Monday, January 30, 2006

I can't dream.

I don't mean the dreams that dog you throughout the night, causing you to toss and turn and sometimes question your sanity, I'm talking about daydreams.

It's daydreams that let you escape, give you hope, comfort you. Daydreams, in which many of us take refuge from the storm.

I'm not sure when I stopped. I only know I want it back.
I've always been a dreamer. I was your typical little girl that dreamed of a Prince Charming. I dreamt of discovering lost civilizations, exploring the world then having babies and white picket fences with my boy next door.

But I don't dream of him anymore.

I don't dream of me anymore.

I think I know why I stopped dreaming. I thought I found my boy next door once upon a time.

Turned out I was wrong.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Chapter 13, verse 11

Although I’m not one to take these things literally, it seems I did in this case.

I believe that there is no Prince Charming for me, that there is no more "when I grow up". I'm all grown up and there's no more dreaming of what could be.

When things went terribly wrong and my young heart was left bruised and aching I found the daydreams turned into taunts.

Dreams of what I couldn't have, what I wouldn't be doing.
So I shut it off.

It's like a ghost limb that's gone, but I still feel the ache of it. I go to use it only to realize I can't. It's not there for me.

There is no refuge for me in my dreams anymore, only sorrow.

I wish for it back; I mourn its loss.

I want to dream again.

15 Minutes of Fame
Friday, January 27, 2006

Recently I stumbled across an old love of mine from high school. Seeing his picture brought to mind memories of school. One of my most embarrassing moments happened in Jr. High.

It was seventh grade. I was lucky enough to have P.E. right after lunch.
Yea...luck. More like a recipe for disaster.

We had two senior teacher assistants. I was in love with one. His name was Pat. Paaatttt.....I can see him now.
He was kind of ugly...but I loved him with all my little seventh grade heart.
He was about six feet tall. Muscles EVERYWHERE...sigh.
He had black curly ringlets that would droop across his forehead.
He didn't know I existed.
Though how he could not have felt my eyes undressing him longingly I don't know. I practically salivated when he came into the gym.

One day after lunch I came plodding in, took my seat on the floor in the rows they made us sit in to take roll. I was last in line behind Theresa.
Theresa was blonde and a cheerleader...do I need to say more?
Hated her! Hated her with all the passion a geeky band nerd with no self confidence can muster. And that's a lot of hate people..trust me.

So I'm sitting there watching Pat, who I'm sure is my future husband, when they call the class to order. I swivel around on the gleaming wooden gym floor on my butt when I hear a sound.

It sounds like someone just passed gas.

A long drawn out passing that has reverberated against that gleaming wooden floor in this gigantic gym. The sound bouncing off the floor and seeming to take on a life of it's own. So loud it seems to have enlisted the help of a marching band.

I'm looking around. Who is the dumb ass that would actually pass gas in a class full of seventh graders just waiting for the next mistake to pounce on like sharks circling the kill. Oh yes, they smelled blood in the water this day.

I slowly come to realize that they are looking at...ME.
The sound is still drum drumming against the floor and indeed, it does seem to be coming from me. But I can. Not. Feel. A. Thing!

As the sound slowly dies to silence, all eyes are looking at me; I can feel the burn of their complete attention crawling it's way up my neck. I can't even bear to glance at my lost love. All chances of little ugly children with curly black locks dashed, due to the nachos I ate at lunch.

Theresa, her cheerleaders gleaming, crest smile twinkling in the gym lights, announces to the class,
"well, it's ok. I can't smell anything"
As if this will help me!

I can't remember anything else about that day. I'm sure I finished the day zombie like. Mechanically moving through the rest of my classes till I could escape for home.

Luckily the infamy was short. I didn't have to go the rest of High School with ego blasting monikers like fart queen or Stinky.

I still suspect a conspiracy.

To this day I say I was framed!

I never felt a thing damn it!

Performance Anxiety
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yesterday I spent the day lip locked to a dummy.

How is this new you might ask?

This one was made of plastic.....
I had to renew my First Aid/CPR/AED certificate. OH.JOY.

