(No Title) (#832)i dreamed of my dad again last night. the two of us, sitting in his family room, watching M.A.S.H. -- hot lips houlihan was up to her antics, and dad and i were content to snicker together, getting it. he's been gone seventeen years, and i'm almost past conjuring an easy mental picture now, except in dreams, where he is instant and constant and in the moment. he is still 62-years-old, and won't live to be 79 in my imagination or anywhere else, for that matter. why are the dreams so current, so fresh, so real-time? why hasn't it sunk in to my subconscious yet that he's not here? why don't i get it? dreaming is living not in time, but in eternity. maybe i haven't processed "seventeen years since his death" because he hasn't. maybe i can't imagine him older because he isn't. if timelessness is fair, he is ageless in a strong, youthful way. i may stop counting the anniversaries, and start looking forward to the reunion. and the dreams. and getting it.
(No Title) (#833)"mom," said scott, "i think you might get pretty good at blogging if you keep at it. you could really leverage some proactive methodologies, exploit value-added intellectual capital, and monetize dynamic eyeballs." sigh. if only i were an aggressive self-starter.
(No Title) (#834)it's a bittersweet and proud occasion when your oldest child turns sixteen. it feels great just to see him get that far, in one piece, unscathed-- at least to the casual observor. you're pleased he has a few semi-solid plans for his future, forward thinking boy that he is, even if they do revolve around a macintosh computer, a girl named haley, and some new sport he calls "surfing." how he's going to surf, i can't imagine. we live in missouri. he wants pizza for his birthday dinner, but it doesn't seem like enough somehow. doesn't he understand about milestones? he's my firstborn, for God's sake! so we throw him a surprise party he doesn't ask for or anticipate, but which he thoroughly enjoys. when your only daughter, the middle child, turns sixteen, you give her the "sweet sixteen" party she's been talking about since she was eleven. many sixteen-year-old girls haven't been "sweet" since they were, well, eleven-- but your girl is different. and today, all the reasons why you think so come dancing back into mind. maybe it is the dancing--- and the singing, and the theatrics, and all the hundred ways she shows her uninhibited joy. and almost shows you how she feels. some small, or not so small, part of her is guarded. you know it's being held back for someone else, and you have to wonder... will he be at the party? two days ago, my baby boy turned sixteen. it was a wednesday, so the party was postponed for the sake of partygoers too conscientious to forego their homework. we gave kevin a nice camera, since he'd been vainly wishing to take our very nice camera on any number of excursions. kev's the kind of son who, when loading the first roll of film, turns to me and says, "can the first picture i take be of you, mom?" top that. an hour ago, at 3 a.m., my oldest son took the youngest to meet up with a youth group headed for snowboarding in colorado--a fourteen hour drive. you keep thinking the angst brought on by teenagers and cars and highways and icy roads and danger signs will lessen--or maybe it will take its leave altogether. but it never does, ever. this ski trip is his birthday present, and he's really excited. yeah. me, too. what's wrong? my husband asks, when i climb back into bed, the lights off, the house silent. "nothing." so i turn away from nothing, toward him. but i can still hear, in the nothing, a blaring bass guitarist, an irish dancer in hard shoes, and a skateboarder taking down the basement. and i fall back to sleep, relieved that "nothing" still makes so much noise. and dream of three sixteen-year-olds, and all their milestones.
(No Title) (#835)"where are we going, and why am i in this handbasket?"
Posted by Katy on 12/15/00
(No Title) (#836)they don't come back at nighttime like they used to. they don't even necessarily come back when they need fed, or bandaged or sung to sleep. they return randomly, on their own terms, without invitation or insistence on my part. they have no particular needs or demands upon arrival, but i (foolishly) have expectations. i hope they'll rush into my arms to be sheltered, for a moment, from whatever it is they escape. they are escaping something, aren't they? something against which i provide the only earthly reprieve? for today, though, i do nothing but wait, and those furtive activities associated with waiting: cooking, cleaning and counting the hours. tomorrow, my grown-up children fly home.
Posted by Katy on 12/15/00
(No Title) (#837)I've been thinking a lot about truth, the absolute kind. I'm sure there is some out there, and I'm pretty sure it's a limited amount. Some days, though, it's hard to pick it out in a crowd.
(No Title) (#838)Today is my very first best friend's birthday. We were five years old when we laid eyes on each other, in Mrs. Pendergast's afternoon kindergarten class. Mary Beth was playing with the three-story doll house, which dwarfed her, and I was overwhelmed by her tinyness. I was a fragile girl myself, but being the oldest child in my family, I felt big. Mary Beth was the baby of five children, and looked and acted the part. We wore sturdy, navy blue, Catholic jumpers, starched white blouses, and impossibly cumbersome black-and-white saddle oxfords. Mary Beth's miniscule body was lost in these symbols of sameness, but her sparkling expression was anything but uniform. I thought she was delightfully different. Suddenly, this little living doll was tip-toeing toward me, happily interrupting my project involving a huge sheet of manilla paper and a virgin box of eight perfect crayons. And there, trailing around, behind and beside her left clod-hopper was a 24-inch long shoelace, which threatened to be her undoing. And then, she spoke. "Can you tie my shoe for me?" Could I? Interruptions like these were to become the essence of our childhood union. Best friends like Mary Beth are forever calling when you're doing your homework, or coming over when you're supposed to be washing the dishes. She'll want to exchange gifts when you're supposed to be at Christmas Eve Mass, and talk about boys while you're watching Ozzie and Harriet. When she's grown older and less self-absorbed, she begs you to dump your English pen-pal and start writing to her big brother Vinnie, who's in Vietnam, so he won't be lonely. A first best friend doesn't happen often, but she happens with an unmistakeable audacity. Happy 47th Birthday, Mary Beth! You can interrupt me anytime.
(No Title) (#839)I find these truths to be self-evident...but, then again, I could be wrong.