Monday, October 15, 2012

A poem I dreamed then woke up and wrote down.

If I stand in this now-lonely stairwell
If I stare at this empty brick wall
Will I see your lips in the ridges
Or your shy gaze in the mortar?

If I climb to the top of this wintery hill
Where vows were made in summer
Where vows were kept in fall
And turn my back to the breeze
Will I feel your warm breath on my neck
Or see your arms outstretched in the bare branches?

If I travel to a city where we’ve never been
Free of vows, of longing, of looks leading to lips
Will a wall remain a wall?
Would a tree be just wood?
Or will a brick remind me of a stairwell remind me of a kiss
And a tree remind me of a hill remind me of a ring
So that I can never escape you like I can’t escape the wind on a hilltop
Or a sigh in an empty bed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Greater than old

He was handsome. With horn-rimmed glasses, bright eyes, shiny black hair and a smile to melt your heart.  And he stood there looking fervent but free, leaning against his brand new Studebaker in a button-up polo shirt and black trousers, grinning up at me from a yellowed scrapbook page resting on the kitchen table. I turned my head toward the man showing me the photo. He was frail now; his black hair thinned and grayed; his glasses a little more practical.  But then he smiled and the young man was both in the picture and by my side.  His eyes glistened and it was almost like the shiny Studebaker was right there in the living room begging to be driven.

He was not an old man, I realized as I looked at more yellowed scrapbook pages.  He was an added-upon being. He was a small toothless boy sitting with his mother in a living room in Holland. He was the father proudly wrapping his arms around three giggling little girls. He was the grinning groom holding hands with a beautiful curly-haired bride. He was the soldier in uniform at a camp in Vietnam.  He was the cheerful man with the accordion, playing the tune of a place and time long gone, but not forgotten. He was the smiling person by the sea, in the desert, in a castle, in a garden, in a small apartment. He was the grandfather in a fishing hat, chatting with a grandson at the lake.  And he was here on this page before me, the proud owner of a brand-new car, ready to take on the world.  

And all of these people – the boy, the soldier, the father, the grandfather, the handsome man in a polo  – they look out at me when I look into his eyes.  They sing to me when he whispers an old melody.  They beg to not be forgotten, even when the body they live in has grown frail and the laughter that comes out of it isn’t as loud as it used to be.  They plead with me to remember all the people inside this one man, so that when I look at him, I will not see an old man, but a great man; a collection of so many experiences that looking at his stature does not do him justice.  To see the boy soldier father grandfather handsome man, you have to look at his soul. Look in his eyes.  And then when you hug him, you know you’re embracing decades of memories and experiences and darkness and light and pain and beauty and love. 

 And you feel so very glad you came.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Retirement community adventures

The paved walkway weaved through and around the retirement community. I strolled idly along it in my husband’s oversized hoodie, feeling lighter with each breath of fresh sea air that washed through me.  The breeze and the sun played a bantering game with my senses, both cooling me and kissing my exposed skin with warmth and light.

Retirees sat in their well-kept houses and watched me warily as I strolled past their back doors.  I admired their perfect lawns and blossoming flowers, but resisted the urge to scoop them up and smell them.  Retiree lawn flowers are not for touching.

After some time the pavement ended and the groomed landscape stopped. I bent beneath some low-hanging branches and stepped onto a muddy, primitive pathway, perhaps once blazed by deer or an early modern explorer, or both.  I imagined the spirit of the deer and the noble trail blazer walking with me, encouraging me to pick all the wild viney flowers I saw and hold them to my nose.  So I did.  Fallen logs, red with rain, replaced well-kept lawns. The music of bumblebees drowned out distant stereos.  

The world of the retirement community was far behind me, or was it far ahead, in the unimaginable 21st century?  And me and my deer ghost and ancient explorer discovered a clearing at the end of our trail where the sun illuminated patches of long grass and scattered raspberry bushes.  I took some berries for myself and left some for the bumblebees, then left my forest glen and explorer friend and deer ghost and stepped back on to the pavement.