Luckily I have never had to use my training but I like to brush up on it every year. The part I hate is CPR with the dummy.

Now, if I gotta lock lips in front of fifteen or so almost strangers...I wanna do it with a live specimen darn it!
But noooooo
Instead I get a man that can't speak, has no legs or hands and no discernible intelligence that I can speak of.....


What am I thinking...

I just had the perfect man and let him go!

Monday, January 23, 2006

I have a passion for kickboxing. More accurately, the boxing part of Kick..boxing. I haven't been as faithfull to it since my mother passed away. The flavor in life drained away with her and left me in shades of mourning grey. I've packed on the weight like so many pillows. Building a wall between me and the world. This year, I've begun to take apart that wall, one little bit of fluff at a time.

It's time to become reacquainted with myself.

Part of that introduction was my kickboxing. The bag hangs in my carport, a gentle reprimand I walk past every day. Not this weekend. This weekend we had a nice long visit.

There is something about the ritual of it. The drum beat that plays in my ear as I suit up. Strapping my MP3 player to my hip, shaking loose the tension from my legs and arms. The almost religious practice of wrapping my hands. Weaving the wrap around my hands and wrists. Gearing up for battle. Only the battleground is in my mind, it always has been.

The impact of flesh to bag. How the power of it shudders up my arm and across my shoulders. The fluidity of moving from a punch to a roundhouse kick,back to a jab, almost ballet like in it's deftness and technique. The smell of canvas, sweat and blood.


It's funny the almost silly pride I take when I look at these small hands. Knuckles scabbed and scarred, nails long and feminine. Such a study in contrasts...just like me.

The Emancipation of a Parent

This weekend my wee little one had a sleep over at a friends house. This left me with most of Saturday and Sunday to myself. Normally this would have thrilled my little evil heart to no ends. A whole evening to myself? My God, I could conquer cities with one evening to myself!
So what did I do you might ask??
I paid bills. Yes...you don't need to read that part again, I'll repeat it. I paid bills. It was all very exciting. I then read a book for a few hours. Mixed myself a coke and whiskey and promptly fell asleep on the couch after that.
I. Am. Such. A. Party Animal!

That Little Red Headed Girl
Thursday, January 19, 2006

My son informed me the other day of this girl in his classroom who has a crush on him. Yesterday I had the privilege of being a chaperone on a trip to see the local youth symphony. About halfway through the first song I noticed a cute little gal sitting in the seat directly in front of my son. She brought to mind a cross between Strawberry Shortcake and Charlie Brown's crush, the cute little redheaded girl. She was all arms and legs and the sweetest little gamin grin. Her fiery hair was cropped in a long bob and the bridge of her nose adorned with the bane of many a red head..yes, freckles.

I spent most of the symphony listening to music and watching the courting rituals of fourth grade girls. My son, being a typical ten, spent most of the time conducting the symphony from his fifth row seat, his face exaggerated with expressions better suited to a woman in labor rather then a conductor. His paramour in waiting spent her time looking back at him and giggling at his antics, which really, were not that funny, and flipping her hair over the back of the seat in order to tempt my casanova into pulling her flaming tresses.

Now her hair is barely long enough to settle below her jaw bone, the act of getting it to lay down over the back of her seat required her to sink in her chair and fluff it over the seat, something she did several times between giggles and coy glances back. It was such an obvious ploy to me, but not my son. She really was a cutie pie and I figure if he has to have a crush, she would be an ideal one in my eyes.

On the way home I quizzed him about her. When I asked why he didn't like her I got the usual non committal shrug and a "I dunno".
When pressed his response was

"Aw Mom....she has FRECKLES"

Hmph, boys...so fickle

The nights the lights went out in Tacoma...almost
Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Money is tight.
So tight my wallet echoes when opened.

I have been putting off paying my utilities bill. And putting off..and off...you get the picture.

So, along comes my notice in the mail. The one that says "last chance non paying sucker"..yea, that one.
I figure, ok, gotta call em and beg for mercy.

