June 25, 2013

Time to get right

This week my kids entered a special boot camp I’ve created out of desperation.  It’s called 1976.  Remember what we did in the summer of ’76?  Bell bottoms, feathered hair, tube socks and these songs. 

More importantly, in 1976, we climbed trees, drank from the hose, rode bikes, walked to Time Saver for Bubblicious and pop rocks, and played hide and go seek with the neighborhood kids, usually well into the night.  Funny how none of us were kidnapped, raped or maimed, despite not wearing helmets and our parents not having a clue where we were.

We were not allowed to sloth around in the house all day.  My mom’s favorite saying was “Go outside.”

There weren’t elaborate cooked meals for lunch.  We ate baloney sandwiches.  We weren’t aware of other options, like fancy pita breads, grilled Panini sandwiches, and various meat and cheese selections.  Our choice of baloney was with olives or without.

There was no Minecraft, no Xboxes, no cable TV, and no IPhones.  Therefore, none of these things are present in the 1976 camp.  I’m debating whether I will force them to play frogger.  Remember our version of Minecraft?  It was called “Adventure”…it was the game with the dragons…they chased you through those ‘castles’ and you had to find that secret key.

The reason for the camp is because my kids are asses.

I’ve spent 30 days carting them around to festivals and parties.  They’ve been to water parks and to the movies.  Bowling and miniature golf.  They’ve eaten from cool food trucks and have been to several restaurants.  They spent a day in the French Quarter and have been to the Museum of Art.

I’ve finally come to the realization that none of this matters.  They fight and whine and act unappreciative.   And I’m sick of it.

I was so sick of them last week that at one point I actually refused to feed them.  You think I’m kidding?  The muthas were quite amused with this fracas.

They always get a good snack after swimming.  On one particular day, they wanted hashbrowns and eggs with fresh tomatoes and bacon.  They’re accustomed to the waitstaff here.  I smirked and told them hell no.

I refused to feed them.  I told them I wasn’t preparing another meal until they helped me clean the ENTIRE house.  Then I told them as soon as they ate their snack, they were heading outside.  FOR THE DAY.  They were not to come inside until dark.

They whined that they would be hot and thirsty.  I reminded them that they have a pool and a fridge stocked with water and juice boxes.  A far cry from riding my bike all sweaty with a red face in 1976 and drinking from the hose.  I mean seriously, did we even have trees for shade back then?

The day was quite amusing.  They swam.  They rode bikes.  They dug holes in the yard.  They picked tomatoes.  They caught bugs.  They walked to the park.  They brought rocks home from the railroad tracks.  They found old paint in the basement and painted the rocks.  They did not fight.  They did not whine.  And I did not spend a dime.  It was a jackass free zone.

Somehow, we were all righted.

You’re welcome.  Enjoy your right side up day.

June 15, 2013

There's No Cryin In Rock 'n Roll

Well madpeople, father’s day is upon us and my heart is bleeding for my precious boys.  I’m the ultimate over-compensater.  I can spin a bad situation into a lighthearted one, I can force my way through deep shit like a mad bull.  My head is high and my heart is joyful, mostly.  But I’m still just a chick.  A mutha.  I’m not a man.  I’m not a daddy.  I can’t replace him.  And it’s so unfair.

These kids are the best.  They are sweet and gentle and kind and funny and so full of love.  They deserve to be sandwiched between a mom and a dad.  They deserve to play football and baseball and soccer in the yard with their dad.  They deserve to learn from a good man how to treat a woman, how to be a husband, how to be a provider.  And they’ll have none of it.  Not a lick.  And it makes a part of me die inside.

I try not to freak out because I know surely there must exist men who achieved greatness despite not having a father.  I know books have been written and statistics charted that say my boys are likely to be deficient in some way, solely due to their lack of a father figure.  I desperately want to believe that my love, my passion, will make it untrue.

I once boasted that my love was not regular.  Someone once told me that knowing me was like knowing fire.  I try to convince myself that I can be everything they need.  Deep inside I feel it’s untrue.

I don’t need him.  I really don’t.  But they do.  The brutal agony turns to anger so that I can function.  I know what to do with anger.  I don’t know what to do with agony.  The anger fuels me.  The agony destroys me.  This is one of the benefits of being a suicide survivor.  The anger props you up, nudges you.  I’m the best when someone tells me I can’t do something.

I’m sobbing now, but not hysterically because my boys are in the next room.  We’re going to my dad’s today, to get what little bit of dadness we can swipe in a short time.  The big boys recently discovered an affinity for Lynyrd Skynyrd, so we’re going to dry the tears, open the roof and crank it up loud on the way.  There’s no crying in rock n roll.

This was sent straight from Dave today...give it a whirl.  A little Freebird is good for the soul.

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now
'Cause there's too many places I must see

If I stayed here with you, girl
Things just couldn't be the same
'Cause I'm as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change

And the bird you cannot change
And the bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can't change

Bye, bye, it's been a sweet love
Though this feeling I can't change
But please don't take it so badly
'Cause Lord knows I'm to blame

But if I stayed here with you, girl
Things just couldn't be the same
Cause I'm as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change

I'm the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can't change
Lord help me, I can't change

Oh, I can't change
Fly free bird