Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Tomorrow, we leave for East Hampton. Five or six days, at my parents. The girls are beside themselves. They can't wait to see my parents, and to get to the beach. I am stressed. So much on my mind. We have five hundred dollars in the bank. Today is Tuesday, and that has to last until NEXT Friday. I want to go, and just relax, but I know with every cent spent, I will worry.
Today, David went to get his passport at work. He will be getting his orders soon. He will be leaving us for 6 months. I just can't wrap my head around that. I keep counting back in my mind what I was doing 6 months ago. It seems like so long ago, yet it doesn't. I have been trying to explain how long 6 months is to the girls. They are not really able to understand it. Olivia is understanding how long that is. Charlotte is not. She is concerned if Daddy will be there for her first day of kindergarten. He will not. She is wondering if Daddy will be here for Christmas. He will not. She is concerned where he will eat dinner. She is saddened that family game night won't really be the whole family. She said it will be "half a family" game night. I don't know how to reassure her. I am scared. I want to cry. I do. I cry with them. I am horrified that this is our only option out of brokedom. I have made promises to God that I will keep if David comes back to us, just as he left. I am worried at what kind of mother I will be without my partner. I am not the fun parent. He is. Can I become the fun parent? I don't think I have it in me. Should I get some anti-depressants? Should I allow this to happen? Should I tell David, fuck it. Let the bank take our home, and screw our credit. Forget our pile of bills. Should I insist we move into a trailer, and just be together?
My dryer broke yesterday. After David retrieved our laundry from the laundromat, the dryer broke. Really? I look up at the cieling of my house. Really? This, on top of all the shit that keeps David and I awake night after night. Is someone laughing at me somewhere? Was I a terrible person in another life, and have some lessons to learn from all of this.
Tomorrow, we leave for vacation. Three excited girls, two stressed parents, and five hundred bucks. This should be interesting.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


We are going on a vacation!!! Technically, we are vacating our home. We are leaving PA, and we are heading to East Hampton for a week! We will be staying at my parents (free!!!) and enjoying the beach (free!!!) I am happy that David is taking two weeks off. We need this time together. Especially since he will be leaving soon for Iraq. We need to just enjoy eachother. Something that we seem to have a problem doing. The stress of our daily life really seems to suck a lot of happiness from our home. That part makes me sad. We can't even really afford the expense of the gas and tolls to get away, but we almost can't afford not to.
As soon as we arrive at my parents house, any thought of relaxing diminishes quickly. My mother is never happy when her family visits. We really irritate her, and she hates people being in her home, and "messing it up". She makes no attempt to hide how little she likes our visits. She rolls her eyes, and sighs audibly. She constantly tells the girls "no". She tells me and David that too. Yet, we love East Hampton, and we love the beach, and we can't afford to rent something there, so it is the price we pay. My father is great, however. He makes us feel wanted. He seems to enjoy us being around.
I dream of a week, with no stress. I want to sit on the sand, and watch my little girls play. I love to watch their bodies in their bathing suits. They have wonderful little butts, and pretty legs, carved with young muscles, and their skin is just beautiful. They love to pick up shells, and take long walks. They love the water, and even like laying on their towels to rest, beneath the sun. Just the sound of them giggling. The soft sound of the bay tide. The breeze. My husbands dimples. The warm sun on my skin. I simply cannot wait.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The other night, it was an incredibly cool evening. There was a breeze, and the air smelled delicious. I had been in the sun that afternoon, and I had a little sunburn. The kind of sunburn that feels good. I got into bed, and the feel of the breeze blowing in the bedroom, and making my wind chimes play their songs, just seemed, magical. It felt even, hopeful. 