The retirees with their coffee and TVs eyed me skeptically again as I walked back past each of their homes, and I smiled at them through their screen doors and popped raspberries in my mouth.  I was giddy with adventure. And I vowed to never grow so used to any place that I don’t see the magic in my own backyard.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Dear friends and loved ones,

Before you come any closer, know now that I am a biohazardous agent of the mononucleosis virus!! 

Not that I would have ever known it.  I feel fine. But the husband, well, he’s fallen prey to my pathogens, and the doc says it’s probably because I was walking around all diseased and stuff without ever even knowing it.  Meaning while planting kisses I was actually planting vicious painful destructive bugs straight into my husband’s innards. Scary thought, no?

Inadvertently causing suffering is something I’m sort of good at. And it’s the best way to make me feel the worst kind of guilty.  Like when I snuggle up to Kendon when I haven’t had socks on for two minutes and instantly he turns into a frozen icicle and can’t form coherent words for… well, at least a few seconds. GUILT. Or like that time my companion at the missionary training center was so miserably constipated from cafeteria food and I happily gave her my anti-constipation pills for a good week before looking down and reading the label “anti-diarrhea.” DOUBLE GUILT.  Or the time I found a sick gecko in my air conditioned office and hurried him outside where he could get some nice, warm healing sun and… shudder… how did I get on this subject?

The point is, I kissed my husband as an expression of love. And it turned out to be a kiss of death.  Death being a metaphor for a swollen throat and sleepy demeanor.  I’m feeling guilty.

But admittedly – and this is just between us – I’m loving the extra snuggle time. 

My little sickie bug (pictured left.)
P.S. We are dogsitting the cutest little punkin on the planet. More soon!


Friday, June 29, 2012

On puppies

My brother got a puppy for his 16th birthday.  I find that puppies are one of those few things that can turn even the most serious grown-up adult kind of person into a carefree childish child kind of person, regardless of how serious and grown up the years have made them. The same applies to ice cream cones and helium balloons.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tasha.

She eats duck food.  (Not to be confused with eating ducks as food.)

She’s absolutely the most difficult moving object to photograph in the world. (This was perhaps my 37th try.)

Sometimes she just rolls around in the grass for no good reason.

And when she falls asleep next to me in my parents’ farm truck snuggled up to an old leather glove my heart absolutely melts.

Sigh. They grow up so fast.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pit stop beauty queens

I was standing outside the port-o-potty at a gas station in Washington.  Another woman stood there too, freshening up while she waited for her friend to come out.  Her red lipstick was fresh, but she still had to have a glance at herself in her small compact mirror before applying some citrus-scented lotion to her hands and looking up at me.

“What cute shoes!” she exclaimed. I looked down at my feet.  One of my socks hung loosely over the side of one of my shoes. The other had awkwardly slipped under my feet.  “Thanks,” I muttered. “I got them at Payless.”  It was an embarrassing thing to say to the woman who was putting her shiny compact mirror back into her Louis Vuitton purse, who couldn’t possibly also be on a road trip at this road-trip only pit stop. I hadn’t anticipated people actually looking at me today. I make it a point to look grungy and sweaty and miserable on long drives like this one.

She looked up at me, then looked back down at my shoes as her friend was emerging from the port-o-potty.  “Phoebe, look at those shoes. Aren’t they cute? And she got them at Payless!”  Phoebe’s lipstick was pink. She nodded in the affirmative, handed me my port-o-potty key, and I escaped into the restroom.

Here I looked into the mirror and learned two things:

1.     I was still wearing the husband’s aviator sunglasses, which make me look uncannily like a man.
2.     There were White Cheddar Popcorn crumbs covering my entire person like chronic dandruff.
3.     There was bird poop on my shirt.  Rather, there was a giant glop of chocolate vanilla ice cream that had dripped upon me two hours earlier without my noticing that looked rather like I had been caught in the unfortunate path of a winged creature with indigestion.

