new playmate is wooden…

I’m working at a house, trying to get as much done as possible in my remaining hour. Phone rings; it’s third son’s school. They tell me he’s in the nurses office and can I come get him please.
“sure,” I say, “but I’m working in Marietta, so its going to be a while. What happened?”
“well, it seems he ran into a tree… he’s pretty banged up – his face is scraped, his knees are taped -”
“wait, what?” I sputter, “how do you run INTO a tree?”
“I don’t know” comes the reply.
“They’re pretty hard to miss!” I say, “what the hey happened?!”
“I don’t know,” says Mr. Intellectual Giant, “but you need to come get him. We can let him sit in the nurses office but he needs to go home”
“ah, okay… I’ll be there as soon as I can”

beg off the last of the work, hop in car, race down the highway, walk into school office. Son number three comes out.
Boy, is he banged up. Scrapes all down one side of his face, bandaged knees, swollen wrist, two large lumps on forehead, nearly blackened eye – it’s not pretty.

take kid home. slap benzocained cream on scrapes, park kid on couch with ice pack, administer cheddar goldfish.
Baph comes home, having been told about injuries. He looks at third son and exclaims “wow! how did you do that?”
third son replies, “I runneded into a tree from da habitat house. I wasn’t looking at from the house and I just runneded into the tree”
“yeah but,” says Baph, “did you do that yourself?”
“no,” says son, “I was playing tag and I gotted tagged first so I had to run behind me to tag ____ and I didn’t look for the tree before I runnded into it”
“yeah but [third son], couldn’t you see it?”
“yeah,” he says,” but I was running for tag and instead I just runneded into the tree. I didn’t tag anybody”

my guess is that probably ended the game: trees don’t play tag so good.

talking trees…

When we decided to take down the xmas tree, the boys were most helpful.

Then second son decided he wanted to take the tree outside and play with it.


next thing I and my guest know, someone is knocking on the door. I open it to be confronted with our now-bare xmas tree (ex-xmas tree? xmas ex-tree?).
“hey, what are you doing? I want the tree outside kid.”

Then the tree spoke.
“I vant to come inside” the tree said in a somewhat muffled voice.

“NO, I’m afraid christmas is over and you have to go outside. No more trees in the house.”

I close the door. Another knock. I open the door.
“Hey, hey.. HEY! I vant to come inside. YOUuuuuu LETMEIN!” muffled voice as tree shakes suspiciously. NUmerous giggles emanate from behind the offensive flora. I refuse reentry to the tree. I close the door. This routine repeats until…

*knock knock*
“Hey! HEY! I’m a tree… you letme in! I vanna come inside!”
(shake shake, giggle giggle)
I rest my hip on the doorway, cock my head to one side, and say “OH yeah? You seem a bit dirty… perhaps you need a bath”

“Nevermind. bye-bye” tree shakes and giggles. door slams in my face. Guest is reduced to shaking fits of laughter.

back from a trip

early rise…. drive home…. wishing I didn’t have to… wishing I had stayed home last night…. feeling just as grouchy as when I left last night… realizing I forgot the book but that’s okay cuz now I want my own copy…. thinking on what this day will be… wondering what I will do tonight…. thinking about next week’s trip…. seeing my friend will be fun… he promised we would walk around the city…. no one takes walks in this town… we’ll watch movies… ooo! look! I wonder how much it costs to rent a car for the weekend… wondering what today will be like… can I take the kids to the playground today? … I have an interview at five o’clock…. I want the job because it will make life easier and perhaps I will make new friends and cement other friendships… I need to finish my notes for the presentation… why the hell is everyone driving so politely? …I should go ahead and get some time put on my phone…. I should call some people…. I hate calling people and asking them to hang out with me…. no one calls me much so I’d better grit my teeth and start calling…. I don’t miss the drugs, isn’t that a surprise? …I’m still not bored yet… I have some “mommy guilt”… better pick up some doughnuts on the way…. going into the store… who’s that new guy? He’s kinda cute… oh, you think every nerdy-looking guy is cute… yeah, and he’s a blond besides… I have money… soon I’ll have more… I hope I get this job… who should I call that won’t already have plans? …go away guilt, you serve no purpose… well I did get donuts so maybe you serve some purpose… I hate driving…. my best friend died in a car wreck …I used to like driving before that…. I hardly remember that feeling ….I hate that she’s gone…. I talk to her all the time ….she laughs at my dramatics a lot ….I’m glad I can entertain her ….Home again hame again, jiggity-jog, they’d better like these donuts damn it! …I’d better make some coffee to perk up …why did I go over there last night? …cuz I thought it would make me distracted …need to quit expecting other people to do my emotional work …still feel dead inside, is that because it’s Jill’s anniversary? …it fucking sucks when people die! …I wrote a poem about that, maybe I should post it ….put in an LJ-cut so it doesn’t clog up people’s screens … it’s almost time to stop thinking so much…

