Tuesday, July 31, 2007

No Joy for You

Oh, The Joys?

On vacation.

No Joy for you!

Mwa ha ha ha!!!!

See you Monday, internets.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

John Henry

The guy I stalked in college picked me up in Chicago when I finally landed.

When I met him in 1985, I was instantly in deep, deep lurrrvveee.

[OMG, I just, like, you know, totally had to marry him. ]

After about ten months of dogged stalking, he reluctantly decided to give up and date me. The relationship lasted all of six weeks.

When it ended, I was devastated.

I continued to shamelessly stalk the poor guy until college ended and I moved away.

To his credit, he was always gentle and kind in his rejection.

Five years later and the week of my first wedding, this college boyfriend called to say he was in my town and asked if he could take my fiance and I out to dinner.

My fiance suggested that I go alone as he didn't want to hang out with one of my former boyfriends the week of our wedding.

[He said he would just sit there imagining college boyfriend and I... you know... doing the nekkid gyrations.]

I went alone and enjoyed catching up with "the one who got away."

As I was driving him back to his hotel he said,

"You know, I always felt badly that I didn't feel the same way about you that you did about me in college. I always liked you so much, respected you and enjoyed your company. I hope I never hurt your feelings because I never wanted to do that."

[Did I mention I was DRIVING when he said this?!]

Over the next few years we were in touch more often and when we talked, we were honest about our lives and offered each other support.

We became real friends.

My first husband and I divorced around the same time that college boyfriend and his first wife split up.

Commiserating with each other helped us both get through that difficult time.

I haven't been to Chicago in more than four years -- not since before I became pregnant with The Mayor.

I was excited to see college boyfriend and his second wife and to meet their fifteen month old son. (Of course, baby college boyfriend was incredibly cute.)

After our visit he drove me to my downtown hotel.

On the way he talked about being a father and said,

"There's nothing else that I do in my life that has such importance or permanence. I can accomplish tasks at work and they have a short term impact, but parenting has such long term implications. The man that my son becomes is my legacy. There is nothing I can contribute to this world that has more value than this."


I looked at college boyfriend and noticed his grey hair.

I don't see him in person very often and when I do, I am often surprised that he doesn't look twenty-two anymore though my memory perpetually clings to that youthful image of him.

After this visit, I hope I can override that outdated imprint and replace it with this new picture, my friend the father.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Introductions

So... I'm off to visit My Kind of Town today.

While there, I'll meet new people and they might say,


"Who are you?"
or
"Who ARE you?"

or
"Who are YOU?"

I have a hard time with that question.

How am I supposed to answer?

Who am I in what sense?

To prevent being totally stymied by the question, I've been practicing
my quick summary answer...

Hi. I'm Jessica. I'm an exceedingly flatulent woman with asymmetrical boobs, a dorky nature, and a National Park Ranger uniform fetish. I have serious photoshop skillzzz and am generally overcome by THE ABSOLUTE MOUNTING JOYS of trying to maintain enough energy for the post 8:00 p.m. Bow Chicka Bow Wow while living with two very short and loud people.

Do you think that captures it?

Who are you?

Tell me.



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

R is for Roller Coaster

Is it wrong that sometimes I parent to amuse myself and not my children?

Last night I was reading an alphabet book to The Mayor who is trying to learn his letters.

The "R" page showed a roller coaster. The riders had their arms thrown up in the air and their mouths formed neat, little "o" screams.

"What are the riders saying, Mommy?" The Mayor asked.

"Uh... They're saying," [I begin to sing...] " Rollercoaster... of love, say what!, Rollercoaster... ha, ha!, Whooo, Whooo, Whooo."

[The Mayor stared at me.]

"Would you like to sing it too?" I asked.

[My bewildered three year old nodded.]

I sang a line, he repeated it...

Welcome to The House of Joy where we're bringing a call and response tradition to some funky, Ohio Players Disco.

Oh. Yes.

It's story time little children.