I rinsed my shirt off in the sink and stood awkwardly beneath the hand dryer to make my chest look less soaking wet, grateful the entire time that the only key to this little space was in my possession.  It was only moments, however, before the next perfectly put together woman on a road trip was knocking on the door to see if it was occupied. So I had to hurry things along and walk out with a rather large wet spot on one side of my chest.  I handed the woman my key and hurried away before she commented on my shoes.

My Payless shoes on a non-road trip day.

And that, boys and girls, is why road trips do wonders on a person’s self-esteem. 

Serious road tripping/camping/summering details to COME!

Friday, June 8, 2012


I got work off today because we were definitely going to go to Vegas.

No, really. I swear. We had big plans.  We were heading down there with some friends and we were gonna bask in the 120-degree weather and jump in a pool and see family and everything.

But then we changed our minds.

So the inner moral conflict I dealt with was thus: Should I keep the day off and ignore the workload waiting for me merely 15 minutes down the road while my coworkers spend the day making up for my absence? Or should I keep the day off that was promised me for no real reason whatsoever?

I decided to skip.

And then I totally felt like I did in ninth grade when my friend Tesha and I skipped gym class just to go to the playground across the street to play on the swings for an hour and talk about boys.  There were still girls outside in their gym clothes when we came back, so we tried to be stealthy by sort of awkwardly bending over as we ran right past them.  But everyone knew what we were up to.  And we both got after-school detention, and my mom had to come pick me up, and I was grounded for like three weeks during a crucial window of perfect spring hang-out weather.  But oh, was that playground time WORTH IT!

So when I felt like that I told myself, “Self.  You’re a grown-up now. You’re taking this day to get important things done, like finish the laundry and get the oil changed and catch up on imperative facebook correspondence.”

I was definitely going to do all that stuff.

But instead I went to the park and fed the ducks. They loved my bread.  And I wasn't even sorry.

This isn't even the duck I fed.  I forgot my camera card today so stole this duck from the Internets.

I’m still half waiting for the principal to call my house.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Writer's block

The little robin does a dance around a small spot on the grass in the park, darting its head around suspiciously, then shoots its head down and comes up with something alive and wriggly.  It sees me watching and hops further away, maintaining a safe distance between human and worm.  Ambitious; proud; polished; that’s what he is. And I take my eyes off the bird and look down at my blank sheet of notebook paper and wish I could dive in head first and pull living, breathing, wriggly words out of the raw soil, fueling myself with the energy to fly off and get more inspiration.  But the bird finishes his meal and leaves the ground without me, and I remain here in the park with a full pen and an empty page.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I saw him smelling the same roses I stopped to smell yesterday.  He even took a picture, just like I had. And then he was a person, not just the annoying neighbor who always steals our parking spot. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mothers and jackhammers

I woke up Saturday morning thinking of my mother.

Growing up, my parents had very different methods of waking up their children. Dad would quietly walk downstairs, sit on the edge of my bed, and rub my back. “Up and at ‘em,” he’d say gently. “I made you breakfast. Come on upstairs when you’re ready.” 

Mom, on the other hand, would swing the door open, turn on the lights, and open the blinds, letting the horrible light of sunrise shoot through to burn her daughter’s eyelids and make her cry out in unspeakable agony.  “Wake up! You’re going to be late!” she would say matter-of-factly, then list off all the chores I had already shirked on now that it was 6 a.m.  If I took too long, she’d promptly start vacuuming my bedroom. 

Likely, then, my mother would approve of the manner in which we’ve been awakened for the last two weeks.  Our morning begins with the repetitious “beep…beep…beep” of a giant piece of machinery on the road outside, warming up for another loud day.  Soon a jackhammer is added to the chorus, and men in hardhats start yelling at each other, and another giant tractor roars past and drops something large on something very metal.  As if by voodoo, someone drills a hole in the ground and it magically feels like an equally large hole is being drilled into my head. 