I imagine a home that is bayside. I talk about it often, and think about it even more. I can see the spindles of the bannister leading to the second floor. I know I will have an artist's studio there. I have a collection of nesting dolls, and I already have plans to decorate my studio with them. I saw a lamp in a magazine the other day, and I actually thought to myself, I will buy those for our home by the bay. They were lamps that had the base of a tree, and the shades were made entirely of seashells. The shells were all dark in color. When the light was on, the lampshade glows almost an amber color. I think that they will look great, either in my entry hallway, or in our master bedroom. I know that one bedroom will be a Wedgewood blue, and one room, maybe a laundry room, will be chartreuse. There will be some Carrera marble in the kitchen, and I see a clawfoot tub somewhere. An outdoor shower, and  beautiful gardens. There will be a cutting garden, a vegetable garden, and an herb garden. I see a wrap around porch, and beautiful wicker furniture on it. Lilac bushes, and hydrangeas everywhere. The living room will be welcoming, and have big, comfy couches, covered in canvas. I see lamps, and my paintings hanging. No curtains on the long, double hung windows. The kind of windows that have leaded glass, that make the outdoors look rippled. 
I know I have spoken of this bayside home before, but I feel it getting closer. The other night, on that cool, breezy evening, I could smell the air from it. I could hear the bay. I felt my sunburned skin get goose bumps from the cool breeze. I could sense this dream nearing me. Maybe it is just hope. Sometimes I fear it is a delusion. But maybe it is nearing my family. Maybe that wind blowing is change. That would be so wonderful.

Monday, June 21, 2010



I went to this place once, called Petrossian. My friend Steven took me there. It is a caviar and champagne restaurant, in Manhattan. It is located in the most architectually beautiful building there is in NYC, in my opinion. The entire building is carved into one entire sculpture. It is stunning. You enter the restaurant, and it is dark, and quiet. Soft music is playing, and candles are everywhere. You can get a table, or sit at the bar. They have an array of champagne to choose from, and they are also known for their vodka. You can get small carafes of it, made out of blocks of ice. The caviar menu has caviar from all over the world. It ranges from really good and pretty expensive, to the most expensive, and delicious. It is served to you on a small silver tray, with belini's and creme fraiche. The whole experience is delightful. Small, delicate food, and lovely flutes of bubbly, served to you by waiter's in tuxedo's. I remember looking at the prices on the menu's, and feeling guilty for being there. It was so decadent. A wonderful meal. An incredible night.  Pure indulgence.
Yesterday was Father's Day. We went to church, and then we went to Red Robin for lunch. I was having an anxiety attack about spending money we don't have on lunch. David wanted to go. I didn't put up a fight. Sometimes, I just want to be like everyone else. I want to be able to go to a stupid chain restaurant, where the food really isn't good at all, and be able to treat my kids to a fun lunch, guilt free. It was Father's Day, so I said to myself, screw it, let's do it. The meal was not so great, as expected. The place was loud. The prices on the menu still made me feel guilty. When I see an entree costs $9.99, I equate that to a package of diapers. The food was not served on silver trays, and their were no waiters in tuxedos to be seen. Yet sitting at our table, I looked at David, and he told me he loved me. He said my name when he told me this. I love when he calls me by name. I saw love in his eyes. I have three beautiful little girls, and a love I never knew possible.
It was a wonderful meal. An incredible lunch.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


My father sent us $500.00 to fix our Honda. I feel awful every time an envelope arrives, and it is addressed to us, in my Dad's terrible handwriting. He always writes a quick note of encouragement, or simply draws a smiley face. My father is an amazing man. He has been a constant, loving, nurturing force in my life, since I took my first breath. He is a gentle man. He is sentimental. He is a mush. He has a love of God, and a Faith that I find both admirable, and strange. Everything he does in his life, he does selflessly. He is a remarkable human being, and I strive to be like him.
Father's Day is in a few days. I wish I could tell my father how sorry I am that I am approaching turning 40 ( ok, next summer I will turn 40) and he is still sending me money to care for my family. I wish I could repay him for all that he has done. My mother, of course, has helped us too. They are married, and what is my father's is also my Mom's, yet somehow, it is different when help comes from my father. My mother makes me feel bad about helping me. She makes me feel less. She let's me know how annoyed she is, and how tired she is of having to do it. I don't blame her. I would be too. But she makes me feel shame, and sadness. She makes me feel like a kid. My father makes me feel like it is temporary, and he never makes me feel like a loser. He makes me almost feel like everything is going to be OK. Just hang on a little longer, and the sun will rise, and the new day will start, and you will be in a better place. Just keep holding on for the better day.
