Friday, August 31, 2007

Off to a Good Start

Every morning we take K to the commuter train station.

The station entrance is across the street from the actual platform so K has to cross an open air bridge to get to the train.

When we pull out of the station we can see him on the bridge while we wait to merge into traffic and make our way to daycare.

Every morning, without fail, K stands on the bridge waiting to see our car.

When he sees us he waves like mad without regard for the attention it attracts from other light rail customers or the traffic below.

The Mayor, The Rooster and I wave back at him and yell,

"We love you, Daddy! Have a good day at work."

During this daily ritual our car sits right next to a bus stop and our waving often attracts the attention of the people waiting for the bus.

This morning there was a crowd of teen aged boys standing there.

The teenagers were decked out in trendy hip hop clothes. Their hats were on backwards and crooked, their pants hung low and their shirts were long and over sized.

They were looking cool and working it.

They were facing the commuter bridge and noticed K waving. Curious, they turned to see where his waves were directed.

And there we were... three doofuses waving wildly in our craptastic automotive wonder vehicle.

The hip, cool teenagers, without missing a beat, broke out in wild grins and waved like crazy at The Mayor, The Rooster and I.

It's amazingly simple, and yet so easy to forget, how giant dorky smiles and big doses of genuine friendliness bring us together.

I know you can't see me, but I'm smiling like a fruitcake and waving at you.

Pass it on, pass it on, pass it on.



Thursday, August 30, 2007

Winning Neighbors


I live on a busy street and until a few nights ago I didn't know the neighbors who live on a big plot of land on the opposite side of the road.

For the past few weeks they have been building an animal pen in their yard and this week it had an animal in it.

I decided to walk The Mayor and Rooster across the street to investigate.

My neighbors were outside and they waved and invited the three of us to meet them at their fence gate.

We made our introductions and then, because we live in a city, I had to ask,

"What's with the pony?"

My neighbors looked both amused and defeated and the husband said,

"I told our eleven year old daughter she couldn't enter that essay contest because the prize was a horse, but what did my wife say? Oh, HONEY. We never win ANYTHING. It'll be okay. So I signed the waiver and she entered the contest."

Oops. Their daughter won the essay contest and the pony.

I apologized for my tears of laughter, but I couldn't help myself.

What is the fondest dream of eleven year old girls everywhere?

Winning a pony, right?!

Can you imagine what it would be like if your child
wrote an essay and won a horse?

You would be powerless.

That pony would be moving into your backyard and costing you twenty thousand bjillion dollars.

So it goes for my neighbors...

The Family Joy is invited to visit the four month old foal named Storm anytime we wish.

There is a God and he has blessed me with hours and hours of free kiddie entertainment right across the street.

All bow down in praise of the great and powerful one who delivers ponies unto thy neighbor's (and not my) backyard!!


He said, "Let there be ponies in the city."

...and it was so.



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stormed


Two years ago today a storm devastated Louisiana and Mississippi. Rain sheeted down the windows of my hospital room located several states away.

My nurses asked me if the henna covering my belly was a real tattoo as they hooked me up to a pitocin drip.


Waiting for my contractions to build, I watched reporters brave mighty winds
to deliver news of the hurricane. (Wind so mighty!)

I remember thinking,


"Surely we don't need eye-witness storm coverage badly enough to risk broadcasting Mr. Reports-So-Much getting knocked in the head by the roof of the Motel Six."

AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW I WAS IN SOME POWERFUL BAD PAIN!!!!

And then there were, like, some rilly, rilly, rilly good drugs.

And it was allllll gooooood...

And a BABY popped out!

And that baby was a girl!

And, as Velveteen Mind put it, I delivered a little storm of my own.



Happy 2nd Birthday, Rooster!




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

The Gulf Coast still needs help.

Since Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, volunteers from all over the country have been working hard in Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana to help the community pick up and start again.