And it matters not how much I moan in anguish or cover my ears with pillows or swear profusely (in my brain).  There is no way these guys are going to let me sleep in on a weekend morning.

It occurred to me that if my mom’s method of waking up her children can be represented by the most obnoxious road construction possible right outside my window, then dad’s method would be like a light lilac-scented breeze that floats into the house and kisses my face, carrying with it the sunshiny promise of a wonderful day.  Basically, I guess, like every other Saturday morning, when I choose to ignore the promise and roll back over and sleep for four more hours.

And that’s why Dad’s way never, ever, ever worked.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

Good morning, indeed.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

On miscarriage.

The following is a description of something I went through months and months ago. I didn't tell many folks, so it took a gutsy surge of "I don't care"-ness for me to finally post this.  Let it be known that I am doing GREAT! But I'm publishing this so that maybe it can help someone else who has gone through the same thing. If you have, I'd love to hear from you.  We warrior girls gotta stick together! xoxo

It started with a dream.

I saw the blood and tried to scream, but my voice died with my unborn child, a curly-haired barefoot little girl that danced away into a vast nothingness, looking over her shoulder to grin at me just once before disappearing completely.

But it was only a dream.  I woke up and snuggled closer to my curly-haired, barefoot man.  In the morning I told him. “Lucky thing,” he said. “It was only a dream.”

But it was more than a dream.  Later that morning there was real blood. Real pain.  All that was missing was that ghostly, curly-haired little girl. 

I drove around the block before calling the midwife office to confirm that what was happening to me was what I thought it was.  I was brave on the phone, but when I hung up I sat on the far end of a large parking lot and cried.  My curly-haired man left work. I came home to him with puffy eyes and a heavy heart and he held me and let me cry some more.

I wanted to always remember the tear-jerking combination of physical and emotional pain. I wanted to remember what it felt like to close my eyes and try to ignore the reality, but knowing it was impossible, because behind my eyelids were images of so many things that could have been. That were so close to being.  So instead I just counted: “1, 2, 3, 4…” until the pain passed. And then, for another moment, at least, I could breathe.

I wanted to remember how much it meant when somebody understood.  When they just let me talk and nodded and touched my arm and put their hands to their mouths, wide-eyed, at just the right times. I wanted to remember the hurt and anger I felt when people ignored it or brushed it off with the increasingly cliché statement, “Everything happens for a reason.” I wanted to remember the sinking hope that I was wrong, that everybody was wrong, and that I would wake up the next morning and it really would only be a dream. 

I held on to the memory of crying into my pillow, then forcing myself out of bed, then crying into the stream of a burning hot shower, willing it to cleanse me into an older version of myself – a happier, more naïve version; the version that wanted to wait until we’d done everything before we even considered the possibility of a curly-haired, barefoot little person. 

I wanted to remember the number of ways I found to blame myself: That processed chicken salad. My trips to the rock climbing gym. Tickle fights with the curly-haired man.  Not making myself healthier before we dove blindly and recklessly into a decision we knew almost nothing about. 

I hated myself for wanting to remember. But I couldn’t help it.  And in my eagerness to remember every part of my shattered dream, I tried to forget just one.

This part happened as I shivered in my car in that empty parking lot, feeling cold and lonely, sobbing loudly for no one to hear. “Why?” I cried at my dashboard, at my steering wheel, and then at God. And then one of them answered me with a thought: “You need this experience. For someone else.”  And I told the thought to go away, to leave me alone with my pain, and it did.

But it came back later, when I was able to help someone else. It came back when I thought of the day I might really have a curly-haired little girl who really grows up and might really experience the same thing herself.  And now I know why I tried so hard to remember.  If I can tuck these memories away someplace safe deep inside me, I can pull them back out when someone I love needs them.  I’ll show that someone that I remember. That I understand. 

And knowing this helps me move forward.