Come to Mama.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Epiphanies

Sinking to a new motherhood low, I hid in the pantry and ate a fudgecicle.

Sharing is for pussies.

"Play with me, Mommy!"

"No."

I can't seem to kick the nasty sickness that has invaded my body and I have no energy for my role as a parent.

I am in no mood to pretend I am a tree limb chipping machine or a firefighter and on one of my better days I would think that was sad.

These are NOT my best days.

Hiding in the dark pantry and wallowing in the hollow scoop of my maternal nadir, my two sophisticated reflections on parenting were,

"Why haven't I ever thought of hiding in here before?"
and
"As God is my witness, I will never go pantryless again!"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bush Trimming

K fantasizes about having a perfect lawn.

That must be some sort of sign that we are officially middle aged.

He obsesses so much about the yard and its brown-ness that yesterday while The Mayor and The Rooster napped, he went outside to rake, clip and generally putter about.

[I also spent the time productively by conducting scientific experiments to determine which pillow on my bed was the most comfortable.]

When The Mayor and The Rooster woke up, they cried for Daddy.

[Because I am chopped liver.]

K was still outside, so in I went.

The sight of me caused a great wailing.


"No, Mommy! We want Daddy!"

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I could hear K's attempts at "lawn whispering" (as William calls it) out back. I pulled up the blinds so the kids could look out and see their father in all his botanical glory.

K had picked up the hedge clippers and was looking squint eyed at a bush with four foot sprouts shooting out the top.

When he saw The Mayor and The Rooster pressed against the window looking at him, he came and squished his face against the screen and made funny faces. He could hear their laughter through the window pane.

The yard clown's hedge clipping circus was born.

K ran at our bushes, clipping willy nilly, and running right over them. I watched our yard ornamentation bend down to kiss the brown grass and spring back up.

K jumped up and down randomly clipping the ends off Magnolia branches while The Mayor and The Rooster laughed and laughed.

While he was attacking the holly bush in an "Edward Scissor Hands Goes Religious Fanatic" way, a neighbor, whose backyard abuts ours, wandered across his lawn and out to his driveway staring puzzled at K (who didn't notice him) the whole time.

[Now I was laughing.]

K leap frogged over the hydrangea and back again while clipping and jumping with such frenzy that I am truly impressed the man still has testicles.

On a reverse jump the neighbor headed back across his lawn and this time K saw him and came to a startled and abrupt stop.

"Whatever it takes to amuse the kids, eh?" the neighbor said.

K nodded his blushing head, watched the neighbor disappear into his house, and then resumed the lawn and garden show.

The Mayor and The Rooster pointed at the yard's next victims and, in response, K raged against them with his clippers.

Finally K wore himself out.

While our hedges have been clipped... or whacked... or whatever,
our yard still isn't K's dream show piece.

Still, the next time he wrings his hands, worrying about our yard and looking with envy at the springy grass up the street, I hope he remembers that he is achieving something far greater than the perfect lawn.



K Makes A Face

Friday, July 20, 2007

Where I Cure Insomnia for You

When K goes away on a business trip leaving me home alone with the kids, there is a certain anticipation about his return.

I can't help counting the minutes until he will be back and the burden will be shared, the load lighter.

So I know that he is EXTRA, SUPER EXCITED that I have come home after four days away with one eye swollen shut and snot leaking out every facial orifice I own.

The joys!

Because I am flat on my back (and not in a sexy, fun way) I give you a long and uninteresting post I wrote for
Kami from The Kelson Krew who asked me how I became a consultant.

If you have insomnia, you might really enjoy it...

************************************************************************************

A Very Long and Boring Work History

I was shocked to learn that no one wanted to hire me
when I graduated from college and moved to the south with a degree in English Literature.

What a blow to my personal awesomeness.

Eventually, a tiny advertising agency offered me a job answering the phone.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Over time, they grew weary of watching their bored receptionist repeatedly bang her head against the desk and they decided to let me chew on the crusts of their client work.