Since the storm, volunteers have cleared, secured and rebuilt homes, delivered medical aid and essential supplies, removed trees, and even posted temporary street signs. Hands On Gulf Coast and Hands On New Orleans continue the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Follow the links to find out how you can support their efforts through financial contributions or by traveling to either location to volunteer.



Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Preparations

I invited a blogger to meet me at Church of the Zoo this past Sunday.

[Oh, blaspheming follower of elephant poo that is me!]

I decided to try not to sweat what I wore or how I looked.

I kept telling myself,

"Just be yourself."

[I have to be my own self-help book since I am under deep cover in hiding from the Book-of-the-Month-Club people.]

I stood in front to the bathroom mirror surveying my look and had the following conversation with myself...

"Shorts? Fine.

Shirt? Fine.

Face? Oh, dear.

Perhaps a wee bit of mascara never hurt anyone?

Okay.

Uh.. your eyeball under bags are really bad, girlfriend.

Hmmm... what to do?

What's that thing the Hollywood stars do with Preparation H?

Wha...???

Don't you have some Preparation H around somewhere, you know, from the post-partum days?

Seriously? You want me to put hemorrhoid cream on my face?

Totally."

I rooted around in the bathroom cabinets and found Preparation H, but only in suppository form.

That's right. You heard me. Suppositories. For INSERTING. As in... Up Yer Bum!

[Up Yer Bum! Up Yer Bum! Up Yer Bum! Wheee!]

I applied it.

Oh. Yes. I. Did.

And, uh... it was like putting lipstick on my eyeball under bag! (Sort of.)

As far as I could tell it didn't do a damned thing for me but I sure had fun applying it and Liv never knew my beauty secret.

[Until now.]

For the record... Liv is smokin' hot with two cute kids and an awesome sister Sue.

If only she lived closer.

If only all you Internet peoples lived closer...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Two Little Feet


The Mayor and I plodded silently across the deep end of the pool and back again. We were far from the splashing and yelling children in the shallows.

The Mayor
was busy surveying all that surrounded him and his brow wrinkled in concentration.

Every now and then he would interrupt our silent peace to marvel,

"Mommy, It's so quiet down here."

The only other pool patrons nearby were a set of lovers.

She had her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist.

Releasing her arms and keeping her legs secured around his trunk, her upper body floated in front of him as if he were swimming in a love apron.

I trudged back and forth in front of them thinking about how you just can't stop touching your partner in that early phase of love.

[As opposed to our current love phase which involves a whole family and is called: WOULD ALL OF YOU PEOPLE PLEASE STOP TOUCHING ME??!!]

I thought back to when K and I were newly in love.


I remembered how K's leg and mine would accidentally rest against each other underneath a table or the way his skin would burn against mine from elbow to fingertip on an arm rest.

Some part of us had to be touching, always.

I remember not being able to resist K. P
ropelled towards him, I stumbled over my own feet falling for him.

Walking in the pool and holding one of The Mayor's feet in each of my hands, I couldn't help but think that maybe that force I felt back then, pushing me towards K, was The Mayor's two little feet kicking themselves into existence.

Maybe so, maybe so.

When we were done swimming K gave me a mom's night out pass and I took myself to see the film Once.

Driving home I couldn't stomach the radio after the
film's great music so I fished around for a tape to feed into the super-modern-cassette-deck-o-rama in my 1995-model-automotive-wonder-vehicle .

By coincidence I pulled out an old and well worn mixed tape,
made for K when everything about him was new, labeled You Are All I Can Think About Right Now.

The mixed tape making phase of love...

Listening to the tape my thoughts
again wandered back to the urgent feelings I had for K in the early days.

I smiled knowing that The Mayor and The Rooster are growing up in the shade of the strong, old oak grown up out of that early and determined root.

I pulled into the driveway, let one of our songs finish and went into the house.

And then...

Let's just say that K would recommend mom's night out to dads everywhere.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Just Desserts - So Tasty!

In college I worked as a concert promoter.

I worked for a student run organization that brought huge concerts to the campus arena in order to fund lesser known acts at the smaller venues.

