Posted in Fathers, Fragile Life, Milestone Moments, Nuts & Bolts, Round Two, Teens

aidan sick

i pulled the socks from his feet and rubbed peppermint cream into his soles, while his father went in search of tylenol. and as i rubbed, i said to myself, whose feet are these? they’re so huge! even the toes! and i wondered, was I wrapped in his feverish delusions too? and later, when we brought him into our bed, and he tucked his shivering body against mine, and i wrapped my arms around him like i had when he was a boy, i was surprised to find a broad back and big boned shoulders, and i reached further still to be sure i wasn’t touching my husband; while my baby, at 16 & a half to the day, oblivious to his child-to-giant transformation, went on tossing and turning and sweating, between us, until we brought him to the shower, and his father, seeing his body, as if for the first time, said to me: how have we missed this?

(february2017)

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Posted in Fragile Life, Insight, Takes a Village, Teens, Tweens, Wisdom of Youth

On hating our young

While our 17-year-old set out to march, my husband and I opted for our regular Saturday morning practice on the mat, surprised and touched to find our longtime teacher speaking to the day’s events, not just at the opening of class but into the practice, naming the young voices he admired so much–Emma Gonzales and David Hogg–and choking up as he talked about the Stoneman Douglass Ice Hockey team, so that I when I found myself, supine, in Baddha Konasana–hips and heart wide open–tears slid down & around my cheeks, and into my hair, and onto my mat, without thought, without attachment or emotion, and continued as I came into a twist, and later, off the mat, and into the day, I was struck again, as I was on Valentines Day, at how precious the sight of each and every teenager, and I understood that it is not only our relationship with masculinity and guns that will be transformed but our hatred of our young as they come of age.

 

Posted in Borrowed Voices, Fragile Life, Mother to Crone, Takes a Village

guns & the mouth of babes

I wake in the night thinking about 17 lives, and I say to myself:

This is good, this waking.

My heart has not grown numb or too defeated.

It will continue to voice:

NO.

NO MORE!

I wake in the morning, my heart aching, but I can’t remember why.

Am I sad about something? Worried? Is it something I ate?

Later, I come across my sister’s post about her pillow talk with my 5-year-old nephew…

…How did a guy with a gun even get in a school?

…When I go in in the morning, the door is just open, would a guy come in the morning?

…What are the new rules?

Posted in Fragile Life, Insight, Mother to Crone

Half-Mast for School Kids


In February, I found myself stuck in a chair, inside a building, listening to people talk at me for 7 hours a day.

When it was time to leave, they filled my arms with work that would eat away at what remained of the evening.

In encountering such violence (made more apparent in its stark contrast to self-employment), my heart went out to high schoolers everywhere, and thus when I later saw a group of angry-looking teenagers roaming the streets of the city, I understood.

On the second day of this three-day training, despite the holiday, there was no mention of LOVE, and so that when I returned to my hotel room, alone, I gave in to the novelty of television, discovering that a school shooting had just taken place in Florida.

What I wanted most to do in that moment was to embrace my own high schooler and keep him home from school for the rest of the week (or forever), but instead, I messaged him to be sure he opened theĀ  chocolates I’d left behind, and then I got into a hot bath, and never opened my homework.

On the final day of training, there was no talk of the shooting, and yet just the thought of any high schoolers made it hard to breathe, and when one passed me in the parking lot at the end of the day, he looked me in the eyes and said with surprising warmth:

How’s it going?

And right there, with the sun high above us, and my satchel heavy on my shoulder, and the flag at half-mast, I almost cried.

Posted in Fragile Life, Legacy, My own childhood

Pregnancy & Grief

I often think of my 20-year-old mother today.
Irish Catholic.
Exactly 8 & 1/2 months pregnant.

Her President, the age of her father-in-law, shot dead, beside his wife, on a Texas street.
My mother was 17, the age of my son, when she went door to door with her younger sister.

“The Kelly girls,” the neighbors called them.
Their mother sent them out to campaign.

I think of the unbearable grief that I felt on 9/11 & 11/9 and on the December day when children were shot inside their first-grade classroom, and I wonder that today is not my birthday.

And I wonder, what my young mother felt in those last two weeks with me inside.

And I wonder if the sweet sensitivity of my own son is due to the grief I held as he came into the world and she left it.

Posted in Fragile Life, Mid-Life Mama, Mother to Crone, Round Two, Teens, What's Next? (18 & beyond)

school bus

although only “minutes” have passed since i immersed myself in the work of the day… i hear the school bus go by, again. and though no child of mine is upon it, i still find myself marking time as it comes and goes, as my youngest prepares to fly the nest, and the beginning and ending of day are almost touching.

Posted in Fragile Life, Milestone Moments, Twenty-something

August 1st

to be embodied. together. in the water. in the sun. in the shade. on a blanket. their skin. his chestnut eyes. his ocean blues. my babies grown. their parents greyed. this family. once forever. now moments. like this. as deep as all of us in the same bed. didn’t he twirl my hair as we nursed in the blue chair. didn’t he cry to sleep in the stars & moon sling against his father’s chest. i must take a photo! but no. i can’t bear to capture that which is only now. this breath. my head. his chest.