[We are not talking bakery quality bread crusts.]

The ad agency specialized in point of purchase materials for fast food restaurants.

Translation: I spent sixty or more hours a week worrying about whether or not [SUPER BURGER] glistened enough in a photo for a sign intended to assault you in the [BURGER JOINT] waiting line.

I was miserable.

I thought,

"Is this all there is? Do I really have to spend the majority of my days FOR THE NEXT FORTY FIVE YEARS doing this?"

Lucky for me, the agency went under.

[Hurray for small business corruption and bankruptcy!]

Adrift, I made beaded jewelry and sold it as a street vendor and answered the phone for my neighbor’s tax software company.

I worked in concert promotion for a small, local music theater which would have been a cool job had the owner not been completely… (if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.)

I decided I needed do something meaningful with my life and that perhaps drastic steps would have to be taken.

I decided to join the Peace Corps.

I went through the interview process and they wanted me!!!

To go to Jamaica!!!!!

To teach home economics???

[This made my mother fall over laughing.]

Wha…?

Like sewing and stuff?

But Miss Scarlet, I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout no home economics!”


Seriously, WTF?

My friend Therese happened to mention that she was thinking of putting up flyers in a nearby apartment complex offering to tutor the immigrant residents in English as a second language.

At the time I was living in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood that was experiencing an influx of immigrants from the Middle East.

I called the local synagogue and explained that while I was not a member of the synagogue – or even the faith – I was a member of the community who was willing and interested in tutoring a newcomer in English.

They matched me up with a family from Iran whose first language was Farsi.

The first time I went to their house I was armed with a pen, a legal pad and no clue at all.

They knew the English alphabet, but beyond that, nothing.


I ended up eating a boat load of their halva and taping scraps of paper with English words on them to all the things in their house.

[I like, totally saw the film The Color Purple, so I was like, uniquely qualified for this tutoring thing.]

Over the course of the year I spent with this family I am certain I got more from the relationship then they did though they did find me somewhat useful...

They asked me questions like,

“Why do the women wear so little clothing on the American soap operas?”

[And real questions about how things worked at the grocery store or post office.]

While I was tutoring them, I contacted a local volunteer organization and told them about the newcomers in my neighborhood and the need for more English language tutors.

The genius at the volunteer organization, said

“What a great idea! You’re in charge.”

[How did he know?]

They named me the “Project Coordinator” and started listing my project, my name and my phone number in their monthly calendar of volunteer opportunities.

Soon I was getting calls from others who wanted to help.

Together, a group of us wrote plagiarized a “How to be an English Language Tutor” handbook.

We had a swingin’ little operation going after a while.

In 1992, there was a job opening at the volunteer organization.

They needed a part-time volunteer coordinator to recruit, train and manage volunteers in a Saturday morning academic enrichment program in the city’s most impoverished elementary schools.

They were offering $13,000 dollars a year for 20 hours per week.

I have never wanted a job as much as I wanted that one.

Not ever.


I was nervous and shaking going to the interview and made a last minute stop in the bathroom.

While I was in there I felt a wave of calm come over me and, as dorky as it may sound, I felt the presence of my great, great Grandmother. She lived to be 100 years old and she and I were very close.

I swear I heard her voice say,


“Remember who you are and who came before you.”

I don’t know what it was about those words exactly, but they centered me. I calmed down and did well in the interview.

I got the job, worked 70 hours the first week and never looked back.

I worked all the time and I loved it.

I met amazing people who truly wanted to work for change.

What began as a position managing volunteers in educational programs expanded, until eight years later, I was directing the agency's volunteer programming, marketing and leadership development.

I moved on from the local organization to work for the national network doing marketing and fundraising.

At the time, K was directing the programming of an environmental foundation and both of us were working all the time.

We still liked what we were doing, but we needed a break.

In 2001, K and I got married, quit our jobs and traveled the world on a sixteen month backpacking trip in the developing world.