The student group structure included: 2 senior leaders who booked the bands; 10 managers who handled advertising, hospitality, and other logistics; and a team of 100 student volunteers who provided stage management, ushering and other labor during the events.

In 1987, I was one of the 10 managers along with a woman named...I'll call her "Patty" here, though that is not her real name.

I was not nice to Patty. I was MEAN to Patty.

Because I was the bossy ring-leader type, my friends were also mean to Patty.

As I recall, the reason I didn’t like her was that at a managers meeting she made, what seemed to me, a disdainful remark about someone and likened the person to a garbage collector.

I remember feeling offended, thinking that she believed she was somehow better than people who collected garbage for a living.

How dare she degrade garbage collectors!

Why would she think being a garbage collector was dishonorable or distasteful?

OH, MY RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION!!

In honor of hardworking garbage collectors everywhere, I decided that, from that point forward, I would treat Patty like garbage.

[What a genius.]

Oh, how I could have benefited from a teensy, weensy bit of maturity.

Did I take Patty aside after the meeting to clarify my understanding of her comment? No.

Did I tell her how her comment made me feel and ask her if she meant it that way? No.

Did I talk with her about it at all, ever? No. No. No.

Fast forward nearly twenty years to... (stay with me, this is a rough transition)...

...Seth and Ryan, two Fox Network hotties from the show The O.C.


Now JUDGE if you want, but I was enslaved to the boxed DVD set of the first season of The O.C.

It was like narcotic candy with a great soundtrack.

The soundtrack was so great, in fact, that when the mixed C.D. compilations were released they were among the best selling compilation CD’s ever sold on iTunes.

I purchased several of them myself.

A few months later I got an e-mail from my friend Sophia who had been one of the other student organization managers with Patty and me.

Sophia & I, late 1980's



Sophia's e-mail told me to look at a particular page of Elle Magazine next time I passed a newsstand.

The Elle feature was about Patty... and her much lauded work... as a music supervisor... for The O.C.

Nice.

I blew my chance to get an up close glimpse of the eye candy twenty years ago (when these actors were babies.)

Earlier this week I randomly found Patty on one of those professional networking Internet sites.

I wrote her a long note confessing, apologizing and praising her work.

To her credit, she was gracious in return (despite the fact that I always was, and still am, an incredible butthead.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hot Pink Hootchie Mama

This morning K got out clothes for the kids while I took a shower.

He struggles when picking outfits for The Rooster.

Girl clothes... so challenging.

As I was drying off, K came into the bathroom and said,

“Can The Rooster wear this hoochie mama shirt with hot pink shorts?”

I hope I won't hear anything like that from him in ten years, but guess what she wore to school today?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Brain Got Scrambled Yesterday

I am completely verklempt from yesterday.

I would be remiss if I didn't say thank you for the many ideas and comments shared in response to my post about redshirting.

I am truly grateful and completely humbled that so many people took the time to offer such thoughtful responses - both in the comments section and in e-mail.

K and I read and talked about all that was offered and, thanks to all of you, we feel more confident to simply trust our instincts about our own kids when the time comes.

Thank you for being part of this blog's community. It means a lot to us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Redshirting?

My husband's former girlfriend Emily is a reader of this blog (Hi, Emily!) and an e-mail article forwarder.

A while ago she sent us an article from the June 3rd issue of The New York Times Magazine entitled, "When To Send Children To Kindergarten" by Elizabeth Weil.

I didn't read it until last week and now it has me freaked out and confused.

The article describes how 25% of Americans... or maybe it was 25% of affluent Americans... I can't remember....I have a brain the size of a tiny pea, I tell you!!

Anyway, some people are waiting an extra year (or more) to start their children in kindergarten in order to give their kids an advantage in academics and sports.

Apparently "studies have shown" that more mature students are able to perform better than their younger peers.


This practice of "redshirting" kids may help those children held back but, at the same time, it is accused of widening the gap between the "haves" and "have nots."

