while their daddy and I got to sleep in as long as we could.

I want my kids to remember how when I got home from the library I’d casually display new books on the coffee table and walk away, knowing they’d dive into them in their own time.

I want my daughter to remember me going through her preschool flashcards with her, and celebrating her learning victories with high fives and giggles.

I want my son to remember how I taught him to use a paintbrush, with soft brushstrokes that feel like feathers on the skin.

In reality, they may not remember any of these things. That’s okay, because I will.

Mostly, I just want them to remember feeling loved.


Day 23

what if

what if you just started writing

to see what came out?

like clawing up a big rock

that was slunk halfway down

into the damp soil

earthworms, rolly pollies wiggle underneath

not eager to be disturbed.

like excavating a dusty old box

you found in the attic

in the corner, under a pile of photo albums

musty papers, keepsakes, ticket stubs, diplomas

memories

seep out of pores

impossible to arrange back in

the way you found them.

The beauty of this place

We hiked five miles today, just the two of us.

This was where we met, where we worked together for several summers, where we fell in love, and where he proposed.

It was great to be back. I missed the beauty of this place.

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NaBloPoMo Day 27

Go Bears!

Even though we lost today, it was really great to be able to watch The Big Game from the bay again.

For those who don’t know, I went to Cal for undergrad, and The Big Game is when we play our rival across the bay, Stanfurd. (Football.) Whoever wins gets to have the axe, which is an actual axe that’s been made into a framed trophy of sorts. It has a whole history behind it whose details are fuzzy to me now. At any rate, towards the end of each Big Game, select members of Cal’s Rally Committee (yes those are a thing) gather and face off with members from the ‘Furd to exchange the axe should the noncustodial school win. In my day, I was part of Rally Comm, although I was never one of those select members I mentioned above.

Ah, memories. College was tough, but it was extremely fun. I joked to my parents tonight that watching college football now just makes me feel old and unaccomplished.

Lest I continue rambling…

GO BEARS!

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NaBloPoMo Day 18

90s Music Nostalgia: Peaches for me

It started with peaches.

I was feeding them to my daughter when I started singing.

Movin to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches…

Dylan thought it was a funny song, a song about peaches, so we put it on.

Peaches come from a can, they were put there by a man, in a factory downtown…

We started talking about music from the 90s and how some songs can just bring you back…in my head. She’s lump, she’s lump, she’s lump, she might be dead.

It got me all nostalgic, remembering middle school dances and feeling socially anxious and awkward. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in…

Most of the songs we listened to weren’t our favorites, but they were those songs that were always playing in the background. We know them, but may not know who sings them. We don’t know all the words, but just hearing the first few notes transported us back to age 15 or so, depending. And we hadn’t heard them for years.

We said, tell me all your thoughts on God, cause I really want to meet her. Ask her why we’re who we are.

And this is what s/he said: Well I guess what you say is true, I could never be the right kind of girl for you, I could never be your woman, I could never be your woman. (all you need to remember from this one is that high-pitched dee-do-dee-dee melody at the very beginning.)

But don’t worry about asking God, because we all know that goats go to heaven, sheep go to hell. I saw this one performed live on a sunny day in San Francisco.

I been downhearted baby, I been down, I been downhearted baby. Ever since the day we met, ever since the day we met. (for this one, the memory was just of the sound of the voice singing these lyrics. I’m not even sure I knew the exact words before looking them up just now.)

I wasn’t the coolest middle school kid on the block (hard to believe, I know), and I was very slow to catch on to all the hip music the cool kids were listening to. Music trickled down to me via my friends with higher cool factors or older siblings or both.

Just remember, Love will lead us, alright, can you hear the dolphin’s cry?

To end the night we can drive it home with one headliiiiiiight…


Did any of these lyrics jog your memory? All the band names are tagged on this post.


NaBloPoMo Day 14

Childhood Books Come Full Circle

One of the best things about being a parent is getting to relive the best parts of your own childhood.

A subset of this experience is getting to read beloved childhood books to my son with the same kind of enthusiasm and weird voices that my parents used to read to me.

Here are a few of my favorite books from childhood that I am now reading to my kid.  These were my favorites not because of the stories they told, but because of the way my parents told them.

The Cat in the Hat

Seuss-cat-hat

I had this book memorized, and I can still recite the first several pages by heart.  Growing up, my Dad would quote this book, especially when my brother and I complained we were bored.  “It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how!”

Millions of Cats

Wanda_Gag_Millions_of_Cats-book_cover

This books was hilarious to me.  Spoiler alert – a lot of the cats kill and eat each other.  Like, a lot.  Doing the voices of the Very Old Man and Very Old Woman is quite fun.

