Tuesday, September 27, 2011

His Shirt

"Hon!"  Annoyance, leaked through with amusement.


"That's my shirt!"

"So... I like it."

"Come on - you're gonna stretch boob marks in it!"

"No I'm not...look...I like it.  It's like you're my boyfriend and I'm wearing your clothes.  Don't you want to be my boyfriend?"

He's trying hard to maintain his irritation and deny the obvious sex appeal of me in his t-shirt.

"Hon, come on!" But he's smiling.

"Come on, boyfriend...don't you like it?  I'll let you borrow my pink shirt."

And what choice does he have but to let me win?

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Whole Heart

Do you know that my favorite times are in the car?  Yellow dash perforating conversation far removed from distractions and misconceived priorities.  Sometimes I have so much to say, so much life I've lived beyond the shadow of your pursuits.  Joy.  Sorrow.  The way the tap sprayed off the cookie tray and soaked my t-shirt.

What if I vowed to always be honest?  What if I vowed to let it hit the fan?  Would I crumble without my armour?  Would it break you to see me broken?

Don't you dare doubt a moment of your place here.  I don't need you.  I've never needed you.  But I want you like a cocaine habit.  I miss you every moment life steals you away.  I look for you everywhere.  I chose you.  I choose you every day.  Not because I have to.  Not because the Bible tells me so.  Because I am so steeped in love for you that the idea of not feels like a cancer eating through my chest.  Because loving you has made me strong.  Strong enough to knock down this mountain like an anthill.  Strong enough to shrug off preservation and dive into this sea of truth.

You heard me.  I felt you, there in the dark, kissing a midnight tear that shone with hitting bottom.  We will stretch and change and it will hurt like hell but we'll be better for it.  Stronger for it.  Forever for it.

And here, upon the torn couch cushions, curled into comfort and one another, one request heard and tucked away - the other, heard and tickling your knee...here is our hope, here is our for better or for worse and I find peace in your arms, beneath grandma's old quilt, wrapped in honesty and the familiar and confidence in a future of searching for your eyes in a crowd and letting the finding wrap me in a warmth of belonging and assurance that there's no one else I'd rather write my story with.

We will not settle for contentment.  We will tear this place down until we reek of happiness.

This is my whole heart.

I will take it with me everywhere.  

                      are my heart.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"What is this?" There's a rainbow blob of goodness knows what on the shelf.

"Proof," Zander says, grinning.

"Proof of what?"



"It's unicorn poop.  I found it at school."

"Yeah," says Noa, rocking on her toes.  "Da purrpull uk-e-corn dat poops out wainbows!  Dat's his poop.  It's a wainbow.  Don't fwow it in da darbidge, o-tay Mommy?...Pwomise?"

"Okay, Noa, I promise."

And so, I have become the proud owner of mystical manure, captivating caca, delightful doo-doo, real honest-to-goodness unicorn ordure.  Someone better alert the Ministry of Magic - I probably need a license.

Monday, September 19, 2011

So Long Summer

I wore socks to bed last night.  Thick.  Fuzzy.  Blue.  Sorry Victoria - your secrets mean nothing if the mercury dips below 10º.

I think summer is officially a memory now.  Rest in peace sweet days of sun, sweet nights of warm breath and squeaking ceiling fan, sweet hours of sticky heat and blissful rays.

Come back soon.  Either that, or I'll move to Mexico.  I've heard you like it there.

There's really only one redeeming piece to this whole autumn assault.  Colour.  Nothing is warmer (other than fuzzy blue socks) than the rich and fiery colours of fall...

the hutch in the entry gets a fall boost : )

even my apple picking painting in it's flea market frame makes more sense in the fall
hallway mirror

wall plaques from the dollar store (to which I am an admitted addict!)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

By My Calculations

Dinner's not over yet - boys lingering over sausage and corn, seconds of potatoes gone, hesitant to eat anything that has even the slightest browning from the handicapped pan.  (Don't they know the crunchy bits are the best?)  Noa's plate - licked clean.  (She knows!)  So hard to be patient.  She slips off her chair.  Eyes us.  Will she be in trouble?

"Whatcha doing, Noa?"

She just shrugs.  Smiles.  Takes a few steps back.  A few big breaths - preparing.

"Weady?....Weady...?...Go!"  And she's off.  To the door.  All the way back past the table and into the living room.  Back to the door.  Giggles high pitched and contagious.  Wobbly turns to miss the pots hanging, the edge of the piano, the coffee table.  And she's yelling.  Yelling and squealing and laughing and we're distracted from cleaning our own plates.  She's yelling the same thing over and over again.  We can't understand because of the pitch and the giggles but we're laughing so she figures she's being funny and keeps on yelling the indecipherable chant.  Yelling and laughing and running.  Back and forth.

This goes on until the dessert is presented.  They always stop for ice cream.  She digs her spoon into her bowl of Hokey Pokey.

"What were you yelling, Noa?  What were you saying over and over when you were running?"
She speaks around her ice cream.  "By my cow-qu-way-shuns I must wun!"