Since families with lower incomes don't have a childcare option available to extend the time before their children go to school they are left being the youngest children in their kindergarten classes, underperforming, developing low self-esteem, etc.


Both The Mayor and The Rooster have late birthdays so starting them in school at the usual time will put them solidly in the younger half of their classes.

The Rooster will most likely be the youngest in her class because her birthday is two days before the cut off date.

K and I feel totally confused by this article, by the practice of redshirting and in our role as parents who care about offering every advantage to our children but also about being responsible members of the community.

We can't figure out what to make of this article.

In early July I was e-mailing back and forth with Laura from Blog Con Queso about how I didn't have any goals related to my blog.

She suggested that I just didn't have any blog goals yet.

I realized (eventually - because I am SLOW, O.K.?) that I've had a blog goal all along.

The goal of this blog is to build a community of support and connection around this mysterious and abstract practice of trying to be a parent.

So often blog friends offer
comforting words of reassurance and commiseration as well as truly useful parenting ideas.

So, I bring the issue to anyone who might be reading this.

Have you heard of this redshirting thing?

What do you make of it?

How do you decide if you should send your child to kindergarten or wait?

I e-mailed this article to some of my real life friends and I've posted their answers in the comments section, but I'm interested in gaining a deep and thoughtful perspective on this issue.

I want to do what is right.

And then I want to talk about farts some more.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sex Education

First Base
first base


Second Base
second base


Third Base
third base


HOME RUN!!
home run baby


Conception

conception


Pregnancy

pregnancy


Labor & Delivery

labor and delivery


Post Partum

post partum




This educational post has been brought to you by
The
MOOSH DYNAMITE JOYS Foundation.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

3,000 Skirt Miles

A while back I showed this photo on my blog...



...for the purposes of illustrating where I decided the Mom of The Week thing from CHBM could kiss me in the many months it took me to finally win that suckah.

After posting it, I got an e-mail from Jake And Ellie's Mom saying that she recognized my exquisite taste in fashion and that she had the very same skirt from Le Target.

I e-mailed her back sharing how much I liked the skirt and how sad I was that mine no longer fit and that Le Target was no longer selling it.

She asked me what size I wore and when I told her she... SENT ME HERS!!

Too cool!

Her only stipulation was that I post a before and after post.

See, I lost a buttload of weight counting the effing points.

I agreed to this condition, but then she took a break from blogging, so...

[No one is surprised that I didn't post the before pictures, right?]

Well, she's back so here I go.

This is me in May of 2006 wearing my original skirt.


May 2006 Family



This is me this morning wearing the skirt formerly known as that of Jake & Ellie's Mom.

August 2007

I have kept the weight off for eight months so far and I'm here to tell you...


Now
The Lady Flabina can kiss me right here:

I SAID, Kiss My...







Lotta has a post up celebrating bloggers that have lost weight so go give them the virtual high fives.



Friday, August 17, 2007

The Recorded Past

My mom is an attractive woman and a fashionista.

We went to Seattle a few weeks ago and stayed with her. (Self-flagellators can see photos here.)

I wear the same size clothing that my mom wears for the first time in my life and while we were at her house I stood in her fashion-filled walk-in closet thinking,

“Damn. I should move to Seattle.”

[Realistically though, my mom would probably never let me borrow anything since my two toddlers think I am their own personal napkin. Have a snotty nose? Dirty hands? Wipe it on MOMMY!” Gah! My biggest motherhood pet peeve!]

Anyway, my mom wakes up every morning, showers, puts on make-up and gets dressed in a hip ensemble.

She is almost always completely put together.

Staying at her house, there were a few mornings where she came out into the living room to play with The Mayor and The Rooster after her shower, but before donning her make up and outfit.

I realized that I almost never see my mother without make-up.

In one of these rare make-up-less moments, I looked at my mom's face and was amazed to recognize so many women that came before us.

She didn’t notice that I was staring at her, but I was. Generations of women stared back – my grandmother, my great grandmother, my great, great grandmother…

Simply beautiful.