When we returned to the states, K applied for positions both here and in Washington D.C.

Because I wasn’t sure what was going to work out for him, I didn’t look for work at all. I figured I’d look once we knew where we would settle.

During K’s job search, people in the local nonprofit community started asking me to take on project work… and a consultant was born.

K got a job here, but I never looked for one.

Work found me.

I’ve been an independent consultant for five years now.

I used to think of myself as someone bound by daily ritual and to the assurance of financial security.

In the past I would have told you that I was not a risk taker.

Looking back on my career choices, I have to reflect that it seemed risky at the time to:

---step into the lives of immigrants from Iran;
---accept a part time job for $13,000 a year;
---drop out of the workforce for sixteen months; and
---remain unemployed and unsure about my future while K looked for a job.

Maybe I am a risk taker after all.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Cup Full

Lately, just before going to bed and after his story time, The Mayor has been asking K and I to play a song for him from our ipod which sits in a speaker system near my bed where we read.

He doesn't seem to care what song we choose, he simply wants to listen to a new piece of music at the end of his hard day.

Before I left town I chose a song from the 'Oh, Brother Where Art Thou' soundtrack, a version of the gospel song 'I'll Fly Away' sung by the Emmy winning bluegrass artist, Alison Krauss.

The Mayor responded enthusiastically to the bluegrass style, but then said,


"Mommy, why are your eyes closed?"


"I'm just letting the music fill me up," I said.


He was confused by that notion.


"Close your eyes, " I said. "Imagine that your body is a cup and the music is milk pouring in and filling up your whole body."


The Mayor, who loves milk more than anything, closed his eyes.

We listened to the song.

When it ended, The Mayor slowly stood up to walk to his bedroom.


"Did you like the song?" I asked.


He nodded.


"How did you like listening to the music with your eyes closed?"


"It filled me up alright," he said. "It filled my whole head."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Knows Geografeez Rilly Good

My super organized colleague, Megan, called me at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday,

"I can't find any 10:20 flights to Philadelphia this morning. Can you tell me the number of our flight again? I'm sure I just have it wrong."

"Sure," I said. "I got a confirmation e-mail last night."

[I open the e-mail.]

"Let's see... HOLY MARSCAPONING JEEBUS WEARING HAIRSPRAY."
Reagan National Airport?

Not in Philadelphia.

((((((Oh, the moron.))))))

I promised to "fix" it and call her back in ten minutes.

On the phone with the nice customer service representative I learned, all direct AND connecting flights to Philly? Sold out.

I routed us to Newark, called my Father, woke him from his Sunday morning slumber, CRIED LIKE A BABY and begged him to come get us in Newark and drive us to Philadelphia.

He did it, but I think he might have experienced his own "oh, the joys" of parenting moment.

So yeah.

Have a really important meeting you need handled in another city?

I'm your gal.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Fetching

The Mayor thought it was great fun to throw a stone in the pool and watch his father dive under and retrieve it.

K played along as if he were a golden lab and loyally brought the rock back time and again.

Losing interest,
K splashed and flip flopped in the water.

He went under... he jumped up... he made faces at Rooster.

"Dad, get the rock. DAD!"

K ran off to jump off the diving board.

"CANNONBALL!"

[Ginormous splash.]

K stayed under and swam all the way to The Mayor's belly.

When K's face emerged, The Mayor grabbed it in two hands and yelled,

"FOCUS, DAD. FOCUS."



The Mayor's Goggles

Friday, July 13, 2007

Morning Tides

This morning both The Mayor and The Rooster were on the bed in our room while K and I tried to get everyone dressed, ready and out the door.

Rooster was ripping pages out of library books and screaming.

The Mayor was standing dangerously close to the edge of the bed screaming because his shirt was tangled up with his arms and head.

Fresh from the shower, K stood in nothing but his underwear.

I had at least managed to pull on a skirt and a shirt, though they were so wrinkled that they looked like I found them in the hamper.

