Free internet in Pasadena, must be a cheap hotel.  I used to travel a lot and recall that the more expensive places make you pay to connect. Go figure. Oh, dear, the words, “I used to…” pull a pain from my side and into my gut. Herbert Kohl, Koch?  what ever his name was, used it as a prompt in a book to help teachers to initiate childrens’ poetry.  Children would say, “I used to be a baby but now I am more me.”  Wonderful things like that.  What do I say? I used to be a pleasant, hopeful, aging woman with possibilities, but now I am a sheet-changing laundry doing, bending downer, gathering, running after and driving to mom of two at age sixty. Yes, I now get to live with 2 marvelously active young children. But that’s a little sad, so how about…now I am a 1970’s mommy again, struggling for identity, for sleep, more time, some attention, a cooperative and present, help-mate, a husband again, a sex life, personal time and space and maybe a walk a day. (by myself!) Maybe I’ll read Freidman, Tille Olsen, maybe I’ll write a housewives lament and set it to music, an operetta.

I am thrilled to be sitting here in broad daylight, awake without laundry surrounding, dishes calling, robot vacuum chasing dust bunnies stuck on a banana skin, telephone ringing, carpenters sawing and clock ticking.  I am working again! I left at 6 am to get to the airport, Liza and hubby in the low light of the kitchen, kettle boiling water, 1/2 banana already eaten and sippy cup full of milk. Oswald was on Nick Junior.  Grandpa asking Liza to tell him the silly dog’s name (Weanie).  I started to slip out.  Blew kisses.  Let you sleep, I told Grandpa, you have had this congestion for so long.  Let’s keep you home.  Sorry, but she peed thru her diaper and the sheets.  Sorry, sorry.  Be sure and change them before she gets in again (or hope they dry by tonight if you forget).  Remember to take the bag to Aubrey’s with fresh clothes, and diapers for the day.  They can’t take a toy its too hard on her baby Sequoia. Oh, I forgot to buy pull-ups.  This is the bag they come in. I pull it from the trash and toss it on the counter, the sopping pee diaper sticks to it.  Gross.

I’m all dressed up (clean Levi’s).

By the way I won’t stop and feed the horses it’s too dark, I tell him. (I have to go to work and you have nothing but time.  Ha.) Don’t get number 4 diapers, get 3T-4T or they will be tiny baby sized. She already ate a banana? he asks. So no more breakfast? Didn’t you read the pages I wrote for you?  Yes, more. Each morning a cup of milk and a half banana at 5 am and later, 6:30 or so you fix breakfast for both of them.

I had written a few pages (total: six) for Grandpa about what you kids are used to, schedules, locations of items of importance, etc, then cut it by two pages leaving three of what he really will need, and then cut another page leaving 1 1/2 pages of essentials.  I hated leaving out all the dollies names and where your skivies are kept, but he’ll figure it out.  I’ll be back by Saturday. And besides, you will help. (yea, sure).

Last night I took you kids to visit your mom since I’ll be out of town on Saturday.  We met at the Mall.  She wanted to hang out and show them around. (She used to spend hours there pushing the stroller around when their dad was a security guard).  I went to Sears to get you kids some socks and look at shoes, but so did you and mommy.  You called to me across the neon T-shirt racks.  She called out,  They really would rather be with you. You charged across the store and hugged my thighs. I looked at her confused.  She mouthed. “See you later.” So we followed your sister and mommy.  They sat trying on shoes, and hugging, teasing for about a half hour when our meet up time was up and we met up at the entrance to the mall.  Me and you, her with sissy.  I invited her to get a bite to eat with us at Chili’s. You kids were ravenous. She talked about her cell phone, a dance class and all the money she is making. So I asked for separate checks. She ordered fries. We had veggies, chicken and tortillas, you kids finally pooped out and we got home by 6:30 or so, all of us missing the earthquake last night.  She wants me to know, she says, that she is not moving to Montana, that she will stay in town with you children so you can see your grandma and grandpa after the hearing.  Evidently she plans to get custody and to have you live in the house with her friend’s grandpa. She is really ready she reports, and stable and financially able. She believes it.  And has had legal assistance with planning. Something about the Mormon Community. I almost believed her, too.  She can be so convincing and right-headed sometimes.  Should I be worried? Then, not be.

Like when she called CPS (or someone did) and told them that you have access to power tools. What? You are still afraid of them! They showed up at school to interview you. Our attorney had just informed Mommy that she was requesting CPS file to confirm the past issues for the hearing in March. Coincidence.  CPS wars.  Please let this stop.  You children are absolutely best placed with us for now.  Even if we have to spend $2000 to say it again and again.

Betty Jones’ granddaughter attends the Children’s School, lives next door to her grandma and Margie Carter’s live a few minutes away from her in Seattle, she engages with them regularly about school and life and one of Marianne’s kids is taking piano lessons, she reports.  I don’t talk too much about mine.  But I think about you all the time.  Precious ones.  Mommy really wants Liza back, but if she has to take you as part of the package she will. Crucial decision judge has to make.  Make it for the children, please. I love you, buddy.brownfamily-175 copy gma

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