Roo & Mayor with Gamma Attle

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hens With Big Hallways

K is in charge of breakfast.

Every morning he makes scrambled egg whites for The Family Joy and we love that about him.

He uses a brand of organic, jumbo, brown eggs from our local farmer’s market that take the idea of a “jumbo egg” to a whole new level.

As Tessa says, they are YOOOGE. They are freakishly large.

Driving home from the market the other day loaded up with a few dozen of these super large eggs, I was thinking about the hens that laid them.

I empathised with the chickens. I pushed The Mayor out and he was an even ten pounds.

My mind strayed to the time Lotta talked about tampons and how her post partum vagina made her feel like she was throwing hot dogs down a hallway and then I returned to the issue of the chickens.

I thought, “The hens that push out these mutant jumbo eggs must have REALLY wide…uh…”

What do you call a hen vagina? Is it simply “hen vagina” or is there some other proper name?

The Old Egg Shoot?

Cootchie Doodle Doo?

I tried to engage K in my intellectual pondering about the biologically correct way to discuss hen vaginas, but he refused my banter.


“Oh! I know… Henetalia!”

K rolled his eyes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Here's Love In Yer Eyes


Six years ago at our friends wedding, the Priest suggested that the couple work hard at the marriage so that each partner would see God's love in the other's eyes.


In the interest of honesty, I should report that what I heard at the time was,

"Work hard at the marriage and try to see blah blah blah SOMETHING RELIGIOUS blah blah blah."
[Because I am open minded like that.]

Because K is the better, more enlightened half of The House of Joy partnership, he was more interested in the concept of "seeing God's love" in the eyes of his spouse.

Where's God's love in YOUR eyes, Jessica? He just keeps bringing this up, people.. over and over again with the God's love in your eyes thing.

[Kidding, I'm kidding.]

To open my mind to
"God" I always contextualize the word for myself.

When I talk seriously about God I mean God in the way that
Dante Alighieri used the word in Paradiso.

In the last Canto, "God appears as three equally large circles within each other representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with the essence of each part of God separate yet also one.

Dante's soul, through God's absolute love, experiences a unification with itself and all things
..."

"...but already my desire and my will were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed by the love that turns the sun and all the other stars."
-Dante

I've always liked Dante's idea of God because, to me, it transcends any one religion expanding and shifting to make room for them all.

The idea of God and the concept of love exist as the physical energy that moves the universe...

Who is not down with that spiritual grooviness?

Using the Dante context, seeing "God's Love" reflected in my partners eyes would mean witnessing the very force that "turns the sun and all the other stars."

Dude. Sign me up.

Thinking about it this way, I can understand K's fascination with the concept.

He brought it up again last night while we were talking about The Mayor.

The Mayor's behavior has been appalling lately. He is constantly testing the boundaries of his own control and engaging us in ugly power struggles.

Last week he kicked, punched, slapped, spit and shouted at us.

In brief, he sucks.

[The Mayor can hit HARD.]

Neither K nor I have been able to keep our cool throughout it all.

A while ago I posted about The Mayor's boundary testing and a lot of folks recommended a book called "Parenting with Love and Logic" so I went running to the bookstore immediately.

Alas! The Mayor thumbs his nose at the love and logic method and further terrorizes us.

Our parental fuses are short.

As we fell asleep talking about this, K asked me what it would be like to attempt to parent with God's love in our eyes.

"I want my spirit of generosity to be expansive -- limitless even -- with The Mayor and Rooster," K said.

I lay there in the dark wondering what K and my children see when they look in my eyes.

[I'm pretty sure they see the person angling for the bigger piece of berry cobbler.]

K asked me why I was so quiet.

"I'm just thinking about what you said," I told him.

I was thinking that one of the things I love most about K is that he inspires me to be the best version of myself possible.

K already has an incredibly kind and generous spirit and I want to be a better person every day simply as a product of being around him.

Inspiring someone to be their best possible self seems a lot like God's love to me.

