Unidentified need stuck in my craw


I think it must have been Grandma Coleman that said it.  “stuck in your craw” I can hear it in her old radio voice, too loud for inside.  My mind is pacing, thinking… back and forth, back and forth, purposelessly seeking something.  The forehead pushes down into my brow, lips taught, shoulders strung up to my ears and my feet follow behind; wandering. I wander, wonder, ponder, plunder.  And then do another load of wash.

You two are growing, changing, and more ready for whatever comes your way.  You talk about dying, wonder when you die if you can see yourself or are your eyes dead first. And what’s ” mind’s eye” mean? And think its funny when your You Tube video says that script you made up, over and over and roll on the floor laughing at your own funny ideas.

pikNk-6W5HOIANG_5wwmBA's  Animation  (cut and paste into browser for a short silly)

You and Liza both ride your balance bikes all over the concrete walkways, deck and driveway.  Liza is new to it, so you tell her where to be careful not to ride, and she goes there to jump over a bump or try it for herself.  She is brave. You both chase and catch butterflies, lizards and let them go all sticky and damp from their visit.  The deck is your playpen.  Snacks, lunch, garden boxes, bird watching, bikes and trampoline.  You two are busy out here.  We love it.  Its our outdoor living room where we spend hours each day.  Then grandpa BBQs many nights, smoking salmon, chicken, shrimp kabobs, grilled veggies.  Paradise.

Liza’s auditory functioning astounds us.  She picks up repeated words at school, Aubrey’s and at home and we watch her practice, “Also” ending every sentence this week, ” consider” was last week and she says that “shiny things glisten” after learning the word related to the silk of the silk worms cocoons in her classroom at school. “The water glistens, grandma.  It glistens, see?”  Image


Please let out friend the butterfly go, Liza.  But Grandma, she likes me.  She will still like you as she flutters around the lemon tree and collects nectar.  Her wing scales are delicate.  I delicate, too.  No, you are strong and capable, Liza.  Later she picks up the dog’s ear to whisper, “you are strong and capable.”ImageVery fun time for all of us when Liza lets herself shine.

You are sick this week, buddy.  Asthma so bad  that as you laid on your side playing with blocks on the carpet, popping out air puffs, I thought you were being a train.  No, you explained, my breathing is just tired today.  It sure is.  Last week of school next week and they’ll celebrate with a ceremony.  Liza’s last day at Coastal Community Preschool, too as she readies to change to Bonny Doon Preschool. We’ll take the summer off, you two at Aubrey’s a couple of days, swimming and music filling a few other days.  We go to Echo Lake in early August. That’s your favorite part of summer.  I know.  Okay buddy.  Holding you both precious, my Image

glistening little stars, also….gma

Wandering this morning

Today Grandma’s do best to recall noodle necklaces from past years, floppy dandelions poked into baby food jars, paperclips glued to the backs of plaster hand prints, smudgy self-portraits and tender poems. Today I lie still a moment to re-live the echoing pad of multiple sets of feet, effervescent giggles and barely controlled whispers outside my door ready to deliver cold coffee and under cooked pancakes, piled too high. Gripping the sheets, I’d kept my eyes squeezed shut as the tray plopped sloppily near one ear. What I remember best is the tray set aside as a jumble of snuggling boys piled into the bed,  pawing to get to me, and smother me with kisses.

This happened once, but its the story that is easily accessed; a symbol for all that’s sweet in parenting, became the memory of all past Mother’s Days.

Whew. And mothering goes on and on and on, doesn’t it?  I remember Julie Olsen Edwards  in a 1971 child development course, telling each class of students “a mother is a mother for life”.  I get it now.  This morning I lay very still just a bit after five, hoping I didn’t hear Liza. Staying awake to listen deeply rather than falling back to sleep.  The covers open and I sigh, exhaling into her warm sweet neck.  Happy day, dear granddaughter. Now still your paddling feet.  Shhhh. The birds are still asleep.

I have parent conferences for both kids this week. Nanny Aubrey is away at science camp for three days and nights. And I have intense writing deadlines for work.  The cat in the office needs her litter box cleaned and I am really not a cat person. (No one is a litter box person.) And I promised you we’d go to the LaBrea tarpits.  Then Grandpa left town for a Ham thing and gone for 10 days. Its his cat. There are some good things to start the day with, other than the sweetness of you children… I just have to wake up and locate them in my sloggy brain.

I let my mind exercise as Liza stills… what would it look like if I was not their mommy person…..Would I stitch, mix glazes, throw pots and handbuild with clay?  I would re-write my story and add the new parts that got lived since. I would clean up the barn and rent it to a horsewoman with three horses. I want to organize the library, set up the attic, the art studio and clean out the garage. And after all that, dust off and sit on the bench I placed in the garden 12 years ago. My body would ache as I prepare a meal for selected friends and we’d sit and have full, open meaningful conversations.  We’d complete our thoughts and sit over steaming cups of tea into the night.  Then I’d get up at 7:30 or whenever I want.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, sister and all my mother friends.  You are all incredibly devoted, loving, special people. gma

Lasso the moon

We are actually in control of very little.  Life reminds of us that everyday, buddy.  I watch Liza at two, failing once again to make it to the potty; her ankles shackled by her pants that she pulls down before heading for the bathroom. The squeal of frustration tells all and a wad of wet […]