Monday, December 17, 2012

Formula of Wrong

When I was in high school, algebra did not make sense to me.  

Class started out great.  I showed up with sharp pencils, crisp lined paper and a mind naive with confidence.

I listened, watched, and copied from the board.  I dutifully used the given formulas, worked through exponents, checked work and still, STILL came up with the wrong answer more often than not.  

In college, philosophy, psychology, literature, and any other shade of gray fueled my brain.  I prospered in those lawless lands;  infatuated with imprecision and subjectivity.  Eclectic variants of written voice and human experience became a comfort zone.  My world became defined by indefinables.

How can you ever get a wrong answer if there is no formula?

Now, after living almost 40 years as a lover of outliers, unpredictables, and randomness, I am no longer comfortable.

It is not OK that this world does not make sense, that when you follow the given formula, do the hard math, check your work and find that X still does not equal A.  

Those parents sent their children off to school exactly like we did Friday morning.  Those children were viciously attacked in their safe place while ours were not.  Those teachers protected and shielded their students like the warriors we wish to be and still STILL so many suffered and fell at the hands of unpredictable terror.

I no longer appreciate the beauty of a world that is very much as horrifying as it is inspiring.  And because I'm a mom, I can no longer care with one heart.  My desire for order and fairness has separated into countless irrational hearts that splinter off to reach illogical and wrongful suffering.  

There MUST be as many splintered hearts that help heal as there are wounds that writhe and suffer.

But No.  

There aren't.

As of Friday, I am sure there are not.  Some people must tragically and grievously suffocate with deeper pain than they should.  For no damn good reason.

Sometimes, in our earthly world, X just does not #%& equal A.

And now, for me and the rest of America that keeps learning the devastating details of Friday's massacre, we will not be fine existing in any more shades of gray.  

Ever again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Tea

Sunday afternoon my friend and neighbor invited me to a Christmas tea at her church.

This in and of itself shouldn't cause one stress.  There isn't much scary about Christmas, churches, or tea.

The stress didn't happen until I visited my closet.  An important side note is that this friend of mine is THE best dressed lady in town.  She is a Georgia peach and a southern belle in all senses of the word.

This lady is always coiffed, accessorized, and adorned with classic threads and tasteful fits even to go to the mailbox.

She is also 70 years old.

My hope had been to shop around for a nice looking tea length dress to wear.  With a cardigan if need be.  I hoped need didn't be but felt, in my mind, prepared to cover up the girls if they were feeling reckless.

Needless to say, in my recent crazy spin cycle of hormone-free, organic, natural ingredients on the label grocery shopping spree, I did not make time to fun clothes shop for myself.  I must've banking on a pretty little dress to materialize between the old, dusty, and pointy-shouldered options already there.  And if that didn't happen, I figured I could throw some old things together with some new, add a dangly necklace and voila, a garden variety of embarrassing company I would not make.

Then my friend calls five minutes prior to us leaving to say, "Wear something glitzy!"



What does that even mean?

Sparkles?  Shiny heels?  Metallic fringe?  Leopard print with some tinsel?  What exactly are we talking here?  How do I do 70 year old Georgia peach glitz?

So I panicked...

...until I found this:

An old scarf I bought to wear to my brother's wedding, years ago.  Never wore it, still had the tag, and seemed the perfect amount of glitz for a church tea.

Once again, my hoarding tendencies come in handy.

  Such a proud hoar...der.

The night went on without a hitch.  A choral group of girls dressed in long Olde English gowns met us at the door, already singing and filling the halls with that twinkle you feel in your stomach when Christmas sinks in.

Tables upon tables were set with green, silver and a dash of red.

At least a hundred ladies of all ages circled about wearing their own tea cups on the ends of their painted nails, brought from home like a piece of beloved jewelry.

I was so excited to be a part of this glitzy event that not once did I ever even notice my scarf....

...was totally meant to be a shawl.  


Resourceful glitz.

Outweighs a cardigan every time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One Angel

Grayson had another migraine at school yesterday.

It wasn't as intense as the one two week's ago, thank goodness (and special Tylenol).  It did require two visits to the clinic, a quick trip from mom to dispense medicine, and a four hour deep sleep once he got home.  I think we caught this one in time with the medicine.  Thankfully and surprisingly he awoke pink-cheeked and ready for dinner. 

