Thursday, May 21, 2009


Mommy and Daddy had a rocky afternoon. I can't get enough me-time and Daddy doesn't get any. Kids are sensitive creatures. They pick up on tensions, even when they involve hurled frozen veggie-burgers (Daddy) and hurled angry curse words (Mommy). It was subtle, yes, but kids are receptive. Like little sponges.
At first, after I ran upstairs, not dramatic at all, Stella tromped up to my bedroom suite (the word suite regarding any physical space I inhabit gives me an immediate boost) to sing her butterfly song and twirl around for a bit. "Are you happy now?" She asked, between numbers. "It's okay, Sweetie," I sobbed. "It's okay for Mommy to be upset. It's not your job to make me happy." Always teaching, I am, even in the throes of despair. Then she lay with me on the floor, told me to put my head down and go to sleep, close my eyes, and then swirled her little angel fingertips in the corners of my eyes. "Got it!" she announced, when she caught a tear.

Some hours later, after bonus television time had been logged and laundry had been folded—I could only bring myself to fold my own and the kids' things. I left Bryan's in a crumpled heap, THAT'S how mad I was. I know, I still can't believe it—I sat on the porch with my latest book on spiritual healing, and before I knew it, Stella was swimming in hummus. And I just stood there and smiled as if she'd casted a spell. It was the healing balm I needed. If I hadn't been puffy-eyed, headachy and wasted from my row, I would have hit the ceiling upon discovering the mess. But in my addled state, all I could do was laugh and run for the camera. Kids are so smart that way.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work. There was always tension in my house when I was about Stella's age, and maybe I tried casting the same spell of happiness to break the spell of misery my parents suffered under. When I was four I grabbed a step-ladder in the middle of the night, dragged it down to the basement which we'd just had paneled and painted as high as I could reach with yellow exterior house paint, which was probably not only oil-based, but possibly leaded and toxic in all sorts of fun ways. My father, he did not smile upon discovering my work. He beat me instead. Oh there I said it. In cyberspace. Well he tried to beat me. He made every effort to reach around my mother's body while I sat in the bathtub staring mesmerized at the cracking paint on my arms and the pale yellow water.

That could be one reason why Stella's chick-pea masterpiece evoked only affection from me. My parents I see now, taught me well. 


Larissa Phillips said...

Great post, too many things to comment on, but I love the post.

kristi said...

ditto what larissa said. and for the record, i hate "ditto" as much as "LOL" but sometimes you just gotta use it.

thanks for letting it all hang out.

Amelia Plum said...

Oh man, where to begin. A lot of great things you mention in the post but I don't feel like it's necessary to comment on them as much as say 'amen sister, I'm with you'. Don't even get me started on the car thing. A lot of people act atrociously once their sitting in a big, powerful, deadly piece of metal. My God I used to want to go on a driving rampage with all the nastiness I'd see. But now I just try to keep it more in perspective, when someone drives like a slowpoke I just think I'm not rushing to a hospital with a dying child, I'll be okay. And when people freak out on me I just think 'and I thought I had problems.' The person flipping out on you has to have a life that sucks much worse than yours ever could if they feel it's appropriate to curse you out like that. Lots of misplaced anger on the road

Amelia Plum said...

my apologies my grammar and selective use of caps sucks when it comes to blog comments

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your May 21st blog. One's never too old to become enlightened.