And I do. I hold on to the knowledge that the better day is coming. Thanks Dad. For everything.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Breaking the news to your children that their father may possibly be leaving the country for work, for 6 months, is an almost surreal experience. I almost could not believe the words I was saying to my beauties, and watching their eyes turn to such sadness....no words. They wept. My little one, Charlotte, was very concerned where her father would be eating dinner every night. How big would the table be? My heart is shattered.
As the words were coming out, I wanted to suck them back in my mouth. I wanted to call David and tell him to forget the whole thing. We could live on love. We didn't need money. But I knew, and he knows, this is simply not possible. We are behind on all of our bills, and I fear we could lose our home. We must take this oppurtunity to better our life. I am tired of telling my girls no. No they cannot take dance lessons. No we cannot go out to dinner. No, they can not have that pretty dress. I am tired of being stressed, and I am tired of David being worried. I want to not think about money. I want to be free. I want us to thrive as a family. But what if something happens to my David? I keep thinking about this. The risk of becoming financially healthy could kill my husband. I have dark visions of scary masked men, faces covered in black fabric, wielding giant swords, with my poor husband, kneeling before them. I know that is even terrible to write, but the image is burned into my brain.
6 months goes fast. I know this. It also moves painfully slow. Like the ride to a family member's home for the holidays. It takes forever to get there, the day is wonderful, and then it is over, and the ride home is over in an instant.
I shudder.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day two

Summer vacation. It is day two. Olivia told me yesterday that there were 79 days of summer vacation. I felt my chest tighten a bit when she said this. I love my girls so much, but I don't really play with them. I am just not that kind of mother. I wish I was, but playing games with them bores me to tears. I keep wondering when the game will be over. I know that is terrible, given that my time with them as small children is a small window, and one day, I will look at those dusty games of Sorry and Candyland, and feel sadness and remorse, but I just cannot bring myself to do it.
My mother never played with me either. She just...mothered. She smiled, and yelled. Well, mostly yelled, and she took care of me. She provided meals, and thought up stuff for me to do. She never played with me. I think that I wanted her to, but it was understood that she just didn't play. Am I wrong for repeating this cycle? Some days, I feel bad about it, but most days, I think that my girls have a pretty great life, and this is a battle I choose not to fight. I will not beat myself up about this particular shortcoming, nor will I point fingers at my own mother, and blame her for days not being entertained by her.
Summer was tough on Tulip Grove Drive. My dad was the only driver in the house. He would go to work, as a fireman, in NYC, and sometimes be gone for 48 hours. We were stuck, in the house. No ability to leave. I used to be a little jealous of my friends, that got to go to the store, and to the mall, or to the beach, with their mom. Everyone's mom drove. Except for mine. So we had a lot of days just being terribly, horribly bored. We had a little swimming pool in our yard. We called it the tuna can. It was small, and sat in the shade, so it was always freezing. A take your breath away kind of freezing. My mother used to tell us to go in the pool if we were bored, but it was so cold, and torturous, it had to be a heat wave to make you want to go in the pool. I remember being unable to feel my hands and feet, and playing with my brother, and staring at his freakishly blue lips.
We also didn't have much money when I was a kid. The pool filter was a source of financial stress for my father, as well as maintaining the pool. The whole filtration system was taped together with duct tape. It look like a little fountain if you peeked over the side of the pool. Water spraying out of it, from multiple breeches in the hoses. And the amount of electricity needed to run the filter was also a problem. Some days, the pool filter was shut off, and the water became a very light shade of green. My dad could not afford the chemicals needed to shock the pool. He would take a big bottle of bleach, and throw it in the water. A whole gallon. And the tuna can was small. Magically, the water became crystal clear, and in we would dive, gulping copious amounts of Clorox, and keeping our eyes open the whold time. I remember trying to focus my eyes every evening, and being amazed at the halo every light had around it.