(I feel like I need to preface the rest of this post with some background info.  It is a fact that I grew up an intuitive sensitive feeler person but very much a religious skeptic with an agnostic grandfather.  My mom was brought up Catholic but it never quite sunk in with me. I took my grandmother to Christmas mass a handful of times, attended services at a Mormon Temple, synagogue, and I think a Baptist church once.  At age eight, I was "baptized" Catholic in the Gulf of Mexico by my then step-mom.  She dipped my brother's and my forehead below the briny water, said some Jesus words, and we were deemed good to go to heaven.  As an adult, I didn't quite believe there was a God until my grandfather heard a choir of glorious music on his deathbed.  Heard is not accurate.  It was blaring through his eardrums and his mind for days, starting soft at first, then getting louder and louder as his legs became swollen and more swollen.  It drove him absolutely crazy that I couldn't hear it too.  "Are you sure it's just for me?" he would ask.  And I would listen hard, lift my eyebrows and say, "Yep.  Don't hear a thing.  It's just for you." So, my son does not get his spiritual side from any upbringing.  He has always been what I can only describe as "connected to some place else", ever since I met him.  Since giving birth to him, I have never been able to deny that there is truth in heaven and a higher power because he has always shown me the connection.  Through his visions, his innate thoughts, and his steadfastness of goodness.  My son is my religion.)

"Sh*t Mom, where's my cross?" Grayson says to me this morning in the car.

"Don't say sh*t and probably in your bed, somewhere in your sheets.  Can you use something else today?"

Grayson has been keeping this little Dollar Store silver cross in his pocket every day.  On it, he prays to God to make his headaches stop during school.  He has also been asking for a pirate ship but I'm not sure that one's a legit prayer.

"Here, let me see what I have in my purse," I grump rooting through an iPad cable, Abby's purple shimmer nail polish, extra straws, receipts, and a Cert's roll.  "Aha, try this!" I declare while tossing him a raindrop sized rubber blue pencil topper.

"No, Mom.  It has to be something that God already talked to."

Great.  I have less than 5 minutes to produce a holy symbol that God has had a chat with inside my purse.

"Ummm.  Whoa, forgot that was in here.  Look at THIS!"  I am thrilled to have landed on a wee magnetic box with a cross on the side.  I bought one for each kid at a gift shop when we went to the mountains last year.  The inside of the box was, at one time, a container for three small angels:  Love, Faith, and Hope.  Or something like that, I forget.  I shook it like a maraca to see if any angels were still inside.

Click-clack-click went the little metal box.

I am a superhero.  I found my son his holy power symbol and because I am a hoarder and can't find a place in the garbage for straws and old receipts, he will never have another migraine at school ever again!  Parental pack ratting is godly and must be rewarded by a promising migraine-free destiny.

"Mom," grunts a very disappointed recipient. "There is only one angel inside."

"Well, sheesh.  How many people do you know could pull a freaking angel out of their purse at all? I think one is plenty."

Apparently he thought so too.  After he hopped out of the car to skitter down the sidewalk toward his class like a scruffy pound puppy with luggage, I watched as he pat at his pocket.  To make sure his one angel was still there.

The nurse hasn't called to report another migraine yet today.


One angel is definitely plenty.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I told my husband I'm not going.

We don't really know where the military will send us yet (Desert Monitor wasn't very telling) but we do know it's either really close or pretty damn far.

I once was totally fine with pretty damn far but now I'm getting older and quite stubborn.  It also seems the older I get the harder it is for me to push our lives deep into the earth to make roots, water those twisty curls, prune them every so often when they threaten to strangle the mother tree, and nurture each underground vine long enough to see them evolve into a colony all their own. Its own life sustaining village.

I can't move my entire village.  My mom, step dad, uncle, and brothers (two of the four) live an hour or less away.  My childhood home (pictured above) is still within reach, my grandparents' final resting place is 15 minutes away.  Our children's friends, schools, dance studios, pediatricians, specialists, and favorite fishing holes are here. Target and Pho51 and SweetFrog will never live without me.  My network of mommy friends who have been my scaffolding, a beacon of wine and Triple Sec, the raison d'laugh and cry live here. 

So, I'm not going.  WE are not going.

Our roots have begun to spread, tendril out and dig down into the sticky, tacky, good dirt.  From where new things grow and thrive. 
Really damn far will just have to make an offer to some other family that wants great food, Cajun music, and sweltering heat. 

Cause this family is just fine planted here.