Them: girl from inpanema playing on hold
Me: silence punctuated by odd stomach sounds due to my anxiety
Them: We are here but not answering this call for another year
Me: sweaty palms
Them: Yes, oh it's you..the LOSER who hasn't paid
Me: um..yes, that's me. Can we talk?
Them: Uh, I don't think so. We're coming out to turn your home back to the dark ages... LOSER
Me: But please, please, I promise to pay FRIDAY
Them: Nope, must be today
Me: sniffle...please
Them: We are NOT moved by tears
Me: Is your supervisor?
Them: .....Maybe
Them(supervisor): Ms. Loser, how can I help you
Me: Don't turn out my lights???
Them: You MUST pay EVERYTHING on FRIDAY or it's lights out
Me: sniffle, I'll have to sell my first born...but..ok

Monday/Tuesday Blues

You know it's going to be a hell of a day when you're hoping your child is ill so you can call in sick to work.........

Things left unsaid
Thursday, January 12, 2006

My mother passed away on February 1st, 2004. She had gone into the hospital on November 12, 2003, with heart related problems. She never came home.

My sister and I lived in that hospital. We ate there so much that they gave us an employee discount. Every day was routine. Work, hospital at lunch, back to work, home to pick up my son, back to the hospital, back home to drop sleeplessly into bed. Staring at the TV, willing the words to make sense or for my body to just shut off for a few hours.

Days blended into weeks which bled into months. The only time markers were the medical emergencies that seemed to happen every other day. My mother endured seven surgeries during her stay.

The holidays made marionettes out of us. We jerked and moved to the ministrations of an expected society, but they were empty gestures.

Most days we would go into my mom's little cubicle room in ICU and the lights would be dimmed, sounds hushed but for the beep of monitoring equipment and the whispers of the ventilator in my mothers throat. Even the sounds of the staff were muted, as if the whole ward was wrapped in cotton. We had our favorite nurses and our not so favorite ones, but most were known to us. More intimate in knowledge then we ever wanted a stranger to be to our family.

The last day in January I held a death vigil, even if at the time I didn't know it. It was a Saturday and my sister was taking a break and coming in a little bit later that afternoon. Something was different today. I could taste it in the air, feel it heavy on my shoulders. She wasn't doing well. All the usual noises were made, tests taken, words blurred till I began to feel a bit like Charlie Brown talking to an adult.

My soul was exhausted.

My sister and I took turns sitting with my mother that day and through the night. Leaving her side in shifts to sit in the waiting room with other families to let the TV numb our nerves.
A new nurse came on with the evening shift. One we had never had before. Who was this interloper into our pain? Who was she to think she could come in and speak to us. Didn't she every word spoken felt like agony?

She turned up the lights. It was as if I was awaking from a long restless sleep. Her dark braids threaded with grey made a humble crown about her head. She worked with dark, aged and gentle hands while soft gospel hymns expelled between quiet breaths. She asked us about our mom. Who she was. Who we were.

She listened.

She spoke of her family, her faith.

She brought us music.

She set up a small CD player by my mothers bed and staffed it with songs of hope and reward. She was like a balm to the jagged edge of our wounds. She spoke of her church with the affection of a favorite family member. I longed to go with her, to sit, to feel the peace that she radiated. When she left, the dawn was spreading it's wings across the windows of my mothers hospital room.

In some ways I believe she helped prepare us to let mom go. To open doors for her that we were afraid to unbar. I never told her thank you. My mother left this world that morning and I have never been back to that hospital since. I like to think she knows what she did for my sister and I. She helped make the unbearable...bearable, if only for the day.

Thank you.

Parenting 101
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

There are the rare days when being a parent is nothing but sunshine and roses. Then there are days when it's a struggle just to get them to wear clean underwear. After that comes the days when being a parent just breaks your heart. The days they come home with tales of being picked on or being hurt. The days they get in trouble and you have to face the music with the school or daycare, and the days that they disappear from your sight and your heart catches in your throat till you see them again.

Today was one of the tough days. I've been meeting with various school officials because they are afraid that maybe Kendell has a learning disability. He has ADD and it often masks learning disabilities. He has always struggled with writing. The mechanics of it, the construction of a paragraph and his penmenship. I'm all for testing and isolating a problem. I want my son to have all the help he can in order to prepare him for life. But, I don't want him typecast. If he has a learning disability, let's find it and work on it. The school wants to find it and then possibly put him on a different curriculum for that subject. I disagree. I feel that they should keep him on the same track as the other students and use their tools to help him catch up.