I believe that K has achieved what Jim and Michele's priest suggested in our marriage and I'll put money on him achieving it with our children as well.

Me?

I'm going to have to work on it.

I'm pretty sure that when my children look in my eyes they see the question,

"How soon are you going to bed?"



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

He Dreamt of My Name In Lights


I talked to my Dad on the phone last night and he said,

"What do you do with an elephant with three balls?"

"Uh... I don't know, Dad."

"Walk him and pitch to the Rhino."

[Da Pop repeats only the jokey jokes of the finest QUAL-EE-TAY because da Pop be nutzen.]


Later we were talking about the kids and he said,

"Do you call them The Mayor and The Rooster at home?"

I was suddenly really, really, really, really quiet.


[There were bird tweeting noises.]

"Uh... Dad, have you been reading my blog?"

"Yes. Every day."


"For how long?"


"Oh, months now."

(Hi, Dad.)

"So I guess I'll have to stop writing so much about my vagina," I said.

"Well the last I read you were writing about The Rooster's vagina."

"You mean her pussycat?" I asked.

"No. The other post. The one with the song."

Oh, right --- The Gyna Song.

That catchy tune.

I went to the Farmer's Market for groceries right after I wrote about Rooster's Gyna Song.

As I pushed my cart into the store, I realized that I was
doing a strut-shimmy combo and singing at top volume,

"MY GYNA, MY GYNA THE PEE COMES OUT MY GYNA."

Ladies and Gentlemen, LIVE from the market parking lot, it's...


OH, THE JOYS!!!!!!


Welcome to my blog, Dad. You must be so proud.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm right HERE


I picked up The Mayor and The Rooster from daycare on Friday and on our way out to the car I lost sight of Roo.


"Rooster, Rooster! Where are you?" I yelled.

She cruised out from underneath me, grabbed a butt cheek in each hand, patted herself on the tush and said,
"I'm right HERE."

If you have lost your center, The Rooster will remind you where to look. Heh.


I'm Right HERE!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

People of the Internet! Nick Needs You!

Today it is with a heavy heart, dear Internet friends, that I report feeling deeply troubled about one of the readers of this blog.

I am worried that Nick is missing a testicle.

Last Friday, I got the following comment notification e-mail from Nick:


From: nickshea1@gmail.com
To: Oh The Joys
Subject: New Comment on Oh, The Joys

Nick has left a new comment on your post "Imagining Ceremony":

The mayor and the rooster is actually what I call my penis and balls.

what a coincidence. Truly.

Because The Mayor and The Rooster are singular, they only name two things. (And under normal circumstances, I would think Nick would need THREE names... you know... down there in the Yipee Yahoo region.)

Let's deconstruct his message, shall we?

I think it is reasonable to assume that The Mayor of Nick's crotch... is a DICK.

This either leaves Nick with two balls sharing a single name... OR... this is a cry for help.

Who ever heard of TWO balls with ONE name?

This is a cry for help! Nick needs attention!

Nick wants us to know that his poor, little testicle is flying solo.

Poor Nick.

Poor solitary testicle without a wingman.

Please send Nick your condolences regarding his missing testicle at
nickshea1@gmail.com.

We're here for you Nick. Get well soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Imagining Ceremony

K and I struggle with the issue of church and faith.

Some Sundays find us at the Church of the Zoo, other days we're trying out different churches and once we were episcopalian for seventeen minutes.

Because we are spiritually homeless, neither The Mayor nor The Rooster participated any religious ceremonies when they entered this world. Neither of them are baptized.

[Fire and brimstone!! Thunder and lightening!!]

Despite our religious floundering, I wanted my children to have something similar to God Parents - adults outside of the family that they could call on for support.

When The Mayor was three months old we organized a ceremony from our own imagination and he was given a set of Fairy God Parents.

My friend Vanessa served as "The High Priestess of Fairy God Parenting." She wrote and led the ceremony.