My dreams get better all the time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Confessions of a Sprout Mommy

I need to get this out: I’m in love with my plant babies.  Evidence provided below (and in previous sentence, wherein I called them “plant babies”).

1. They’re basically all I talk about anymore. Example:  (Person): “What’s new with you guys?” (Me): “My garden is growing!  Things are coming out of the dirt!” (Person): “Cool.  Anything else?” (Me): “Beet sprouts are PURPLE!”
2. I sing to them sometimes. 
3. I check on them every half hour when I’m at home.  I swear that’s how long it takes for them to stretch their little leafy arms up a little further in an effort to give the sun a big hug.
4. I drew a picture of them.  I couldn’t help it.
5. I get excited when I see their little bums popping out of the dirt. “This one’s coming!” I call out to Kendon, then turn to my little sprout. “Come on, little guy, you’re almost there!” And I think it hears me. And I feel giddy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Memories of puppy love


Geography test Tuesday.  I’ll write that in my planner. Later.
We stayed up talking until 4:30 this morning.  I wonder if he made it to work on time.  The way his hands feel resting on my leg while staring at me with those deep, brown eyes…


What’s the difference between political realism and constructivism?  Houghton is looking at me like he wants me to volunteer a comment. I raise my hand and share an idea from Alexander Wendt.  We could be together right now. We could run away to the beach for a day.  I’d let his hand go up, up, up my leg…


We’re on to liberalism.  The democratic peace theory. Current explorations in globalization and interdependence.  We talked about politics. Movies. Us.  I’m picturing us in an airport, where we sit side by side on the floor and wait for our next flight, our own agents of globalization.

The role of international law in constraining state behavior…

Last night he said I love you. Whispered it so closely it tickled my ear.

Focus. Focus. Focus….

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ask me about my feet.

Yesterday my friend Kim called me and invited me to go on a barefoot walk for children without shoes.   “What do we do?” I asked. “We take a walk. Without shoes,” she replied.  And I was in.

We met at Center Street, where I learned the event was sponsored by TOMS shoe company.  I removed my shoes and had the TOMS logo painted on my face, and we all began to rally with our signs down University Avenue.

And by “we all” I mean…. Well, all seven of us.  Seven of us women in our 20’s.  We got some attention, but not because people were fascinated by our cause.  Cars of student-age boys continuously flipped U-turns and honked at us throughout our walk.  We even got a few whistles.  And I just kept walking along, waving my sign that read, “Ask me about my feet.” No one did, and if they had I don’t know what I would have told them. Because really, there were only three things I knew about my feet in that moment:

1. The bottoms of them were black.

2. They had recently stepped in something wet that may have been dog pee or maybe just spilled soda.

3.  My toenails needed to be repainted and SOON.

And so during that walk with our army of seven I silently prayed that no one asked me about my feet.

At the end of our gallant march I contemplated that protest.  I felt a little like I had just provided free advertising for TOMS.  And I always hoped that the first time I picketed a sign somewhere, it would be for a cause I was fiercely passionate about; and I would wave my sign and yell until my voice left me and feel exhilarated and proud and collapse into bed at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment for having contributed something great to the world. It wasn’t very much like that. I went home, washed my feet, scratched the blue silvery paint off my face, and went to bed thinking hard about how we’re almost out of milk. 

A not-so-flattering photo of my face, the billboard.

P.S. I really do believe that children need shoes in the world.  So, at the risk of once again being a walking billboard, you might want to clickety click here instead of asking me about my feet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This week I planted some seeds.

I tenderly tucked them into a bed of fresh, rich-smelling soil, humming a Simon and Garfunkel lullaby and giving them a bedtime drink. I strained my ears to hear them, perhaps whispering the foresty fairy tales of their grandfathers, or asking for more water, or kicking off the blankets.  I poked my head in to check on them hourly that day, hoping to see one of them peek its tiny green head out to catch a glimpse of the sun.  None of them did.  And then I realized there was one more thing I hadn’t done for them.