Summer vacation meant everything to me as a kid. It was freedom, although, freedom was not often attainable, due to our lack of transportation. I drive. I have a mini-van. Today, I will take the girls with me to the laundromat and to the supermarket. They will be miserable. They will complain. We have no tuna can. Just a blow up pool, which they tell me all the time how displeased they are they do not have a "real" pool. When I tell them that I had a pool in my backyard growing up, they tell me how lucky I was. That makes me laugh.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Consolation prize

There is a very dark force in my life. It has been shadowing me, my marriage, and my children for many years. I have never laid eyes upon this force. Yet, it hovers, and chips away at my happiness. It brings me to tears, and makes me feel hate, and anger and rage. Sometimes those feelings overwhelm me. I did not know I was capable of the depth of hate that I could feel. I dream about making this force disappear. I hate this force. I hate what it is doing to my family. It is like a cancer. I wish I could cut it out. I fear that it would just re-appear, in a far worse illness. At times, I want to surrender to this darkness, but for the sake of my children, I cannot.
I hate to sound so mysterious, and "Harry Potterish", but some days, that is the only think I can liken it to. My husband David, was briefly married in the 90's. He was in his early twenties. He met someone, and within a few short months, she was pregnant, and they got married. The marriage was brief, and unhappy. She had a problem with fidelity, and being a mother. They should never have married, and it was a youthful error. Unfortunately, there was a child involved. They were to be linked for life.
David and I met in 2000. We fell in love. I knew my fate was sealed the moment I saw his dimples. We have been together since we met. We made a home together, and have 3 beautiful little girls. Aside from our temporary financial woes, (I always feel compelled to say temporary) we are a beautiful family.
But a few years ago, my husband's ex-wife, who I have never met, decided that she wanted to have some "me" time. She wanted to be single, and free from responsibility. She was sending her son to live with us. My husband was very happy. He always wanted to have his boy with him. I, however, was not. I had, at the time, two girls. Charlotte was 1, and Olivia was 3 at the time. I really felt like my plate was quite full. I protested. I said that I didn't think I could take on caring for a pre-pubescent boy, along with my girls. I was told by my husband, that it would be a trial, and if I became so unhappy, I did not have to do it.
This would not be the case. His mother refused to have him back with her. My husband broke his promise. I was left with no choice but to care for a child not my own, and there was nothing I could do to change this. I know what you are thinking. That I married a person with a child. This is true. But normally, a child lives with the mother. Let's be fair about that. Unless the mother is incapable of caring for her child, it is very rare to have the father assume care. Very rare. I didn't start dating David, and he and his son lived together in a little house, and I joined them to complete their family. That is not how it was. Yet suddenly, I now had a newborn teenage son. Wether I liked it, or not.
I cannot tell you how out of control your life feels, when your husband, and his ex-wife tell you how your life is going to go. You suddenly go from being the captain of your ship, to just being a deck hand. To add insult to injury, my husband's ex-wife has never been kind to me. Forget kind. She has never been civil. She has been rude, and critical of me, and the girls. She has treated me, all of these years, like David's mistress. As if I broke up her marriage. "The other woman". That is not the case. I met David many years after he was divorced. Yet, she continually refers to me and the girls, as David's "little family", or his "new family". She refuses to acknowledge us. The day Olivia was born, David called to tell his son that he had a new baby sister, and his ex-wife answered the phone. He told her his happy news, and her response was, "Remember, we were here first".
That has been a running theme. I feel sometimes like I live in the shadow of this first family. I feel sometimes that emotionally, I mean just a little bit less, and maybe I am taken just a little less seriously because I am "a second wife". Every joyous event in my life, has always been bittersweet for me. The "firsts" were "seconds" for my husband. When I first said "I do", it was magic for me. But in the back of my mind, I knew this was a do-over for David. When I first felt Olivia squirm in my belly, I knew David had placed his hand on someone elses's belly and felt a new life for the first time before. Even their birth's were not like the first time. He had done it before, with someone else.