children running, screaming laughing
sugar falling on the floor,
blankets become tents, capes, blob-monsters
someone is going to wipe sticky prints on my new skirt
I don’t care
now I’m running, screaming, laughing
looking at the mess they made
laying down a box of donuts
watching the naming, the pointing, the testing
glittering eyes
musical giggles
shouting their devotion
Why did I not want to come home?

The universe is a pretty fucking cool place.

First Christmas Tree

Feeling sorry for myself never lasts long… I can’t stand the tedium of being down!

I’m picking up my violin today (my xmas present to ME), I have new comics, the horrible night job is over, everyone responded to my open post, and best of all WE GOT A XMAS TREE!!!

We have never had a xmas tree before.

Sometimes I feel out of place with my little family. Sometimes it seems like we are just a bunch of people inhabiting the same house. Sometimes I feel guilty because having to run a home by myself cuts out a lot of things I imagine this family could really benefit from. Sometimes I imagine that one day my boys will tell me about all the things they feel they missed out on by not having an “intact” family.

We’ve been through times when we didn’t have enough to eat, didn’t have proper health-care, didn’t have a real home… but the worst times were when we didn’t have anything that kept us together. Those were the times when I wondered if I was a selfish person for keeping my children with me. Sometimes I felt deep down that I was doing more harm than good by refusing to give up. So many times I could have handed them over to my ex’s parents who are rich and adoring and would give my boys everything they need and want. They would have gone to the best schools, had the best therapists, travelled around the world and possibly been better people.

Every time I thought that, though, two things would stop me cold: what it would do to them and what it would do to me.

My mother abandoned me when I was a baby. She never will make that up to me, no matter how well we get on now (and we don’t). I could never do that to my boys. My life is my boys, regardless of what I do for me and my pleasure. The boys gave me a purpose that has kept me alive and happy all these years. Nothing else I have ever done will give me the confidence and pride I get from having these guys around. I could never be grateful enough for their gifts to me: joy, love and learning. I am humble before their triumphs and I am moved by their lessons. I cannot even imagine them not in my life.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if we will ever be able to stop struggling and just enjoy each other like “real” families do.

Well, yesterday we did just that.

We went to a place by my one of my sons school and looked around. All the trees looked the same but for size. My boys picked a likely looking suspect that was sitting inobtrusively with no price-tag. I think the guy discounted the price for us because the tree wasn’t marked but it didn’t look any smaller or more banged-up than the other trees but it was the cheapest one (hmmm). The man bagged it (nylon netting to keep it purty) and even put it on the car for me. We had bought lights, mini-balls in metallic colors, candy canes and red ribbon to decorate. The boys fell to putting everything on like old pros and I placed the ribbons, putting bows wherever the guys told me to put them.

The result is lopsided, sparse and totally enchanting to me.

Although there is some friction due to my admonition that the candy canes are NOT to be eaten, the boys are thrilled. I took way too many pictures of them and the tree, everyone grinning like idiots and waving their hands toward it like an infommercial. They ran back to the tree over and over again to touch the branches and count the candy canes. They solemnly recited all the colors of the mini-balls. They checked my bows to make sure they were “just right”. It hard for us to believe that this plain little piece of soon-to-be-dead foilage is really ours.

They each made a star, all three of which will be glued together and put on the top once the glue is dry. It is nothing special, but it is our first xmas that has a tree. This tree is the prettiest thing in our house and we made it that way. It is beautiful to us. I don’t care about the rest of this silly madness; this year is more real to me than any other xmas because this year we did something together that we never did before.

Sometimes, cliches can come true.