Somewhere inside of me there grows a wild jungle and a struggling vineyard.  The jungle is my imagination; the vineyard is my dreams. And in between them rests the barren wasteland; the cemetery where I bury my insecurities. Occasionally I visit this in-between place to check that it remains still and desolate, for many times horrible things have grown here and tried to suck the moisture from my jungle and choke the branches in my vineyard.  It’s cold here: a perfect place for burying my winter, for keeping my baby seeds away from the cold negativity that sometimes flurries into my soul. 

And so, on the day I tenderly tucked in my seeds, I buried a deep, frigid grave for my fears.  I buried my doubts in my abilities; my discouraging thoughts of 5,000 unfinished projects; my guilt at not being a better friend; the pain and remorse for the miscarriage I still don’t talk about.

And I carved with my finger over that grave, “Here lies winter,” and I walked away. For my seeds – for myself – I walked into a new beginning.  Then the smell of blossoms and fresh soil and the taste of sunshine on my skin awakened my vineyard and my jungle into a lush frenzy of growth.  And somewhere, deep beneath the surface of my garden, I swear I heard a hundred baby seeds whispering tales of springs long gone by.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

For the LADIES

To my mother, who loves making after-school snacks and baby blankets and doesn’t realize she’s also a community activist and a spiritual beacon to everyone who’s ever met her: Who inspires me to move forward; who makes me laugh and lets me win at Scrabble. Who saw potential in me me even when I was a shy, awkward, crooked-toothed little girl;  who forced me to take piano lessons and go to school and fight to graduation, like she wishes she did; like I believe she will someday. And who has empowered me from childhood with the idea that I can make this world a better place.

To the mother who never saw my crooked teeth or fear of grown-ups: Who raised a little boy to become the man I love more than anything; whose strength and determination is the glue that binds her family together, who has an eye for beauty and beautiful eyes, who understands what it means to grieve but knows how to jump back up; whose phone calls I look forward to and whose friendship I treasure.

To my growing family of sisters:

To the one who I truly believe my brother would be a mess without, who always brightens the room with her smile and laughter, who can rough it like a mountain woman, but who makes éclairs and greeting cards like a pâtissière at a birthday party.

To the one who shares my shoe size and my love for vintage everything, whose singing voice and soul harmonize perfectly with my brother’s, whose unique life makes for the best dinner conversations, and who has endured and loved me even when I don’t necessarily deserve it. 

To my east coast sister, whose creative genius is irresistibly brag-worthy, who I’ve loved as a sister since before we met, who understands my worldviews even though the views outside our windows may never be the same, and who brightens my inbox with gifts of gifs or blogs of hedgehogs.

To my one and only sister-from-birth sister; who I truly believe is a perfect person; who would never think or hear or speak ill of one single member of God’s big imperfect family; whose genius and determination will one day help her cure cancer; and who I’ve had the privilege of watching grow from a chubby-cheeked chatterbox into a beautiful and talented 18-year-old…though her dimples haven’t changed in the least.

To my grandmothers:

To my Grandma I., who “said it like it was,” whose blunt honesty meant she loved you and whose faith never wavered; who told me stories and introduced me to raw milk and gave me memories that will make me smile forever.

To Granma T., who loves unconditionally; who is tough as nails after raising six sons; whose stories and wisdom entertained me as a child and made me a better adult; who makes the best rolls and stuffing and whose health and stamina make me confident that my children will get to know her as well as I do.

To Grandma B., whose charming demeanor matches her beautiful British accent; who has loved me like a granddaughter since the first day I stepped foot in her immaculate home, who has energy and resilience like no other woman her age, and who has shown me what true love and devotion really mean. 

To my friends – my sisters – of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Pacific Islands, and down the street.  To all the sisters I haven’t met yet; who I may never meet, whose beauty is manifest in so many ways to the people who know you as auntie, sister, daughter, teacher, lover, friend, or "that kind stranger."

Today, ladies, I celebrate you all.