I am not feeling sorry for myself. I feel that when David's ex-wife said that to David on the phone that morning, that they were "here first", there might be some truth to that. I never realized how my husband is still a little bit married to someone else. How his love for another woman, although replaced with hate and anger,is still an emotion that makes him involved mentally with her. I see it in his far away eyes, I feel it in his mental absence from our girls, and our marriage, and our home.  I endure his mis-directed anger, and frustration. Maybe, I am "the other woman". I will always be number two. I used to call myself his consolation prize, jokingly. Sometimes, I fear that this may be true.
I wish I had a wand, like Potter, and could shout out a spell, and rid my life of this dark force.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I am full of shit. I really am. I just read some of my prior posts, and one of them, I think, was a flat out lie. OK, maybe not a lie, but I must have been trying too hard. I wrote that I was going to take the time to smell the dandelions. I also wrote that I was going to enjoy my children more, and stress less.Yet, one of my last posts was entitled "Drowning"!!! I gotta get a grip. Enough of talking the talk. It is time, to start, as "they" say, walking the walk.
OK, so the happy news of my week was instead of Afghanistan, my David is going to Iraq. Fantastic!! Better odds of not being killed by a roadside bomb. I actually was pleased with this new turn of events. Crazy how crazy your life gets. I also mailed out my third submission to a publishing company. A big publishing company. I have written a story for children. I think it is worthy of being a staple in every childs bookshelf. I am just praying that an editor does as well.
The irony was that the manuscript sat all sealed up in an envelope, ready to go, but I didn't have any money for stamps. For almost a week, it just lay there, on the printer. The possibility of making a success of my life, AND my family's life, all sealed up ready to go, unable to pay for the postage. I choose to laugh at that today. The sealed envelope was driving me nuts, all week, just sitting there. Possibilitus interruptus.
I did finally mail it though, and with that, the possibility is there, that it will be published. Maybe my phone will ring. Maybe someone will think it is as great as I do. Like blowing dandelion fluff....the wish is airborn, enroute. Fingers crossed.
See...I took the time to sniff the dandelions today. I feel better.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Yesterday, David said that within thirty days, he would have his orders to go to Afghanistan. It looks like the end of August. He will leave here, and be gone for 6 months. It is such a long time away, I cannot really wrap my head around it. I don't know when to tell the girls. I don't know how we will even comfort them. I can't even comfort myself. I think of David, sacrificing all of his comforts, and time with all of us, and possibly his life, all to make us financially whole, and I feel angry. I feel like this is unfair. He is so smart, and educated. He is such an incredibly hard worker. I have these fantasies of him standing on the deli line in the supermarket, and talking with someone, and they can see the kind of man he is. They are CEO of some hugely successful company, and they offer him a job, on the spot. The salary is huge. The benefits are amazing. We are pulled from our drowning state. For the first time, we can breathe.
I cannot go anywhere today. I have almost no gas. We have no money in the bank, and payday is not until Friday, and it is only Tuesday. The baby had me up all night, sick with a very high fever. I am working on little sleep. Olivia has only half days for the rest of the week, and then summer vacation. I am filled with dread at having all three of them with me, all day, everyday, for the next two plus months. Yet there is a very dark feeling I have that this should be a summer we enjoy. What if something happens to David? What if he does not come back? As much as I am overwhelmed with the thought of this summer, what if this is the summer that I replay in my mind for the rest of my life. It is too painful to go to that thought most of the time, but it seems to be overshadowing everything. I am unsure if David should do this. I know we would better in so many ways if he did, but what if?
What if?

Friday, June 4, 2010


Today, Charlotte is graduating from pre-school. It was just moments ago that she was in a hospital blanket, swaddled tightly, wearing a pink and blue long shoreman's cap. She had blood between her fingers. They forgot to clean there. She was as warm as a piece of coal. She had a smushed nose, that had me seriously concerned about the possibility of having a not-so-cute kid. Soon after she was born, she had a red mark on her forehead, by her hairline. I had seen a show on television while I was pregnant with her, about a baby that had something called a hemangioma. This baby's entire face became covered by this runaway birthmark. I remember thinking to myself, I know my baby is going to have a birthmark on her face. I know this for certain. I recall asking David, as soon as she was born, how did her face look. Was it clear, and blemish free. He laughed and seemed to be surprised by my question. But within hours of her birth, I kept staring at this small red mark on her head, thinking, indeed, a runaway birthmark was rearing it's ugly head. The pediatrician insisted, it was a "stork bite". I knew it was not.