"By my calculations, I must run?"

"Yeah!  Dat's what I sayd!" Going about her business like that's a normal three-year-old thing to say.  But we can tell she's pleased with herself, grinning over her bowl, as we keep repeating it - a little dumbfounded - she made a joke and we all got it.  Absolutely brilliant!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boys Club

Shadowed beneath a ceiling of green, this secret land lies waiting until bell rings and bicycles whirl into it's foliage.  Here, in this magic of hiding, in this make-believe kingdom where they are all kings of a sort, seen as shadows from the north kitchen window.  Here, where neighbours toss the eyed tubers, discarded compost to become a knights potato bomb.  Here, where grasses taste of cucumber, where knees don scars of earth and naked branches become swords.  Here is play as it was intended, in freshness and alfresco imaginings.  Here are best friends.  Here is The Boys Club.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On Silos and Shiners

A industrial cardboard tube destined to be turned into a silo.  I see work assignment.  They see fun...because what isn't fun about being inside a tube?

We've just collected it from my office so I can work on it at home. "Can we go in it, Daddy, please?" Zander's bouncing on the front stoop of the church.
"One time," Scott says, lowering it over Zander's head, wrapping him up like a carpet.  He can't see over the top.
Giggles spill over the lip.
"Me, me, me!" Liam chants like he's in line for a ride at Centreville.
Off of Zander, onto Liam.
Noa's little hand shoots into the air.  "My tuwrn!  My tuwrn!"
Off of Liam, onto Noa.

Twenty-five minutes later.  Unloading in the hall.  Why should it surprise me that said tube has somehow ended up upon the eldest once again?  Why should it surprise me that sweet Liam would think it funny to rock said tube?  And why should it surprise me that rocking by Liam is no gentle lullaby?  It is, instead, a mighty, rip-roaring tsunami, a Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down kind of rocking, a I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down kind of rocking.  So, like a felled tree, screaming his TIMBER!, Zander falls, arms pinned against self-preservation, head slamming against wall, landing in a tubular prison of cardboard and howling pain, while lumberjack Liam sheepishly tucks his axe of a hand behind his back and paints his face in his most innocent but I never meant him any harm look, while big brother panics against his confinement.

Bruised, battered and slow to calm, Zander ices his head with a Lightning McQueen cold pack and argues that "of course he meant to do it.  He always means to do it!"

Liam says sorry.  Only because he has to.  Only because if he doesn't he might not get to play video games.

And when normalcy returns, when the pulsing has slowed and the swelling has lessened, when he's ready to participate again he joins me in the building of the silo (needed to measure funds for our fall global project for famine relief).

Because nothing can take your mind off your war wounds more than sinking your hands into a bowl of ooey, gooey flour/water paste.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ode To A Saturday

Here is beauty - stretched before me with no agenda.  One day, unscarred upon my calendar so heavy with need of my attention.  How long has it been since this was my reality?  I can't remember.

I should be doing something.  Laundry.  Floor washing.  Soiling my hands in paper maché for that silo top I have to do for work...but I've been told I need to work on my boundaries so I claim today as my sabbath - as my it'll all still be there for me to take care of tomorrow - as my space to breath - as my favourite place in the entire world.  I am inspired and encouraged by the wise words of a friend, tucking them to heart, basking in fiction and baking beneath sun on the back porch.

One day.  It's all mine.

Friday, September 9, 2011

School Day's, New Daze

One week under our belts.  Why should Fall fall and chaos reign?  I am exhausted to the point of swerving off the road - to the point where even Jimmy Fallon can't keep me up past midnight.  Mother's across the country are jumping for joy - house void of the children who ran wild through July and August.  Not me.  No siree!  The making of the lunches.  The "Liam, brush your teeth!"  The searching for the running shoe that goes missing every night without fail.  The digging through the laundry basket for an outfit because I was too tired to actually get the clothes into their drawers after folding them.  The "Liam, come on, BRUSH YOUR TEETH!"  The pizza orders and the please don't send peanut butter and the out the door by 8:30 a.m. to drop them off and the being in the parking lot by 3:10 p.m. to pick them up.  The "LIAM, SERIOUSLY, IF YOU DON'T BRUSH YOUR TEETH RIGHT NOW I'M TAKING AWAY THE PLAYSTATION FOR A WEEK!!!"

Oh summer, summer...where art thou summer?

But once they're tucked behind those brown S.R.C.S doors I can breath and yawn and fill'er'up with a double double double cupped and go off to work where they take life seriously...

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

Notice how I committed to this.  I think it's time to ask for a raise.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


It's a whole new can of worms now - neglect pounding a Richter Scale 6 against my skull - as clock oozes another hour.  Another hour without caffeine.  It's official.  I am an addict.

He swore to me that he'd convert me.  I would have no part of it.  Coffee tasted like earwax.  I was not interested.  My morning drink of choice was the reheated, day-old stale tea leftover from dinner the night before, poured into the plastic grey Pro-Life travel mug (because I liked a little propaganda along with my school books) for the quick dash to the bus.  Disgusting, yes.  But you know what they say...truth is stranger than fiction.