The noise and chaos levels rose and fell in violent waves.

K and I looked at each other.

We stepped together and embraced.

I put my head on his shoulder.

We were still for a moment, enveloped in a protective shield of stillness and peace.


"You're my one," he said.

"I love you every day," I said.


The powerful current of morning on the angry toddler seas pulled us apart, but we returned to battling the rising waves buoyed up.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

And That's Not All It Can Do, Sister!

"I WANNA POTTY TEAT!"

The Rooster recently discovered that using the potty results in sugar delivery in the form of a potty treat.

Girlfriend is suddenly ALL ABOUT THE POTTY.

[My little Pavlovian.]


Right out of the box she has demonstrated an expertise at rationing her pee.

She asks to use the potty, deposits one tablespoon of liquid in it and demands a potty treat.

[Over and over all day long.]


Make no mistake, I'm not complaining.

My not-yet-two-year-old girl has decided to potty train herself?

Here's a whole freaking bag of candy, Roo.


Potty training Rooster hadn't yet occurred to K and I, but we're excited.

There is much yelling,


"Hurray! You made pee pee on the potty!!"

She is very proud.

[And WAY sugared up.]


Yesterday she ran out to the hall and stood in front of the full length mirror admiring.

She swayed from side to side and started singing.

Her dance became increasingly animated and her voice more robust as she established a level of confidence in her chorus.

With arms raised and waving in the air, her voice rang out with these lyrics,

"MY GYNA!
MY GYNA!
PEE COMES OUT MY GYNA!"

With song and dance she celebrated her equipment all morning.

Oh, the awesomeness of the gyna!



P.S. -- What better place than a post about awesome vaginas to make sure you know that Crank Mama (remember - the woman with the HOTNESS?) moved her blog here. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

She's Got Huge Fire Trucks

The other day I was reading Matthew's Dream by Leo Lionni to The Mayor before his nap.

During the story the main character (Matthew) meets his future wife, a mouse named Nicoletta.

When Nicoletta was introduced, The Mayor interrupted me to say,


"Mom! I had a dream about Nicoletta!"

"You did?"


"I did!" he said. "And in the dream..."


[The Mayor cupped his arms in front of his chest as if he were carrying two watermelons.]


"...in the dream she had these huge fire trucks!!"

The Joys.






Tuesday, July 10, 2007

June Just Posts

justpostjune2007

Nine days after K and I were married planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York.

Our honeymoon plan was to leave the country and backpack around the world for 16 months in Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Central and South America. We were scheduled to leave on October 15, 2001 and our journey was to begin in Indonesia.

After mourning the incredible tragedy that was September 11th with our families and community, we decided to go ahead with this trip though we decided to begin in Malaysia as there had already been several serious reports of violence in parts of Indonesia.

Our parents were nervous. It was an uncertain time in history and though Malaysia is very diverse, it is a majority Muslim country.

Do you know what happened to us there?

Malaysians treated K and I with incredible kindness and expressed their sympathies over the horrific events of September 11th.

They were also very curious about our nation's foreign policy choices.

People in Malaysia, and in many other countries over the course of our trip, asked us,

"Why can't the United States, the most powerful country in the world, be the kind of leading nation that everyone, everywhere looks up to?"
I was never able to answer that question for anyone.

Instead, I had to tell them that I wondered about and wished for the same thing.


Nearly six years later, we are still
asking the sons and daughters of our neighbors to serve our nation and risk their lives in a fight I can't seem to understand.

I have a deep respect for those who choose to serve in the military and I strongly believe that we should not ask them to sacrifice so much unless it is a last resort.

War seemed to be our first choice in this case.

In all these years, I can't say that we have made any significant strides towards being the kind of global leader that commands respect through the character of its actions.

There are so many wonderful things about the United States and yet, I am so disappointed.

I was especially haunted by the photo that circulated on the internet last month of a hooded Iraqi prisoner trying to comfort his son during a visit. (You can see the photo here, but I warn you, it will hurt.)