It grew and grew. It was indeed a hemangioma, also known as a strawberry mark. It got bigger, and it grew higher as well. When she cried, it grew angy looking and purple. It was a little alarming to see. I felt embaressed that my baby had this blemish. Why could it not be on her back? Her leg? Really...it had to be her face? Every where we went, people looked at her and said..."oh...you have a booboo"? I would explain to them what it was, and how it was going to go away. They were temporary. I would stress this. They didn't care, and in fact, looked at me like I was nuts. I stopped explaining after a while. And then I just stuck a hat on her. 
Charlotte has never been easy. She is a "strong willed"child, with a crazy imagination. She has always been needy. She has always been socially awkward. She has thrown fits, and tantrums, usually in public places. She wakes up grumpy some days, and flat out refuses to listen on other days. She has driven me to tears, and made me feel strong dislike. I look into her eyes, and sometimes, I feel no connection to her. She is such a different kid from Olivia. I know I am comparing, but that is what we all do. Olivia lives to please. She is me, only shorter. We even look alike. Same body types, same hair, and nails. Same feet. Charlotte and I look nothing alike. She is skinny, and lithe. She is 5, yet still wears shirts for 18 month olds. She has long, strange toes, and skinny fingers. Sometimes, I feel like she is someone else's child, and not my own. 
She is the child I worry about the most. She was a sick baby, plagued with chronic ear infections, and reflux. She required tubes in her ears, and she nursed until she was well over two. (Gasp!) She has ruined more social events for us by her behavior, and made both David and I feel rage and anger by our inability to understand her, and control her. I had to pull her out of pre-school when she was 3, because she was miserable, and cried, and stressed so much about school, it broke my heart to witness. 
Sometimes, I feel like Charlotte was given to me, as some kind of test. A divine quiz. I feel like most days, I fail miserably with her. I have no patience for her crap most days. Yet other times, her observations of nature touch me. She notices small details, and questions the strangest things. She has such an ability to tell stories. She has an imaginary friend. Her monkey. Monkey goes on wild adventures, and visits crazy places. Some days, her tales of Monkey drive me nuts. I just can't listen to her, for a minute more. But one day, I know Monkey's tales will cease. He will be put away, and she will speak of him, no more. The thought of that makes me incredibly sad.
Today is Charlotte's pre-school graduation. I am filled with happiness. She is magic.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


A few weeks ago, when spring was "springing", my daughter and I were driving on a road, we drive on everyday. There is an expansive field, and the Elementary School is in the distance. The Junior High is to the left, and the Middle School is far in the distance. All of these schools are on this green field. In the backround is the mountains, and the Deleware Water Gap. It is very pretty. Pretty because of the backdrop far in the distance. At least that is what I notice. That particular day, my daughter Charlotte was overwhelmed with surprise, and delight, when on the fields that the schools are on, dandelions dotted the field like confetti. Yellow dots everywhere. Thousands upon thousands of them. Charlotte squealed in delight. "Look at all of the beautiful flowers, Mommy!!!"  She kept telling me how pretty all of the dandelions were. In that moment, I really looked at the dandelions and thought, she is right. They were beautiful. The stunning contrast of yellow, upon the deep green grass, the sheer amount of them, they were, just beautiful.
I grew up thinking dandelions were the most hated flower to grow upon one's lawn. A weed. A nuisance. But here before me, was a field covered in them, and instead of thinking the lawn was ruined by these intruders, I thought that they almost resembled an impressionist painting. I too could see the absolute beauty in a field of dandelions, thanks to the fresh, unadultered, eye of my little one.
