Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Angels Trump The Trolls

They are out there.  Good people.  People who see a need and fill it.  People who hear about a poor boy and his stolen bike and they do something about it.  People who act and bless and work for the betterment of a world riddled with ugly trolls.  Trolls be trumped.  The angels come bearing bikes.  Bright orange Raleigh BMX bikes, circa 1984.  Rescued from a free roadside pile.  Delivered to the dear boy who had to walk to school on disappointed feet.  Disappointed no more.  Stephanie Dickinson - you are a hero!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There Her Gold Was Spilled

She dances on heavens beams and carries sunshine in her hair.  It gleams behind her, a silk blanket down her back and I think it is her beauty - this sheet of gold that reflects the purity of nirvana fields.

I have hung my pride there in her tresses.  I didn't set out to make it so but so it is.  Near four years without the touch of a blade.  She is my Samson.  Her beauty strong in it's denial of a trimming.

All was sweet and normal and two coffees and laughing with my office friends when he called.  He was hesitant with an edge that set me cautious..."What's wrong?"  Funny how the news of a scissor assault by a son upon the head of a daughter struck me harder and faster than the news of a husband and the truck that ran over his feet.  I felt deflated and sick.  My Samson was no more.  Four years of living found piled into the kitchen garbage can.  I wanted to cry.  It felt it hanging there, burning behind eyes as I sought out a friend to set me right with words of "it'll all be okay."

When I came face to face with the horror - this nightmare played upon her sweet image - I fingered the broken, jagged tresses and fought against another bout of tears and felt something like panic coiling in my stomach.  I was like one who had been robbed.  And I know it's silly and frivolous and vanity and there are starving children across the world who deserve my tears more than this renewable blond...but this is my truth and here I wear it raw and wild.

I set her on a chair in the middle of the kitchen and I combed the mess now spoiling her head.  So still she sat as I brushed and brushed and steeled myself to the aching moment before I leveled the blade above her shoulder and cut off the story of her life in great flaxen piles.  There her gold was spilled - there upon my kitchen floor.  The sweet girl who wishes to be Rapunzel.

I took her to stand before the mirror to show us both that she is still the fairest one of all.  She stared at herself and tilted her head and I told her how beautiful she is and she turned and tucked herself into my arms and clung to me - not because she was sad but because she knew that I was.  I watched our embrace reflected back to me and I could see the nape of her neck so long hidden beneath those years of mane.  Her eyes shone and her face glowed just like I've always known it to glow and I know now that Samson's power isn't in that ugly pile on the laminate - it's in her heart that beats against mine as I hold her.

Later, as she readied for her bath, she caught herself again - that her in the mirror looking back - and tugged at the edges short.  "When will I be nowmal aden, Mommy?"  And while my heart broke, I kissed her and lifted her into the tub.  "You, my baby, are perfect!"

Monday, June 11, 2012

Behind The Camo

Sun beaming down on faces beaming skyward, catching the coiling smoke before the roar catches our ears.  We are tourists in this Disney land of the army.  And while I was entertained and amazed by the feats of man in the air I was most impressed by the gentleness emanating from the men in green.  The way they bent to the level of children.  The way they embraced the moment in patience and grace - holding the hand of the child on the rope bridge, reloading the guns and ducking through the dark maze, smearing grease paint on bouncing expectation, offering a hand up to the view of the inside of a real tank.

I selfishly hope my children never join but what I do know is that a whole lot of momma's should be mighty proud of the way their serving sons and daughters graciously let my sons and daughter catch a simple glimpse of life behind the camo.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


You never expect it - to get shot in the dark with a big slap of "welcome to the real world!"  I have dressed myself in some cozy bedtime story spilling happily-ever-afters along the margin of my existence and to see it challenged is like grabbing that first edition Anne of Green Gables and tearing it down the middle.

The poor boy.  He's a bit listless as the query furrows his brow.  "Have you seen my bike?"  And I had seen it - right where he dumped in on the carport asphalt when got home from school the day before.  But now the bike is gone from it's dropping and he swings his helmet and scrunches his face and asks, "Why would someone steal my bike?"

I believe in the general integrity of people.  That we are born with more goodness than evil.  That grace is extended more then hate is spilled.  That we are a people of light and hope and humanity.  I also believe in trolls.

And somewhere, just north of my porch, beneath the rusted bridge under which the Saugeen runs wicked - he lurks with that poor old bike, spinning it's rusty spokes and dancing green fingers along it's tired handle bars, slurring into the wind...I can just hear him now..."My precious...."

The bike was worth nothing.  It was old - a decrepit piece of metal that has seen six hundred adventures....But it was his.  It was freedom.  It was a slip away sleek in the mornings with a churning internal mantra: Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!...

"I guess I have to walk to school then."  And he trudges off - a little heavy with the thought that someone would burden him with such drudgery.

But his heart wasn't broken.  His faith isn't fouled.  What he's really thinking is, "Cool!  Now I can get a new bike!"  And what I'm thinking is how lovely it would be to take a walk to the bridge and throw a few well-aimed stones at the river trolls.
It wasn't much to look at, but he really did love it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bedtime Dance

He can't breath.  His mouth is open and his eyes are tight squeezed and agony pours from him in rivers but he can't make a sound.  His brother sneaks in behind him as I pull him against me and try to hush the heaving and get to the reason.  "It was ballet gone bad," I'm told.  "He was twirling and twirling and he lost control and fell."

The skin of his side is rent down to a gauzy sheer, such thin derma left from this dancing assault.  Blood swells beneath and oozes out in small bubbles where it can find passage through the dam - as fine as pantyhose.

He finds his breath but there is fire on his flank and his pain is a cacophony of sobbing and snot. 

I guide him downstairs and tend his wound with mother-fingers and Transformers bandages and I take him back to his bed and tuck him in and whisper my love and how maybe ballet isn't in his future.

Not ten minutes later, brother and sister already sound asleep, he creeps along the groaning stairs to find me on the couch and he tucks himself under my arm and leans his head against my chest and cries into my sweatshirt until his own sleep steals the pain of the bedtime dancing.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Just A Crush

I am seventeen, dancing along the pine tree trail to visions of his dreadlocked hair and whispers of that voice clinging to my ears - so sweet and hung with belly laughter.  "I want to be his groupie," I proclaim, all tied up in laissez-faire and the naivete of a girl who grew up virginal and country.

And he, the supportive boyfriend at my side, bends to whisper in tones of not, "you know that means you want to sleep with him..."

And heat builds at my nape and crawls over my scalp and the blush of a rose plume lights my cheeks and I stumble to default on what I so boldly called into the sky because that is certainly not what I meant.

What I did mean was that the lyric and humor spilling from the stage so warmed my heart that I wished to pack it up in a little envelope and slip into my pocket and carry it with me for days of grey skies and lonely nights.  For joy in the moments stripped.

I have doubled my life since that moment.  Somehow still aware of that little sunshine tucked away, waiting for the day it bursts again upon the horizon of this blooming life.

And so it did - that fine day in May when I left behind that supportive boyfriend (now supportive husband) under the ruse of youth leadership when the truth was, I was really going for a boy...

And that boy is now a man and still every bit the memory I had hidden away...and what a surprise to realize that it had all been true and worth it...

I watch as the contagion of the disease he creates spreads into the eyes of the girls around me and I feel robbed for a moment - because for so long he had been only mine and I liked that no one else knew the touch of his sunshine - but why should I horde what is not mine to hold?  So, have at it, girls.  I will share.  Life just got a little brighter, didn't it?