I could not find the right words to talk about how this photo affected me.

My very good friend found them for me.

I want to recognize Little Monkies for her post entitled, War and I hope you will read it
and join her.

Please visit all of the featured posts in this month's Just Post Roundtable.

Ally with accident of birth
Alejna with throwing blame
Little Monkies with war
Mrs. Chicken with why
KC with working for the man
Mama Karma with let's act
Mary with mommy love thyself
Chani with serenity, limits to unconditional love, romanticizing homelessness, all the wilting people, this is not education
Crazymumma with it's just hair
Bad with around the corner i had a friend and doing it
Susanne with cloth diapers and pink third
Shelly with special needs
Blog Antagonist with the color of impetus is teal green and beauty interrupted
missing minorities (The entire blog)
Jaleh with mom vs. mom
Sage Femme with Incens(ationaliz)ed who also writes as Sage with thembelihle
Lawyer Mama with of privilege and prejudice
Jess with i touched al sharpton with my boobs
Julie with the divine right of kings, wergild and the big tragedy of the duke lacrosse scandal
Pundit Mom with only 40 years ago
Jen with american beauty, pulling rabbits, curbside pickup and we are all children here
Christine with 800 hour
Jenny with the almost great lebron james
Slouching Mom with we must never forget
Kaliroz with reality, morality and future-ality
Florian with Alexandra Renewal Project
Deb with operation first casualty
Flutter with open arms
Hel with speaking our truths
Jordan with reaching out
Cecileaux with street sense and uncommon sense
Cheryl with because i am a girl and class action suit
Shannon with act my issue
Alice with ahhh Nina and outdoor essentials
Mrs. Chili with cutting of our nose
Jennifer with all kinds of wrong

Monday, July 09, 2007

Small Pinball

Though she has been "walking" for nearly a year, it would be more exact to say that The Rooster careens like a drunken sailor.

Last week at Granny's house K sat on an ottoman attempting to enjoy a cup of coffee despite the whilrling toddlers and flying legos.

Without warning The Rooster slammed into him, sending hot coffee shooting out of his cup and spraying his whole body.

[The Rooster was untouched by the most sacred black drink.]

K shouted out in pain,

"AAAAHHHH! SON OF A MOTHER GARBLESHDLSKEDSSDF!!!"


The Rooster looked at her father completely bewildered.

"You spill your coffee, Daddy?" she said with total innocence.


K looked at her with wide, disbelieving eyes.

"Uh...yeah, Rooster. Daddy spilled his coffee."


With a mixture of sadness and confusion, The Rooster said,

"Oh. Why?"


GAH!


The joys.

I Crack Myself Up

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Teenie Weenie Meanies

This one's for The New Girl -- and for all the new moms and moms to be...

The Mayor too, was a teenie, weenie, meanie...

Here he is on his first Father's Day.

Dad happy The Mayor sad

Then later?

Sad.

281 Sad

Sadder.

283 Sadder

Oh, The Great SADNESS!

284 really sad

[I love how K is LAUGHING in all of these. Sweet!]

The Rooster doesn't get off scott free. No!

Here's The Rooster's teenie, weenie meanie shot...

Recognition

And let us not forget her teeth in Daddy's butt cheek technique!

Yeeeeouch!

Ah, yes. The joys.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Not What I Expected To Write


My relationship with my mother has improved since I’ve had children.


It’s like a curtain was pulled aside and I suddenly understood so much more about her, particularly her patience and creativity as a mother.

I’ve spent all these years trying to be unique, different from her, my own person.

If anyone as much as insinuated that I was like my mother they were met with my wrath.

It’s pathetic that it has taken me until now to recognize the many, many ways I am like her – and feel glad.

The self-deprecating humor? Hers.

The ability to make new people feel at ease? Hers.

The list is long.

As a mother now myself, I look back and realize what a truly good mother she has been. I will be lucky if I do even half as good of a job as she did. [Her patience is a trait I didn’t get. Damn.]

