Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lost Things

Today I am no longer blue.
I just returned from Kohl's where I lost my Kohl's credit card.
I had it in my hand, and then I didn't have it in my hand.

I rifled through my bags, my pockets, my purse.

I stood in line at Customer Service, with things to return,
and explained what happened to the nice lady at the counter.
She perkily asked for my last name,
and said she'd check but if I had just lost it, it probably wouldn't be back there yet.
Then she reached into the secret lost-but-found things drawer
and pulled it out.

"Today is your lucky day!" she said.

I couldn't believe it, and said,
"Wow, somebody was really honest to return that."

She said, "Oh yes, they usually do get turned in."

Lost things, returned by strangers.

I needed to hear that good news.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The children are usually the ones who have the day-after blues,
but this year I caught it somehow.

Might be partly because we dropped the teenager off at grandma's yesterday,
and coming home without him is never quite right.
Might be because now the middle child is a teenager too,
turning thirteen on Christmas Day.
Might be how I grossed myself out today by eating a fast food burger.
(I say I'm flexible as a vegetarian, but whenever I flex...I quease.)
Might be that picture of twin girl with what I highly suspect may be the
Last Baby Doll Of Christmas.

The night before Christmas, it is all potential.
The day of Christmas, it is all realized.
The day after, it is all over.

Now we live in the limbo of Not Christmas Anymore,
and Not The New Year Yet.

It's cold and I'm blue.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Lookin' Good

I was pushing my cart down the canned goods aisle,
when I thought to call home and ask if we were out of waxed paper.

I was feeling good,
baseball cap on,
there to get the job done.

Then I remembered that my cell phone was not in my coat pocket,
but in my sock,
because my clothes had no pockets today,
and it just worked out to keep it there.

So I hitched up one leg of my pants,
and suddenly I felt sort of cool.
I actually had the thought - fleeting, ridiculous -
that I hoped nobody would become frightened if they saw what I was doing.

Like maybe I was pulling a gun or a knife out of my cool,
concealed leg-holster.

Of course I was wearing big clompy boots,
pushing a cart full of groceries,
clutching a list written on a well-worn spiral notebook
with "Writing Journal" scrawled in a child's handwriting across the front.
And I had a purple washable marker that I was crossing stuff off with.

Yeah I looked pretty dangerous.

Anyway, the illusion was shattered when I reached into my sock
and tugged only half of my phone out, since the back panel had come off and,
inexplicably, adhered itself to my calf.

I peeled the rest of my phone off of my leg,
slid it back together and made the phone call.

Lookin' Good.


Friday, December 19, 2008



twin boy


middle girl


twin girl


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

School Daze

Taking a breath for a snappy comment over my shoulder
to the children in the backseat,
I realize I have already dropped them off.

sheez, I'm either talking to them when they're not here,
or we're circling the backstreets around the school
because I can't remember what I have driven into town for.


Monday, December 15, 2008


They stitched him.
He tripped over the rug at Wendy's,
and banged his head against the trash can.

Nope, no germs to worry about there....

Anyway, today was the big Jiffy Mix field trip.
It's really cool.
They show you a slide show (I think it's an actual slide show),
and they give you a cookie and juice,
and then you walk between the red lines to see all the machinery
and the workers,
and you get to wear a hair net.

But the thing the twins have been talking about
for five days is the trip to Wendy's afterwards.

That's where he earned two stitches.

Funny thing about boy twin,
we always knew he'd end up with a few stitches,
the way he
through life.

We lost him once on a cruise ship,
and once at a Target,
and once at a petting zoo.

He was okay those times,
and he is okay this time too.


It's A Feeble Request....

...when you hand a ten-year-old a 20 dollar bill for Santa's Secret Shop
and ask her to,

Bring back some change.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I Can Take You

That's what I said to the teenager.
Although he is taller than I am now, I still outweigh him by a good ten pounds.
So I thought I could take him.

Now we are not a violent family.
We don't hit each other, even in play.
The worst fight anybody has ever had here
was a spit-fight in the way back of the van years ago
between the twins.

We try to touch each other gently.

But yesterday I was feeling sort of itchy
and I challenged him.
I think I just wanted to get him out of the chair
where he resides with his ever-present book,
slouched and slack.

C'mon, fight me.

He grinned and unfolded his body,
and proceeded to pin me to the floor.
He gave a running commentary to his delighted siblings,
a la The Dog Whisperer.

"See," he says while kneeling on my chest,
"this is what we call the submissive pose."

For my part, I could not stop laughing.
I had no strength whatsoever up against those dimples,
that curly hair, that wiseacre mouth.

There is something so startling,
and utterly incapacitating,
about the idea of my baby,
growing up.

Yes, I think the paralyzing laughter was why I lost this time.
I think I can still take him.


Thursday, December 04, 2008


His eyes were red and puffy and he appeared past bedtime.

"Ohhhh, come here," I said, pulling him into the chair.

He sank into my lap.

"I was just thinking about how I only have a few more hours left to be nine,"
he spoke into my shoulder.

"Ohhhh, shhhh, it's gonna be alright."

"But these 9 years went by so fast,
and now I'm going to be 10 and I just don't want to be."

I never knew a child who loves to be a child as much as this one.

He added,

"And I don't really know how many numbers I have left."

I thought about that.

I said,

"You are special, because you know how to enjoy the Now.
Most kids just can't wait to be older.
But you, you are living every minute with all you have.
It's going to be okay.

And I think you will have lots of numbers."

He sniffed, and nodded, and left my arms for bed.

I wonder...

Do I love my Now like that?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


The teenager says that he feels uncomfortable
when they are all having their television show
and I run in and dance through their field of vision
and then run out again.

He thinks it's weird.

I said I am not here to make things comfortable for him.