Happy Women's Day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A letter from Syria

Is it raining at your house?

Here it is cloudy, with a chance of shells this afternoon. 

We’ll take a walk in our rain boots by the red river down the street. 

We’ll return home and drink a toast to the future, to the memory of our 8,000 friends lost.  We’ll raise dirty glasses full of dirty water to our tired lips. We’ll feast upon our last two onions, kiss our babies’ cold faces good night, then fall asleep under the blanket of our collapsing roof. 

While the world watches weather reports, we’ll try to yell loud enough for you to hear us.  Perhaps the ground will shake a little beneath you if we all cry in unison.  Perhaps then you will turn off your weather, your music, your video games, and listen to us telling you that the rain here is different than yours.  Perhaps then your eyes will rain for us, and your lips will gently whisper, “I’ll pray for you, Syria.” 

And maybe then the forecast here will change.

Homs, Syria - Washington Post

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The ghosts of "me" past

We were driving home yesterday when a strange thing happened.

We stopped at the light on the corner of University and University. We were holding hands, as usual, and I looked up at the Riviera apartments across the street.

Then suddenly I saw myself five years ago, passing this very light, driving to see a friend at those apartments, not knowing that when I met her boyfriend a few moments later I would be meeting my future husband.  Not knowing that, five years later, we would be driving home to our cozy little cottage from a Friday night date to Jason’s deli, stopped at that same light, holding hands and laughing at each other’s jokes.

Time is an interesting thing, is it not? I wonder what I’ll be remembering five years from today. I wonder what, in five years, will make me marvel yet again at how perfectly the little pieces of life put themselves together.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

On maturity

Being a grown-up is neat.

For example, if I want to have butterscotch pudding from the fridge before dinnertime, I can just go ahead and have it!  And if I don’t especially feel like putting my dirty socks in the laundry bin, I can just fling them any which way without a single repercussion.

Sometimes the whole grown-up thing really amazes me too.  Like the fact that (most weeks) we remember – out of all the grown-up things there are to remember –to take the garbage out to the road the night before garbage day.  I always give Kendon a high-five when we take the garbage out to the road.  It’s an activity that reminds me that I really am 25.

There are times, though, when I feel the opposite of 25. Like last night, when I really just needed to have a good cry, and my grown-up husband held me and wiped my eyes and told me everything was going to be OK.  It’s nice having another grown-up in the house for times like that.  And sometimes the husband needs to be a kid for a little while too, and then I get to take my turn being the Bagley house grown-up.

Being a grown-up is neat. But having someone to take care of you when you feel 10 years old is even neater.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy new new year!

Good morning, world.

I just woke up and discovered it’s the last day of January.

Turns out my mind has been asleep during the very time of year that everyone else’s is wide awake.  At this point in the year, 2012 is still wearing a preposterously loud and colorful party hat with fake fruit and a real tropical bird on top. He’s walking around, so to speak, giving everyone high-fives for keeping their resolutions so fantastically. And everyone’s laughing right along with that good-humored 2012, because before the ink has dried on their 2012 goal lists, they really have lost ten pounds, or won a Pulitzer, or hiked the Alps by now.

For some reason, 2012 didn’t give me a high five like everyone else. It’s like he just strolled on by me, whistling distractedly, straightening his party hat to avoid looking at me.  Maybe it’s because I slept through the fireworks on his birthday? And I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and played another round of Mahjong on my dumb smart phone, because playing Mahjong on your dumb smart phone is about all you can do while you’re waiting for your mind to wake up.

But never fear, world, for my mind has yawned and stretched and at last left its hibernation cave!  And my mind has asked me to hereby proclaim this day as second New Year’s.  We start fresh right now, my mind and I, on January 31, and I’m going to celebrate by making up a song and dreaming up a novel and deleting Mahjong from my smart phone and, of course, by writing in this lonely blog for the first time in over a month.

Happy new new year, world!

Sincerely, me and my mind