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Archive for February, 2012

I find it difficult to believe I am thinking to myself, How terrible.  There was another school shooting today.   It’s that one word:  another.  It was not so long ago when the idea of a school shooting was truly unthinkable.  I am lucky to be Generation X, the last generation to live without the ridiculous worry that someone will shoot and kill you.  In school.

How quickly we adjust, we humans, to every new normal with which we’re presented.  Some of the things we adjust to should never be adjusted to.  Like school shootings. 

How is this okay?

In my own life I’ve adjusted to Jonah living an hour and a half away from me, in ‘the house of the rotating caregivers.’  Is it bad that I have adjusted to it?  How is this okay?

I am free of the violence, yes,  but also a huge amount of responsibility has been lifted from my shoulders:  don’t think I don’t realize and am grateful for that.  There hasn’t been this much freedom in my life in a long, long time.  And yet I am still so tight, my body bow-strung.  Shoulders raised until I bring my awareness back to them, over and over, purposefully dropping them, my neck aching, bones cracking and creaking.  Maybe I should start getting massages again.

At any rate it all fades when I listen to my breath, become mindful and quiet, know there is a lifetime of joy in every now, no matter what the now.  The operative word in that sentence is when.  It isn’t often, but more than before.

And then, at strange intervals of time and in unpredictable instances, it hits me anyway:  I am not raising a child anymore.  And yet I have a child, this innocent boy, and with Andy I must love him fiercely…help shape his future…nurture him as best we can.  I only see Jonah for a few hours every week.  Sometimes it doesn’t go well, and I don’t write about it.  While I try not to sugarcoat this blog, I do, on occasion, commit the sin of omission.

I forgot my camera this weekend but I got to see Jonah twice, Saturday and Sunday, which was cool.  Jonah was nutty – all hyper; crying for no reason one moment, laughing hysterically the next.  A random attack at grandma, and a time out on the stairs, him shrieking boobie!  boobie!  boobie! joyfully.  Moe samwich? A bath.  M & M? A ride to see train.

The soft request:  home?

…and, week after week, our eventual, deliberate surrender to a state of denial about this plea, pretending that by home he means Andy’s apartment.  Pretending he is asking for something else.  Anything else.  Pretending, lest this whole thing break both our minds and hearts.   We never bring him to the house or even near it.  He’s too geographically savvy and always has been.

Strange things are entering my life lately, and I’m just going with the flow of the river and having some fun swimming along.  My path has crossed with some really interesting people, these wonderfully philanthropic souls who truly restore my faith in humanity.  They have no idea what they are to me; they are literally my saviors.   They don’t realize I need to know that good people are out there doing good things.  I have to believe that human hearts are still generous and human kindness is not extinct.  My dad feels this too, I think, for he needs to volunteer and has done so his whole life.  Right now he volunteers for the Red Cross as a driver; he is a giver, a man who wants to do the right thing.  A man with a heart.

They are my heroes.  (They, and Guster, who honestly deserves a huge chunk of credit for keeping me afloat).

I don’t know what I’m so worried about.  The good guys always win in the end.

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Jonah and Fearless Fred.

This picture was taken a month or so ago, during the only snow we’ve really had.  A few inches, once or twice.  And remarkably warm.  Spring birds are singing.

I have not been here because I’ve been here, and here, and though I do love to write these things, sometimes I wish someone would pay me to write blog posts instead.  I have ideas for things I’d like to attempt.  A novel.  A memoir in blog format; basically, this blog (so as not to require any work on my part except to edit/proofread and ask an agent to read it).  But I’ll take what I can get.

Jonah was so good on Saturday.  Andy was kind enough to drive him up to grandma’s house, where I met them and we commenced to have circle pepperoni and bath and car ride (complete with perfectly-timed and very long train).  Jonah was hyper but happy.  I gave him a bath by myself (usually Andy does this), and we made a fine mess in the bathroom, splashing and laughing and getting bubbles everywhere.  He went to the bathroom like a big boy (it’s hard for me to believe I’m writing that about a boy who is going to be 10 on March 7th).  He ran, soapy and dripping, past my towel and into the front guest bedroom, where he jumped up and down on the bed and I jumped up and down on the floor, timing my jumps to his, and the both of us laughing and yelling Jump! Jump!  Errry-body jump!

