Friday, October 03, 2008

Oh, the Memories

I was watching Arthur tonight (don’t look at me that way) with my kids and it was an episode about when Arthur and the Gang decided to all dare each other to skip school. They were in 3rd grade in this episode I think (don’t look at me that way). As the episode went on, my inner mother voice kicked into overdrive as I started thinking about what I would do if one of my own kids ever tried something like that at that young age.

But then just as I was getting all worked up (as if they had already done it), I remembered one sunny fall afternoon when I was in 2nd grade. The catholic school I was going to at the time had very lax rules about allowing kids off school grounds while playing kickball. My best friend at that time, Mandy, and I always went off the playground down to where the street was. It was the perfect hiding spot because not only was it downhill a bit from the playground, but the fence was thickly covered with ivy so you couldn’t see through to our hiding spot.

One day as we were waiting for the perfect chance to make a run for the ball, Mandy looked at me and said “Do you want to run away with me?” I chuckled at first, and then I realized that she was serious and my chuckle turned into one of discomfort. She was my best friend. If she was going to run away, I couldn’t possibly let her do it by herself. So after a few moments of indecision I said as nonchalantly as I could, “Sure.” And off we went.

We spent the majority of the rest of the day walking to downtown Denver. Which in and of itself is not all that extraordinary except that I was 7 at the time and the distance from our school to downtown was easily over 10 miles. But the sheer thrill of what we were doing was enough to keep us going for those many miles. When we finally made it to downtown, we realized how very, very hungry we were and being 7 years old, how we had absolutely no money to speak of (except for the dime I kept in my shoe for emergency phone calls).

So we went into a White Spot (remember those? I have very fond childhood memories of them because of my dad, but that’s a whole other post), hoping that perhaps someone would take pity on us. But while I was in the bathroom, Mandy took it upon herself to liberate a couple of tables of their tip money. Just another level of danger to our afternoon.

So we hot-footed it over to McDonald’s and loaded up on fries and water. Then we cruised the 16th Street Mall, which at the time was a skateboarder haven, and walked all over downtown to all the places we had heard of and never been. I was still having a grand time when Mandy turned to me and said, “I’m ready to go home.” Honestly, I was a little disappointed. I was ready to keep this up at least until it got dark (which admittedly was only a couple of hours away). But we went to the nearest pay phone and she called her dad who came to pick us up at our chosen destination.

When her dad took us back to the school we were greeted by several police officers. Very mean, very angry police officers. Who took us back into the principal’s office giggling and let us out 30 minutes later crying for our mommies.

I remember my dad being out of town at the time and when my mom and I got home, she called him immediately to let him know I was found and ok. I was expecting yet another tongue lashing from him, but instead all he did was laugh. My mom was sobbing near uncontrollably and my dad was giggling. It was the strangest thing. I probably should have reminded him of that giggle fit when he almost disowned me 9 years later for taking off with my new driver’s license and driving for 2 days straight to Georgia.

But that’s another post.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hopeless Romantic

So I’ve come to discover that a lot of little girls spend a lot of time fantasizing about their weddings throughout their years growing up. This is actually a fairly recent discovery for me. And shocking at that. I had never really thought about weddings until my best friend got married while I was still in college. I was thrown into a total tailspin by all the stuff that goes along with weddings. I truly had no clue about all the schmutz that goes into “the happiest day of a woman’s life.”

What I spent my daydreams on was fantasizing about love. The things that the love of my life would say and do. I even spent hours making “Someone who would…” lists. You know, “Someone who would dance in the rain with me.” “Someone who would surprise me.” “Someone who would catch fireflies with me.”

I never focused on what we would do or what this person would look like and certainly not the details of a wedding. I focused on how it would feel. How it would feel to be adored. How it would feel to just totally give myself over to another human being for safekeeping. How it would be that no matter what day of the week it was, there would always be someone happy to have me come home.

The details never really mattered all that much to me. Because at the very core of who I am, lies a hopeless, unabashed romantic. Even when cynicism drips from every word out of my mouth there is a part of me that it literally screaming for someone or something to prove me wrong.

This integral romanticism has come to be one of my biggest attributes as well as one of my biggest downfalls. While it instills in me this never-failing hope which keeps me going even when I’m at or near bottom, it also opens me up to all kinds of hurt. Because I don’t close myself off to people. I have a hard time establishing boundaries. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I will do just about anything for someone I love. But I’ve learned the hard way that hard core romantics like me are few and far between these days. So I wind up getting my heart broken. And I cry. A lot. But then that eternal fountain of hope rises again and I pick myself back up and go back to the dreaming and wishing.

And at the end of the day, I guess I’m grateful for my romantic nature. Because heaven knows that in today’s world, an endless supply of hope is hard to find. So I’ll hold onto it. Even if it makes me a silly girl. I prefer the fairytales and maybe, just maybe, if I believe in them long enough, one will come true.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What's there to be written

Have you ever given something to someone and then wished more than anything you could have it back? Because even though you gave it from the heart and it was honest you just feel like such an idiot.

Because it was honest and because it was from the heart should be enough to make such a gesture ok, but you just want it back to try to preserve some semblance of dignity. Because you thought that the not giving was worse than what the giving could ever feel like, but you were wrong because you just want to go crawl in a hole now.