But No Elephants

But no Elephants

This is another quotable classic, made famous in my household because my parents would add “But nooooo elephants!” onto any request to which they acquiesced, as a way of expressing the whole everything in moderation philosophy.

The Monster at the End of This Book

mon001

This was my favorite by far, just because my Dad was soooo strong that he kept turning pages that Grover tied shut, or built brick walls over…all to save us from the monster that – spoiler alert – ends up being lovable, furry old him.  “Oh, I am soooo embarrassed…”

What childhood books were your favorites???


nanopoblano2015light

 

 

Waking Up

I became aware of the horribly bright fluorescent lights as I regained consciousness. I saw my dad first – a blurry version of my dad. I looked past him to the clock on the wall. 9pm and change. Wait, could that be right? They took me in at 2-something…that’s way too long.

“Is that clock right?”
“Was it benign?”
“Can I still have babies?”

These were the three questions I remember asking immediately upon waking up. I also remember my dad giving me an affirmative answer to each one- which shouldn’t have made sense.

Before going in for surgery, I was told that if my tumor was benign, the procedure would take about an hour or 90 minutes. If they found cancer or if there were complications – longer. I had been out for over 7 hours.

Upon hearing the answers I wanted to hear, I started to take stock of how I physically felt. My body didn’t feel like my own. I felt broken. My midsection felt like it had been run over by a semi truck. A nurse suddenly appeared at my side and shoved a button in my hand. She told me to push the button when I felt pain. I pushed it right away and kept pushing it every time I remembered to, which felt like long intervals since I kept drifting in and out of consciousness. I was later told that I pushed that damn thing every 2 minutes or so. No amount of pushing that button could have taken the pain away.

I felt so numb. Blindingly so. After my parents left the room, my boyfriend at the time was allowed to stay. At one point I looked up at him and it looked like he was crying. I asked him if he was and I honestly don’t remember his answer. I just wanted to go back to sleep. I wanted to wake up once it was all over.

I pushed the button.

The next morning my surgeon came to see me. He told me that they found some borderline malignant tumors. Malignant. Plural. With an ‘s.’ This information barely registered. It had completely engulfed my left ovary but I got to keep my right one.

What?
Say again, please?
But my dad said…
…do I have to do radiation? Chemo?

No. Those treatments won’t work on your kind of tumors. Besides, we think we got them all, and now we just wait and see.

WAIT AND SEE?! My brain was screaming but my face stayed blank.
Apparently now my job was just to focus on getting better.

Let me get this straight. You rip me open, take out pieces of me, then run me over with a truck and tell me medicine won’t work for me, and now it’s my job to get better? I thought that was yours. You broke me. Now someone put me back together.

I pushed the button again and everything got blurry.

That was exactly 10 years ago today. I just sat down to write and this just kinda came out, wasn’t really planned. It feels good to write about this, so bear with me because y’all might see more of these.

In other news, I turned 30 yesterday and I think I felt all the feelings. All of them. I got drunk on wine with friends and we went bowling. The best part- costumes were required. I brought back the 80s like it was my job. In preparation, I plugged in my crimping iron that I hadn’t used since the 90s, and it promptly began to smoke. Once the putrid smell of burning plastic subsided and got me sufficiently high, I used it on my hair and the results were hecka rad. I even unearthed my old slap bracelets and those plastic thingies one used to clip the bottom of one’s oversized shirt off to the side. Mini skirt, tights, leg warmers, oh my!

I suppose after all this I should post some pictures. Stay tuned, my little psychos.

You may or may not think this post is crap

The other day I saw this headline gently slide down my facebook newsfeed:

Why Is The World’s Largest Foundation Buying Fake Poop?

It was like this news story was written just for me, you guys!  I couldn’t not click on it.  Impossible.  Didn’t even try to resist.

If you haven’t already, take a moment to click and find out about this project that’s making a big splash.

The pictures in the article of them shaping the fake poop actually reminded me of when my brother and I were kids and my parents would let us all skip church on a Sunday morning to go fishing (they said God would forgive us as long as we caught something…and by ‘caught something,’ I think they meant fish).

Once my brother and I got bored from watching our unmoving poles in the water, we would play in the mud on the shoreline.  One of the things we’d do with this mud, aside from slinging it at each other, was to fashion different varieties of fake poop to try and fool our parents or whomever might come by once we left the area.  We’d mix the mud with various amounts of water and experimented with different consistencies.  We specialized in dog excrement and cow pies, mainly because that was the local market, which meant that those varieties were the only real life models we had to work from at the time.  But man, if we had had the technology that Bill and Melinda Gates do now…our output would have been solid and regular.  One can only imagine.