Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


As G pedaled her bike up the street after dinner tonight, she looked so very much like herself that it hurt. The tassels on the handlebars of her Lightning McQueen bicycle fluttered in the wind, and every so often she'd wobble as she let go with her thumb to ring the bell. Her fancy salmon-colored sheath dress with white brocade stitching was caught on the back of the seat, and clashed fantastically with her rainbow sneakers. A lock of green hair fluttered loose from the front of her helmet. Narrowed eyes. Jutting knees. She was her own perfect self, undiluted, and I could have run behind that bicycle for hours.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Accepting Gifts

A. came home with a small brown paper bag in his hand, beaming at me rather than resorting to his usual routine of stomping downstairs to change out of his sweaty workday clothes. I raised my eyebrows as he held out the bag and smiled. "I got you a present!" Well then! I reached inside and pulled out a handful of silky, drapey fabric studded with white polka dots. It was a dress, and not just any dress, but a dress I had seen in a shop a few days earlier and had admired. Now here it was, in my hands. Squealing, I rushed to the nearest bedroom and started stripping off my clothes. I held up the new dress, my new dress, and noticed suddenly that it seemed a little on the small side. A lot on the small side, actually. How had an entire dress fit into that tiny paper bag? I looked at the tag and my heart sank: size 2. My beautiful new dress was not actually for me at all. On the verge of tears, I almost said something to A, but then shook my head. Humiliating though it might be, I was going to try on this gift no matter what the tag said. So I strategized: I removed my bra, sucked in my ribs, and shivered into the satiny fabric. My head was through, and then my shoulders. The bodice slid down over my ribs and amazingly there was no sound of popping threads. Now all I had to contend with was the zipper. I looked dubiously at the long pink V of flesh showing between my hipbone and my armpit. With another deep breath I tugged the zipper upward, expecting at any moment to feel it biting the skin that it could not possibly cover. Two inches from the top I realized that the worst was over and yanked the zipper pull with a triumphant zzzt! It fit. My brand new, gorgeous, size 2 dress fucking fit.

I never would have attempted to put on something so dainty if my husband had not handed it to me with a smile on his face. I would have listened to the voice in my head shouting "too big! too lumpy! too tall! not good enough!" But what I could not do for myself, I could do for someone I loved. He gave me a gift: he saw me through gentle, uncritical eyes. I gave myself a gift: I let myself believe him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I am quivering in the kitchen, utterly seduced by the way molten caramel cools upon a knife.

Monday, August 10, 2015

List of movies to watch

Slumdog Millionaire
Caramel (subtitled)
Anna Kareninna (then read the book)

For right now.

I romanticize watching them alone naked under a blanket.

But anyone can join (just give me a heads up so I won't be naked).

So cliché

Wolfgang Amadeus playing in my Pandora station.

Moonlight Sonata comes on as I'm running past the orchards on the gravel road.

My lungs are screaming "why are you trying to kill me!?" And I ignore it.

Because as I am about to approach the grape vines, making a right turn at the pond covered in pink petals of some sort, the high end of the song kicks in.

And it's dreamy.

I think to myself "no way I'd admit this in court! It's too cliché."

But I love it.

At any rate, I didn't die.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Don't We All?

The Scene: Eating Popcorn

Me: Hahaha! Hey, A, look. This piece of popcorn looks like [glances quickly around at children] um... a phallus!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Crazy Love

Reasons my children can't stand me today:

I listened to folk music from Finland

I read aloud from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I did not hold hands with them while they pooped

I gave them the wrong colored breakfast plates

I wouldn't let them stand on top of the picnic table

I asked them to slow down near the parking lot

I suggested we have carrots with our lunch

I declined to show a movie before noon

I asked them to pick up a pool noodle and put it away

I cuddled their sibling

I did not give them coffee

I wouldn't let them untie the ribbons on their dress and dangle them into the toilet

I offered to watercolor paint with them

They still love me, though. And I still love them. We must be crazy!

"Love is merely a madness and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do, and the reason why they are not so punished and cured is that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love, too." --W. Shakespeare, As You Like It

Monday, August 3, 2015


The kids have been pretending to be ladies all day-- not just grown-up women, but capital L Ladies who are obnoxiously, squealingly modest in the swimming pool locker room and who eat their lunch with tiny imperceptible bites. I have no idea who they are imitating, but it's not me.