"In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep you are not.
And when you are filled with sleep, you never were. I don't know what I am. I don't know if I am or not."
William Faulkner "As I Lay Dying"
often times i have this boy put away his phone because i want his time, or want him to engage with others. when i get this look from him i know it is either time to go, or it is time to let him on his phone. next time i think i will start singing this song to him:
i'd go hungry i'd go black and blue,
i'd go crawlin down the avenue
oh there's nothing that i wouldn't do
to make you feel my love
first world problem: there are so many bunnies that come into my backyard that it is basically a yard of bunny pellet droppings taking over the grass. there is a chicken wire fence to keep them out, they don't care. nor do they care that my crawling 1 year old is vehement that these droppings are the tastiest snack around. he is mad for them. crazy bunnies, crazy baby.
so the girl has some scalp issues. after she lost an expensive biolage treatment shampoo (i am not sure how you "lose" shampoo) i concocted this little hair mask for us:
3/4 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 table spoons honey
lil vitamin E oil
mix it, massage well into scalp, saturate ends, apply plastic bag and leave on a few hours. the protein in the coconut milk makes hair stronger, allegedly helps with that fungus that causes dandruff, honey balances the protein. i washed my hair a couple times and rinsed really well in the shower and all was well. the girl only shampooed once and the next day at school a gal asked her "is your hair like wet?" so...shampoo good, rinse good.
the next night she came bouncing into my room "guess what? my flakes are all gone. like, all gone." valid. blowin in the wind hair.
crazy. scary. out of control. we live in a toxic world, it is inevitable. the past couple weeks over christmas vacay we have been sick. flu, cold, cough, bronchitis. passed from kids to adults, back to kids. at one point i thought it was whooping cough, because i can be alarmist. of which i have not vaccinated my youngest against for fear of vaccines and awareness of my ignorance despite my research.
it stresses me out that my oldest son eats ramen, which is made to survive the apocalypse, another drinks diet mountain dew, the girls curl relaxer, microwave popcorn, toxic, toxic. short of me being crazy police lady almost all the time this stuff happens.
i give it my effort to eat clean, clean organic, detox regularly, exercise, have our barefeet in the dirt, ingest coconut oil, rub down with magnesium, body brush dry skin, drink keifer, etc. etc.
then all of this does not seem to matter so much in the face of morality, integrity, honesty; all of which is a reality each day for my kids at school. so like having my 7 year old not use the f-word, my 12 year old not get sent to the dean for "bullying" a kid that has two stud earring in his ears, my 14 year old not to engage in the trending activity of oral sex on the school bleachers which the guy who asked her to homecoming got caught engaging in...that makes me vomit a little in my throat.
it is telling
i love catcher in the rye
"mothers are all slightly insane."
yes. but look
how happy they are
eating metro pizza
in the car
I read Neruda's Ode to My Socks this morning to my son as he slurped his cream of wheat. He preferred Ode to a Black Panther (his favorite animal), but in the former poem instead of socks I thought of my kids. How that impulse to put them in a golden cage and feed them melon brought me to tears the other day when talking to the girl.
She was insisting her going with a group of kids driving out to Red Rock to hike was a fine idea I should embrace. A random 16 year old boy driving, are you kidding me, nah. nope, noway. She sighed, annoyed, "mom, you are judging this kid based on the boys you knew!" uh, yup. "mom, how am i supposed to make new friends if you won't let me go?" uh, there's other ways. (insert the ole it isn't my rule char, it is the lord's rule) and so on the conversation went until i just looked in her big big eyes and slightly sobbed, "you are my pearl of great price, my prize lovie, my one girl i am to protect. i would keep you in a closet and feed you crackers if i could." she looked at me as if i was crazy for crying, "fine, i just won't go." she left the room.
I resisted the mad impulse to put him (them)
in a golden cage and each day give him (them)
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
or in my case quadruple good. this new boy is the companion of joy. i dare say that he is obsessed with me, but he is. no one compares in his mind to his mom. that is worth caging, for sure.
"magic of the mechanisms"
"beyond human comprehension"
"where does this intelligence of knowing that a fold can actually hold more information...turn into memory"
"the marvel that is us"
"the magic that is existence that is us"
the smartest people i come across are those that know that they don't know.
i love this stuff. it is not around much since a couple kids (maybe a few) are allegedly allergic to nuts. the girl blames her allergy on me; like because i ate it so much when she was in utero she developed an allergy. it is a theory. but i made these cookies tonight. update: the girl smelled them cooking and thought they were brownies. "so they ALL have nuts?" she asked, ignorant of how peanut butter cookies are made. "yes, they are made with peanut butter." "you made no other cookies, just these? do you not love me?" i adore these reactions, i adore her.
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cup flour
roll the cookies into balls then fork mark it up.
greased cookie sheet.
bake at 375 for 8 minutes.
another cookie me and the two older boys made for the girl and her 8 friends that came over unannounced:
chocolate chip cookies 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup shortening (gross but not optional) 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 egg 1 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 scant teaspoon salt chocolate chips (however much ya like) flaky sea salt (optional)
preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit cream together butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla and egg until fluffy (this the 12 year old did) add sifted dry ingredients (minus sea salt) and mix till combined (this the 7 year old did) fold in chocolate chips and drop by spoon onto greased cookie sheet (12 and 7 year old did in their own bowls) sprinkle with sea salt before baking (optional) bake at 350 for 6-10 minutes (i pull mine out early cuz i like them underdone)
so my baby turned 7. we were not going to have a friend party this year. i am pretty sure the first ten years of motherhood elaborate party planning for each birthday burned this gal out.
one year, when my first son was turning 5 i dried out chicken bones to bury in the park playground so the 5 year olds could do an authentic dinosaur dig and find real bones...that was also the year i almost took that 5 year old home from his own party due to the moody he was throwing. so it was decided...family gathering for his 7th birthday. as it drew closer i knew my social of social kids would have to have friends to celebrate. "please mom...next year i will do just a family party." so last minute planning produced a super fun party of all boys and one girl. it was not elaborate and he loved it.
as i lay with him in bed discussing all the great things about the day and the whole week i think back to the first night i had with him. he was an 8 pound baby but had trouble breathing so they had him in the nicu the whole night. i stayed with him whispering how loved he was. the heat lamps made him so pink and he looked like a beast compared to many of the preemie babies that were in there with him. i recall so vividly the strength of the love i felt for him; it was unbelievable. i stroked his soft skin and blond hair all night, trying to memorize every centimeter of his new body: his curved spine, heart shaped top lip, big belly. while i watched him sleep the other night with his long, lean, boy body it feels like i am being split asunder. i am not sure what that means in the scriptures, but if i could place a feeling on it, it is this: having my children grow up and out of the selves i loved so madly. of course it is tempered by the continuing love of their new selves...but come on, this 2 year old kid was the penultimate.
his 7 year old self is too. geez, it is such a gift to be his mom. he is the (one of the 4) coolest thing i have done. for sure.
this is my morning view. it is da best. the kids painted those rocking horses for baby before he was born, the couch i put in my room because it is lounge style 10 foot long sophistication that i am trying to protect from kid feet, and a martini glass filled with gumballs because i do like kid feet in my room. (the creepy black ghost hand was a gift that reminds me of the movie Ghost when the dark black shadows would come and take the bad people away.)