I don't know how it happened.  Probably in the stealing of sips from the car cup holder in hopes of entertaining him through what can only be described as my adorable ew, that's so yucky face.  It grew on me - adopted as a compliment to him.  Even his eccentric method of ordering: "Double-Double-Double-Cupped!" and it might be silly but really, it's just so fun to say - especially when they repeat it back to you - a happy morning moment!

So this bodes the question: what has he adopted of mine?  After fifteen years together you'd think there'd be something, right?


I got nothing.

Except the toilet seat.  He always puts that down.  But that's not really from me, is it?  I mean, I never put it up so how could he get that from me?

This probably means that instead of adopting traits we're just going to start looking like each other.  Another few years and I'll have a real good moustache and he'll paint his toenails pink.  Now, if that's not true love...

For now I'll just hang out here, writing, drinking the coffee that's finally ready, the coffee that he got me hooked on, obsessively checking my chin for whiskers and waiting for the A&E Intervention team to show up at my front door to trick me into thinking they're doing a documentary about addiction.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Don't Drop The M-Y

I wonder if she felt it like a punch in the stomach?  Like a slap of I just don't need you anymore?  Like an insult?

I was desperate to be grown-up.  To wear a bra and use deoderant.  I didn't have time for an extra syllable - I was too busy pretending to be an adult in her old brown high heel shoes.

I tried it on for size and I liked it.  "Mom."  Did it break her into pieces?  Seeing her baby shuck off baby?

Liam tests it.  Dips his big toe in the grown-up pond.  Finds the water inviting.  Feels it roll off his tongue like fresh fruit juices.  Laughs at the rending of my heart.

"I'm sorry, I don't know who you're talking to.  My name is Mommy."
He just rolls his eyes.  Whatever.  "Ten I have a tookie, Mom?"

And a little bit of blue falls out of the sky and floats an Eeyore cloud over my head.  I am desperate to stunt his maturity and keep him cast as the toddler who mumbles out of the side of his mouth and can't make a "K"sound.  But he's miles away...running full tilt towards a full time job as an astronaut on the moon - as far away from Mommy as he can get.

"I yuv you, Mommy." Noa tucks against my hip, squeezing me with a grunt.  "So much!"  And I soak it up because I'm parched.
"Will you always call me Mommy, Noa?"

So, at least I have that.  For a few more seasons.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Lesson Learned?

Waiting on the Four Square Gospel Church lawn for the parade to start.
Is it a lesson learned when mistake or procrastination breeds reward?  When tears shed over self-disappointment birth first place ribbons?  I am thrilled at his accomplishments but part of me feels like my attempt at parenting - at allowing a lesson to hurt and mold - has been trampled by an unmotivated town.

still waiting....
I sit on the Fall Fair committee.  This is not as important as it may sound.  In essence, I am responsible for creating the list of craft items in all the children's categories - submitting this to the secretary in time for the fair book to go to print, helping with the set-up/tear-down of said children's area and sitting with the judge - not speaking because she's judging my own child's entries - and tallying the scores of all the entrants.  Glamourous, no?

I love my town.  I love the care they take to keep fresh flowers along the bridge.  I love the river that courses through.  I love the history painted on the wall across from the Post Office.  But standing in that arena, beneath that old mural of marching band girls in white skirts and blue plumed hats, seeing sparse tables and dwindling numbers, I was embarrassed.  Embarrassed for a town that used to throw a fair worth staying home for on the long weekend.  Even the parade - that as a child used to be full of costumed children on their decorated bikes, more free candy than could fit in your pockets, fun floats and silly dressed pets - is just a little bit lame (not to mention starting fifty minutes late - us baking beneath a surprised heat wave along Garafraxa Street).  Really, people?  A tractor does not constitute a float!  Tie a corn stalk on it, at the very least.  Better yet, don a rainbow wig and throw Tootsie Rolls at my kids!

There is no mid-way.  No clowns roaming about with balloons.  No sickening smell of hotdog carts.  No chance to vomit your cotton candy on the Whirly-Gig because there is no Whirly-Gig.  There is nothing.  It's just a grey little bubble of "remember when it used to be really fun?"  Kids aren't participating.  Their craft table is sparse.  Is it really winning if you have no competition?

Zander rushes it with eyes fully dilated - they get like that when he's really tired or really excited.  1st place.  1st place.  2nd place.  1st place.  2nd place.  1st place.  1st place.  1st place.  So he won most points anyway - an extra $15 prize - despite his slacking.  Because every other kid in this sweet little town of ours was slacking too.  I'm thrilled that he's thrilled.  But I'm annoyed.  Righteously annoyed.

 His "Something Made Out of Lego" got 2nd place because the judge didn't understand what it was - she didn't know who Mario was and I couldn't explain it until after the judging because I'm not a cheater!