One negative trait we share is relative incompetence when it comes to true illness.

Both my mother and I are fine playing nurse to children suffering from a cold or a skinned knee, but both of us shift nervously in a hospital room.

I don’t think either of us knows exactly what to do or what to offer friends, family – or anyone for that matter – that is really sick.

I’ll speak for myself and be brutally honest.

I feel uncomfortable and out of control around real illness.

I have been so fortunate to have had very limited exposure to the very sick and therefore have little experience with it.

When faced with a real health crisis, I don’t know what would be helpful for me to do or say.

I am an action oriented person. I need to know what to DO.

My friend Gwen nearly died when her daughter was born prematurely. The baby was so little…

Gwen had been very sick for more than a week before being admitted to the hospital so their house was a wreck and the nursery wasn’t put together at all when the hospital told Gwen’s husband that he would have to take the baby home on his own.

In this case, I organized a team of friends to clean their house and set up the nursery. I also served as a communications coordinator of sorts for her friends and family, sending out e-mail updates about her health.

When I visited her in the hospital, I bit my nails and looked at the floor.

I don’t always intuit what people might be thinking or catch on to subtle signals.

I sometimes wish that when friends or family were sick they would wake up each morning and dictate a list.

Daily List: Things I would like people to do for me or say to me today...

At least then I could feel helpful.

I know, I know. It’s not about ME, but what good does it do for me to shift from foot to foot and stammer?

My friend Becca’s husband was diagnosed with Leukemia about two years ago. At the time, their eldest daughter was three and their youngest was five months old.

Becca’s brother lives in town and he organized an amazing on-line calendar where everyone in her community could sign up to cook and deliver meals, help with household chores, hold and rock the baby, visit her husband in the hospital, loan various items they needed during his post-chemo periods at home and even donate money.

It made everyone in her community feel part of the support team, each of us doing a part of a much greater whole.

But what about people just outside of my immediate community?

There’s a woman with children in The Mayor & The Rooster’s daycare whose husband has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. They have three children under the age of five, she is a school teacher and her husband is going to die.

WhyMommy from Toddler Planet recently found out that she has a rare form of breast cancer. She’s still nursing her five month old. This breaks my heart and yet, I am paralyzed.

Schmutzie has cervical cancer.

I would love to be helpful, but I don’t know what to say, much less what to do.

How do I rise up and properly support those who need it in times like these?

In February my grandfather, my Ady, passed away. My mother was at his side in the hospital.

I haven't talked with her about what that was like in the context of how she's historically felt about hospitals and sickness.

I do know that my Granny was grateful to have her there.

Perhaps I can be even more like my mother.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Becoming Fit

My Granny grew up in an extremely rural part of Virginia - a place that remains so even today.

If you met her, you would probably find her to be a proper, refined, southern woman.

You would not likely encounter her secret, inner Erica Jong.

The Family Joy spent the last five days in Virginia with Granny and Grandma Seattle.

Granny and I were talking about my continued battle against The Lady Flabina when she said,

"I read an article recently citing a new weight loss method discovered by N.A.S.A. The article said that the fastest way astronauts can restore their atrophied muscles after spending time in space is to use a vibrator."


Grandma Seattle and I fell over laughing.

"Honestly," Granny said with her usual propriety and composure, "I think it sounds like a perfectly DELIGHTFUL way to stay fit."


[The twinkle in Granny's eye was a dead give away.]

Delightful, indeed.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dreams


I have anxiety dreams when I'm under pressure at work.

Occasionally I have jealousy dreams where I dream K is having an affair and I wake up angry at him. Heh.

[
I'm all YOU B*STARD!! and He's all..."What did I do?"]

I have one horrible recurring nightmare... the one where I have sex with George Costanza from Seinfeld.

[Sweaty with a hairy back.
]

I don't care WHAT it means.

Make. It. Stop.


alexander6