The dandelion also represents something magical to Charlotte, and probably, most kids. When the flower is all gone, and the puffy, white seeds are left, barely clinging to the stem, and ready to take flight, these are wishes. Wishes to be carried on the wind, to some mysterious place, that will be granted to the soul who gently blew them skyward. My little Charlotte finds all of these spent dandelions, and blows and blows, until barely any air is even coming out of her little lips. The first few times she started doing this, I discouraged it. My allergies were bothering me, and I did not want all that fluff on me, or the baby. Charlotte seemed so disappointed. I realized that I was going to be the one to gradually make her belief in magic, and all things childlike, and mysterious, and wondrous, begin to fade, and possibly, begin to shape the adult thinking that discourages all things magical, and might even make her, gulp, cynical. 
I let her blow dandelions now. Every one she sees. She thought that  the field was so beautiful, she wanted to have a picnic on it. When I told David where we were going to have our picnic, as we packed up the car, he suggested instead a place by a waterfall we go to a lot. He even said that there were some other parks he thought that were a little more scenic. I said that the field by the school, on the side of the road was the place. That was the picnic area that Charlotte wanted to go to. And we did. And it was lovely, sitting among the dandelions. Just beautiful. A field that I drive past everday, and never notice the foreground, just the backdrop, and I could see what my Charlotte saw. A field of beautiful dandelions. A field of wishes. A field of possibilities. 
Thank you Charlotte, for pointing out beauty, and magic, that is right under my nose. Today, I will stop and smell the dandelions. I will see the possibilities.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I am unsure of how old I was at the time...probably not even 10. I was at church, sitting in the pew, with my family, waiting for Mass to begin. We always arrived early, and always sat in the third row from the front, on the right hand side of the church, for 11:30 Mass, EVERY Sunday, like clockwork. A very, shall I say, "inactive" family asked us to move down, to make room for them. They were such incredibly big people. The parents, and the kids. We all moved down the pew to allow them to sit. I was sitting on the end. When the family had all sat down, they pulled the kneeler down, and all got on it, to say their prayers, as people often do, when they first are seated at Mass. ( I always wondered if people were really praying...I never was, I just felt that this was one of the strange steps that was the dance of church). However, when they placed the kneeler down on the floor, they placed it directly on top of my foot. I was wearing white, slip on, woven, peep-toe flats (it was the 80's) and the part of the kneeler, that rests on the floor, and has a rubber part, to safely bear the weight of the "kneeler" was now right on top of my foot. They knelt down so quickly, that before I could remove my foot quickly, they were all on their knees, heads bowed, eyes closed, praying. All of them. A family of four, resting all of their weight, on my foot. It must have been close to a thousand ponds. That rubber stopper was just embedded into the top of my foot. The pain was unbelievable. The pressure, so intense. I was waiting for my foot to actually break. Oddly...I said nothing. I remember just sitting there, enduring terrible pain, bearing the weight of this large family, on the small bones that extended out into my toes, and just closing my eyes, screaming inside of my head. I recall wondering what they were praying about. No one kelt that long when they first arrived at church. You knelt down quickly, closed your eyes to look like you were praying, and sat back down. No one prayed this long. Yet I sat there, and said not a word, not a yelp, not a sound. If one of my daughters were seated next to me in a pew, and this had happened to one of them, and I knew they said nothing, I would be heartbroken for them. Why would they not speak up for themselves? I think about me, sitting in that church, enduring so much pain, and feel heartbroken for that girl. Why had I not spoken up for myself? Why did I feel so embaressed, and uncomfortable, just letting the nice family sitting next to me know that the kneeler was on my foot? Did I somehow think I deserved it, because my foot was there? Did I feel I was still too young to speak up for myself? Did I feel sorry for myself, because no one even noticed that the kneeler was off kilter a little bit and didn't look to see what was wedged underneath it?
There are times in my life, well, hours in my day actually, that I scream in my head. I feel so pained by a situation, or circumstance, or I become so frustrated by something that is so out of my control, and completely unacceptable, that instead of looking like a crazy person, running around cursing and screaming, I throw a tantrum in my mind. I scream inside my head.
Today, I feel like I have a pew on my foot. I will go about my day, and remain quiet about it, but the weight of it is killing me.