When that thing was given the recipient was thankful and appeared to appreciate the gravity of the gift. But then they just disappeared. Because they don’t have room for you in their lives. Because you thought they were here to bring that one thing that has been missing for so long back to you, but instead just showed up to remind you of what was and then leave again. And during that moment of reverie, you trusted those feelings and decided to take a risk and be honest and act from the heart. But instead of feeling fulfilled and empowered by that risk, you instead feel embarrassed and mistaken. And you wish more than anything that you could be mean and angry, because that would at least be rational. Instead however, all you feel is empty.

But there I go babbling on again about nothing in particular. Just typing out the silliness in my head, knowing that it doesn’t make any sense but writing it anyway, because it’s there to be written.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

That's what a 6'7" wingspan will get you!

Michael Phelps is made of awesome!!!

I just had to say it.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Here are a few little ditties that have floated up through the dark, sticky morass that is my brain right now...

The wind brushes the shingles of civilization and the water grows louder. And she takes a breath as if a life once foregone flickers back into flame. A first and last breath as old life dies and new life takes hold.

A decisive moment as she brushes the fingers of old love tracing scars left before her time made soft around the edges by wisdom and imagination.

There is great beauty beneath this madness she whispers to the breeze tracing the bars surrounding her soul.

And there is pain as her face blanches with the realization that her knight in shining armor is not only not coming, but never existed.

Ripping herself out of reverie she gazed upon the pale dawn and sees in it no more new futures. Only the burning clarity of another day demanding to be walked through.

I keep seeing these incorporated somehow into pieces of art. But I am so not an artist, so I'm not sure how to make that happen. But it sounds cool doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Balancing Deja Vu

I scoffed at things like MySpace and Facebook for quite a while. I thought it was something for my single friends, but certainly not something for me – married with two kids. But then one of my old friends from college sent me an invite for it right when I had a bunch of time of my hands so I started playing with it. And now I check it several times a day and have reconnected with most of my high school class and many friends from college that I had fallen out of touch with.

While it’s fun to compare pictures of our kids and catch up, it’s also brought a strange sense of déjà vu. It’s taken me to long buried memories and old forgotten feelings. It’s fun and sad and weird all at once. I am so different now than I was then.

I’m happier, more stable now. But I’m also so much tamer. I was adventurous and daring and often, shocking in my audacity. I’m domesticated now. Which is mostly ok. I adore my children and I’ve found a level of contentment and peace being a mother that I had always dreamed of but couldn’t realize. But I miss the drive to be different. And I miss the escapades that come floating back to me as I reminisce with these people who were once such intimate parts of my life.

My life is in a crazy state of upheaval right now. There is a distinct possibility that we will be filing for bankruptcy before year’s end. I still have no idea what is happening with my son as his headaches continue and the emotional outbursts plague us all. I take each day as it comes and try to stay as present with myself and my family as I possibly can. But I find myself stuck in a memory slideshow in my brain as I cling to some of the emotions I had then and the people who inspired them.

One friend in particular inspired a feeling of absolute trust and safety and I find myself thinking about him every day. Wishing for that feeling again and trying to figure out how to re-create within myself and for my children. Another always made me feel absolutely adored and ravishingly beautiful. Which is not something I’ve felt since my wedding day just about. I miss the confidence being looked at like that inspires.

It’s interesting to compare the reflection in the mirror of who I am now with who I was then. And I guess the real trick is to superimpose the me of now with the me of then and with any luck, I’ll get a glimpse of balance, which would be such a lovely change of pace.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Rant for the Sake of Nostalgia

Summer time with the kids usually means that I might as well live under a rock when it comes to news and current events. So you can imagine my surprise when I was watching the MLB All Star Home Run Derby last night to learn that they were going to TEAR DOWN Yankee Stadium!!

Shock is an understatement. I was so upset I wanted to cry and throw things all at once. How could anyone possibly think that was a good idea?

I mean there is no love lost between me and the Yanks. I’m a Red Sox fan in honor of Brian, so the assumption that there exists a grave dislike between me and the Yankees is a good one. But Yankee Stadium is hallowed ground and exists outside of any team rivalry, ego or Steinbrenner. Almost all of baseball’s greatest moments have happened in Yankee Stadium, or had some connection with it. It is the pinnacle of baseball history.

And that is what makes me so angry. The absolute disregard of that history, which is in and of itself a grand reflection of our own American history. Discovering a place of hope during war. The people finding a forum where they could put down their racist tendencies and acknowledge greatness in a man regardless of color. Or, last night, a man overcoming three years of heroin addiction to come to the Homerun Derby and hit 28 homeruns in the first round.

Baseball is the great American pastime because it allows us to celebrate and hope and cheer as if time has stood still. Walking into a baseball game gives you permission to make each at bat, each play and each out your number one priority regardless of what the stock market or the politicians are doing.

Ultimately, I can get as mad as I want, but it’s going to happen. They are going to tear it down. So I guess in the end, it’s really the inevitability of it all that makes me so sad. That we can devote a season and an All Star game to remembering the history this stadium has seen and tell ourselves that it’s enough. That because we remembered it all for a few months, that gives us permission to do away with it and build something new and shiny in its place.

I guess I just want to hold onto the comfort that comes in knowing that a place exists that bore witness to so many of America’s best and most hopeful moments. Because I think we all could use a little inspiration right about now.