High Priestess of Fairy Godparenting
High Priestess of Fairy God Parenting

We asked our good friend Connie, civil rights activist, historian and dirty joke teller, to serve as The Mayor's Fairy God Mother.

Fairy God Mother
Fairy God Mother

We asked K's best friend Big Brian, a super feminist crusader to end domestic violence and attorney at law, to serve as The Mayor's Fairy God Father.

<FGF & The Mayor
Fairy God Father

Vanessa led Brian and Connie in the taking of their Fairy Godparent vows.

They were given "Official Fairy Godparent" t-shirts and Fairy Godparent survival kits filled with important items like crayons and baby wipes.

Then, like all good celebrants, we ate.


Fairy God FatherFairy Godmother Uniform



When The Rooster was born I had every intention of doing something special for her as well.

Here it is two weeks before her second birthday and, not only have I failed to send out invitations for her party, I also haven't yet organized squat in the realm of Fairy Godparents or otherwise
for her.

When she was a baby K and I talked about organizing something involving a circle of women... a group of the strong women we call friends that could provide a circle of support for our tempestuous Roo.

Becoming a woman in this world isn't an easy task.

I'm stuck though.

Every time I try to imagine a women's circle ceremony I get a woovy, groovy image of a cross between a Wickan Coven and a Grateful Dead drum circle.

My bad, my bad.

I need ideas about how to surround my girl with the powerful women in my life so she can grow into the woman
Patricia Lynn Reilly describes in her poem "Imagine A Woman."

Imagine A Woman
Patricia Lynn Reilly

Imagine a woman
who believes it is right and good she is woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman
who believes she is good.
A woman who trusts and respects herself.
Who listens to her needs and desires and meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman
who has acknowledged the past's influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman
who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and to her wisest voice.

Imagine a woman
who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.
Who designs her own spirituality and allows it to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman
in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates her body and its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman
who honors the face of the Goddess in her changing face.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her precious life energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman
who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

Copyright 1995 Patricia Lynn Reilly



Thursday, August 09, 2007

My Love Smells Like Night Blooming Jasmine

K asked me to please spend less time on the computer.

He's been complaining for awhile now that every night after our children go to bed I disappear into the internet world.


He told me that he'd been feeling disconnected from me and wanted me to hang out with him more "after hours."


He told me all this while I was sitting at the computer.

I looked at him, looked at my computer, looked at him, back at the computer...

I turned it off.

Later, I put my arms around his neck and said,


"I'm sorry you've been feeling disconnected from me. I'll try to spend less time on the computer at night. You're the most important person in the world to me..."

Just then, a certain smell wafted up to my attention, so I added,

"In fact, I love you so much that I made you a little fart."




Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Work Porn

After traveling from the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest all the way to the deep, deep South with two tiny, poopy children on Sunday, I was dismayed to learn on Monday morning that I had to fly to Washington, D.C. for work on Tuesday.

[That would be the 6:20 a.m. flight.]

Because I was on Pacific Coast time, I couldn't fall asleep on Monday night. The last time I saw the clock on my nightstand it said 2:12 a.m. and I knew my alarm clock was set to go off at four.

I somehow managed to haul my behind to our nation's capitol, cope with my meeting and make it back to the airport, but I was exhausted.

When my young colleague told me her husband was picking her up at the airport and offered me a ride home I happily accepted even though my house is out of their way.

Sitting in the back seat of their car on the way home I couldn't help but notice that the seat was remarkably crumb free. It wasn't sticky either.

My colleague and her husband are thirty, newly married and child free.

Sitting there, I imagined how their night would proceed after they dropped me off.


I pictured them going out to dinner at a nice restaurant and sharing the details of their day.

The next thing I knew I was I totally making a mental porno film out of their lives imagining them naked and moaning in full throttle bow chicka bow wow mode.

While the two of them talked in the front seat, I was in the back listening to imaginary wah-wah guitar music and thinking of my colleague's head tossed back in ecstasy.

I was too tired to shut it off.