I love Boo so much.

We have Fun Fridays once a month at work now, and they are fun.

I have joy in my life and I feel happiness again, though tomorrow would have been Sanx’s birthday (her 38th? I’m not positive).  And Gina’s been in the Times Union‘s big investigative report about NXIVM, and that’s all kind of crappy.

I also thought of the coolest band name ever:

His Boy Elroy

I shouldn’t have told you.  Now you can steal my coolest band name ever.
Take it!  Somebody steal it!  I should google it and see if it’s already been done.  Probably. Let’s see…

Yes!  Shit.

I think this picture was taken last weekend.  I’ll never tire of taking Jonah’s pictures and then looking at them later.  I’ve been sending more postcards and letters and little packages to him. 

I miss my boy and this is my way to be closer to him.

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young enough

I am not young enough to know everything.
Oscar Wilde

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Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious. ~ Brendan Gill

Mom and I drove down to see Jonah today, stopping first, as usual, at Andy’s to drop off lunch and get settled before picking up Boo at his house.  She insisted on driving, though she makes me nervous as hell.  We didn’t get off to a great start because she was asking me what I wrote about for my column in the January issue of the Capital District Parent Pages, and I asked her why she didn’t know, and she said she didn’t have it.  She didn’t have any of the issues, in fact.

There is a diner a mile from her house at best; they have the issues for free in the vestibule before you even walk into the restaurant.  Perfect place to pick up a copy, which I’ve told her before.  I pointed this out to her again.

“Well I don’t really go to the diner very much,” she said.  I bite my lip, look out the window.  I know I shouldn’t say it but I do anyway:  “I’m getting mad,” I said, “and hurt.  You can’t go pick up a copy of the monthly magazine your daughter writes a column for?”  Then I sighed.  “I’m sorry,” I said, staring at her fragile, thin legs and watching her fish for a cigarette.  “Just forget it.”

I seek affirmation and seek affirmation and seek affirmation.  From my mom, my father, my boyfriend, my friends, my boss –even my child.  Clearly I need to stop thinking of myself as the center of every scenario.  Perhaps not coincidentally, I just finished reading a fantastic book Tim Smith of Smile-Therapy sent me:  Go Givers Sell More.   The book’s co-authors talk about how the sales process isn’t about you. They suggest getting on the phone and listening to people’s stories, to find out what makes them tick, where they come from, what they dream of doing someday.  It’s got the flavor of Carnegie, only rings far less scripted, more sincere.  Be a giver.  Listen.

To listen well is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation.  ~ Chinese Proverb

Speaking of listening, my mother then decided to play a Christy Lane CD.  My apologies to her fans, but what an overproduced shmaltzy mess of songs.  She can sing, but it’s what she sings that grates.  Footprints in the Sand.  Really?  They make it into a song and present it as if it were wisdom we’d all not heard ten thousand times before?   Sigh.   Too loud, too loud, I kept thinking, until finally asking if we could turn it down just a little.  She lit another cigarette and nodded her assent.

I listened.

Jonah was about how we’ve come to expect.  Hyped-up, begging for tuna and bath, black soda and car ride, daddy in backseat.  I brought Protector Patty with us and Jonah played with her a little.

dad offers a grape

Good thing Patty has multiple eyes

Good thing Patty has multiple eyes!

She even came with us on a walk in the woods.

Like ScareMeNots before her, she insisted on hanging around in the trees…

Patty, loving life.  I swear these ScareMeNots actually show emotion.

I’m tired and I’m inundated with work, writing and re-writing.  I asked for it but it’s difficult and I’d rather write here or more for the Capital District Parent Pages…but neither of those pay me a dime.  For the test writing I get moneycoin.

It is also a nice distraction from the anxiety that seems to invade, uninvited and inevitable, when I have less to do.

Mama loves you, little Boo.

Everything is okay in the end.  If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end. ~ Unknown

I just heard now that Whitney Houston died, of unknown causes, at the age of 48.  How sad.  What a waste.  I guess if everything’s okay in the end, everything’s okay for her.  How weird that I had just typed that quote…

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