Monday, August 22, 2016

Not That You Asked

Why do I do it?

I could (theoretically) very easily stick to pics of my kids, self-deprecating anecdotes, love notes to my hot-husband and bragging on my beloveds. But (in reality) I can't and neither should you.

Facebook is many things to many people and one of the things it is to me is a platform where I can address issues of social conscience and be sure to reach at least a few hundred people with my thoughts and ideas and opinions.

I've laid my privilege out there many times but again, for those who may have forgotten: I'm a white, middle-class, heterosexual, married woman living comfortably and without much personal strife in New York.

Why can't I keep my mouth shut about Race, Sex, Gender? Because I'm a white, middle-class, heterosexual, married woman living comfortably and without much personal strife in New York.

A huge part of my privilege (and maybe yours, too) is that I can put myself out there. I can be messy and mouthy and rage-y because I already have access. My voice isn't too much of an affront because I'm already accepted. I can be confrontational because my human condition isn't controversial.

There is a duty. That's why I do it. I choose to see the need to agitate and annoy. To be provocative with the sole purpose to shift just one, just a tad to the side of being "just".

When people get upset and offended when their pulse rates amp up, when they see a little red or maybe their vision gets blurred, when people are faced with something they vehemently disagree with, there is an opportunity there. An opportunity to reach in, grab onto the controversy and shake it up and show all the sides. When I get called a "Liberal", "ignorant", "uninformed",  "WRONG" I know I'm illuminating something that's been in the dark for probably a very long time.

I'm messy, scrappy. Totally unpolished. I've made (and will continue to make) a ton of mistakes when handling fragile things like people's strongly held prejudices and throughout my life I've lost friends over my approach. But I've kept the ones I need and I've made new ones along the way.


But why in the world would I do that? Why would any of us?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 19th, 2016: Move in Time Between 12-4PM

What if the next 2 days weren't just blocks on the calendar, strung together just to be gotten through and over with? What if the next few days are... are so much more than you are ready for?

What if they're signaling the denouement of your eldest child's trip through your personally curated universe? What if the sting of the coming days that you have been feeling every detail of like prickled skin is so acutely painful because you are commemorating the fact that your second most trusted companion on planet earth is flying the coop?

Ruby. Oh, Ruby!

I wasn't a great mom in the beginning.
(This is a hotly and emotionally debated pov around here. Hot husband wants me to feel good, be good, have good all the time and that is why I will continue to keep him around. However, this is my story, and my feels are my feels on this one.)

Well, I was fucking killer as the mom of an infant. I'll right hand that to anyone's god. But the years that stick in the head, the guts, the marrow? The years I was mean and mad and not good? Those are the years that make my innards churn. So busy figuring out motherhood, adulthood. Trying not to lose ground. Struggling to be who I was maybe supposed to be at some point... It hurts to type it. I yelled a lot and shut her out. Wouldn't let her help, got mad at her when I did let her...

And because of the mothering she got, she matured seemingly overnight. She was the avocado on the counter that's hard as a rock for days and days and days until it's suddenly to soft to eat. As a consequence she's always done things before I was ready to hear them, to own them.

When she was 16 months she weaned herself. Boobie all gone! No! Not it's not! It's right here!! It's still right here!

When she was almost 2 she told me that she was a good girl and that I was upset because of myself.

When she was 3 she would drop notes down from the second story of the house to tell me where my areas of improvement could be found.

When she was 4 she wanted to and went to real-school-not-play-school-mama.

When she was 5 she had been in school for a year and developed existential depression and she said more times than I can remember that she was "the most differentest person in the whole world".

When she was 6 she was put in the second grade and chastised for not believing in God. Told she'd go to hell. She said to them that she wasn't sure and wasn't it ok to not be sure?

When she was 8 no one showed up for her birthday party.

When she was 9 she was punched on the school bus.

When she was 10 I homeschooled her and I tried to reconnect with her and erase some of the shit stains.

You get the picture? It wasn't serendipitous. It was messy. It wasn't always magical.

Everything I ever said about everything she ever said or did or wrote or made was interspersed with anxiety and worry and fear.

We didn't openly and passionately fall in love until she was 13. And when it's at 13, it's too late to not have scars. It's too late to be without pain. But it has been GLORIOUS. Blood and entrails and all. Her humor is wicked. Her taste in music fascinates me. She tells me stuff. She lets me in.

Mom of infant. Mom of teenager. Those are my gold medal rounds with Ruby.

When she was still just 15 years old she was accepted to university because she is an extraordinarily gifted artist

And now, at barely 16 it's time to say goodbye.

Stop it. I'm not being dramatic. I know her.

She loves me and I can't take a breath without at least one beat of my pulse in her exact direction.

I love her and she hangs on everything I say like so many vines. And now, wielding a machete, razor sharp and smarter than I'll ever be, she's slashing them.

This is a broken heart I can't comprehend.

Luckily for me, I am a wholly inappropriate cryer and am therefore unlikely to lose my shit in her dorm room. The ride home? The day after? Help me, my friends because I'm going to be a disaster.