Their car pulled into my driveway and I got out of the car knowing that my night was going to unfold very differently than my imagined version of theirs.

I trudged up the steps to my front porch and noticed a bright green Luna moth sitting on the top step. It didn't move when I passed.

When my front door opened I heard the screaming.

It was already long past bedtime, but a great howling was emanating from my children's bedroom.

"I have to get out of here," K said.

"Okay. Do what you have to do." I told him.

He grabbed his keys and headed for the door.

"Wait!" I said. "I have to show you something."

I went outside with him, pointed out the Luna moth and said,

"Dude. LOOOOO-NESSSSS-TRAAAAAAAAA!"

Are there sleeping pills for children?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Yer Mama Sez Oink

While K pulled dinner from between his cheeks, The Mayor, The Rooster and I were lying on our growling bellies and reading books.

Roo picked the first book and (GOT HELP ME) heard the damned panda counting sheep book for the 7,000th time.

Then it was The Mayor's turn to pick a book.

The Rooster was not impressed with his selection.


"No, Mommy! Read THIS!" she said shoving 'Barnyard Dance' up my left nostril.

"No, Roo. It's The Mayor's turn to pick. You can choose the next book," I said.

The Rooster threw her book on the floor and glared at me.

She walked around me, climbed onto my back, stuck her dirty toes in my hair and said,

"You're a PIGGY."

Nice.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Come Fly With Me

We are THAT family.

Our children had to be forcibly ripped from the arms of their grandmas, aunt, uncle and cousins and the greatness of the Pacific Northwest to return to the unholy awfulness of the ninety six degree southern heat.

[Why do I live in a place where the air quality is routinely described as unsafe for anyone?]

The Rooster decided that the plane ride home was the precise time she should bring on the explosive diarrhea and zip through our limited on-board supply of her diapers and wipes.

She soiled her pants (and her father’s forearm) with her first effort.

Ask yourself, does the family of Joy carry extra kiddie pants onto an airplane?

That would be... No.

[Uh... woops?]

And as to the soiled forearm, K returned from the airplane bathroom, gave me a beaten down look and said,

“You try washing your forearm in that little dollhouse sink in there.”

Just after The Rooster fell asleep in K’s arms, The Mayor had an “incident” with a cup of orange juice resulting in the complete and total soaking of one pair of toddler shorts, one pair of toddler underpants and one airplane seat.

The Mayor began to shriek (and the shrieking woke his sister) that he needed his wet clothes removed.

[See afore mentioned note about our family policy of NOT packing extra toddler pants.]

Relieved of his wet clothes, The Mayor, wearing only a shirt, socks and tennis shoes waved his package in the air (waved it like he just didn’t care) and demanded that he sit in one of our laps since his airplane seat was wet.

He scrambled into K’s lap and displaced his sister who commenced to wailing, “I want Daddy!” at the top of her lungs.

I offered her my lap, but I might as well have suggested she sit atop a barbeque skewer.

I spread out an in-flight magazine on the wet seat and spent the remainder of the 100,000 hour flight with the Sky Mall spine in my butt crack.

The Mayor took a half-nude nap on K’s stink encrusted arm despite the fact that his sister continued to shriek.

Because a shocking shade of electric orange substance was clogging my sinuses it was all I could do to simply stare at The Rooster and hope the folks seated around us were using their in-flight ear phones for the satellite radio.

The Rooster yelled and yelled until I remembered that I had one hidden treasure to reveal.

Before our trip, I went to the dollar store and loaded up on kidtastic, plastic landfill items.

I broke out the Make Your Own Candy Necklace kit, strung a horse load of sugar on two plastic strings, slung them around my kids necks and let them eat as much as they wanted.

After that it was smooth sailing.

All they did for the remaining 6 bzillion hours of the flight was repeatedly kick the seat in front of them while simultaneously opening and closing the tray table.

Yeah, we’re that family. The one on your plane that you HATE.

Oh. The. Joys.




(You can see my Blogher photos here if you want.)