Second guessing yourself is a normal part of parenting. It's one of the things I'm pretty good at. I walked out of the meeting with the other parties clear on how I felt, only to waffle on it while I'm alone in the car driving to work. The world speeds by and my mind is still back in that little classroom sitting on child sized chairs, me against the world.
School officials still have the ability to make me question myself. Years of living under their thumbs makes it hard to buck the system sometimes.

The end result is we are doing an overall testing to evaluate where he is at in all subjects, then we will meet again to decide on further(if any) actions.

My heart hurts today. I don't want these roadblocks in life for my child. I want to make the right decisions for him and guide him in the best way, but I have only my experiences to go by. What if I choose wrong? Worse, what if I choose right and it causes him some pain down the road in some other way? My job as a parent is to make the best choices I know how. But it's the ones I make without knowing enough, just going on gut instinct, that scare me and keep me wide eyed in the dark of night. I knew when I decided to become a mom that this was no easy job, I just didn't know how many mid terms I would be subject too.

Nights like these
Friday, January 06, 2006

Pain kept me awake last night. The electronic sounds of surf crashing whited out the baying of urban sprawl seeping in my window. I am so alone. Isolated on my little isle of suburbia. Loneliness seems to seep from my pores and beneath the lids of my eyes. In the deepest corner of the night my thoughts fight each other for dominance. Inner turmoil held off by the light of day gains foot holds on my soul. My chest is weighted down with worries; it takes every bit of strength in me to take the next breath. Anything and everything that I have agonized over finds safe keeping in my chaotic head. I just wish to sleep, to take a few hours of oblivion to sooth my soul. Seagulls keep tune with my self recriminations. I can almost taste the salt on the wind. Nights like this I want to run far away. To get lost in foreign words and deep dark eyes. I exhaust myself running from myself and finally slumber lulls me away with the soft caress of a mother. My mind settles with the comfort that the sun will dawn and my sons laughter will be my bones, his smile, my will. Tomorrow is a new day.

Arrested Development

Why is it that every morning when I wake up my first thought is still "Argh, I don't want to go to school!!" Shouldn't it be "Argh, I don't want to go to work!!"??

No Pain No Gain
Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Oh yes, I'm going back to the gym.
I'm. very. excited... really.
I get to wear clothing that I know will be too tight. I get to go do things that are physically uncomfortable and would embarrass my mother. I get to work out while pretending there isn't a sweat stain leading from my back to the middle of my ass cheeks. What's not to like?? I didn't stop working out because I'm in perfect shape ya'll; I put our YMCA membership on hold to save some dinero during the holiday season. That's not a valid excuse anymore. I'm paying for the damn thing, gotta go use it. Just like I paid for the kick boxing bag that hangs like a forgotten air freshener in our car port or the weight bench that currently serves as a convenient clothing hanger. Don't get me wrong. I love to work out. I love feeling like I can kick some serious ass. But I'm competitive. I can't just go to a class and feel good about it. I have to go and work out till I'm about to hurl. I have to kick higher and harder then the next person. I have to be bouncier then the chick on the next step. I have to run faster, walk farther and generally be the queen bee or I don't want to play at all. That's so not gonna happen with the weight that's managed to squeeze me back into my fat jeans. I'm going to go and feel like I'm starting all over again. I'm back to being the new kid in class that everyone looks at and says "glad that's not me, standing there...all alone"
I imagine in the next few days I will be experiencing pain in places that would rather be left alone. My 32 year old body will feel like an 85 year old grandma. I shall hobble my sore ass into work and whine to anyone who will listen. But, that's ok. Cause I'm going back to the gym and I'm gonna like it Damn It!

Happy New Years!
Tuesday, January 03, 2006

From our cozy hearth to yours. May the new year be full of laughter, fun, and furry pillows.

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  • Name:Kara
  • Location: Tacoma, Washington, United States
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