Invisibility Cloak

My son assured me this morning that it was pajama day at his elementary school, but as we walked closer and closer to school and saw more and more children’s decidedly NOT dressed for nighty night, I started to panic. I asked him if he would be totally freaked out if we got to school and he was the only one in his jammies, and he confidently said, NO. He is still in full command of his positive self-image.

How awesome would it be if everyone lived like that?

Seeing as I walk my son to school every day in the garb I slept in, I can see he’s picked up on my fashion sense. Sometimes I remember to put on lipstick so the other parents won’t think me a complete hobo. Most of the time, not. There is a part of me that appreciates high fashion and clothes and costumes, but there is an even bigger part of me that thinks it is all ridiculous. I have a hunch that many of my fellow villagers, particularly those of the female variety, scoff at my attire. Perhaps I’m even the butt of a few jokes around town. Why knows.

One only need to think of oneself as INVISIBLE to ward off the evil notions of a few busy-bodies.

Now you see me, now you d–……

Ho Ho Ho

I know lots of people hate the fact that Christmas stuff goes up earlier and earlier in stores every year. I happen to love Christmas, so this has never really bothered me. Any excuse to get the holiday started should be celebrated in my book. But even I was taken aback this past weekend when I rounded the corner of the Halloween section in Target and was met head-on with an entire row of Christmas lights and animated lawn reindeer. Mildly annoyed, but mainly delighted, I took the light display as a cue that it’s never too early, and I might as well take advantage of the toy sale going on two aisles over. Never you mind that this means I have to spend two extra months hiding said toys… the $10 savings was worth the potential security breach, right? (And yes, I know that the sinister marketers at Target knew I would do exactly that. Sneaky bastards!)

Later when we got home, I forced my family to watch ELF and cried at the end when the cast sang Santa Claus is Coming to Town, even as our boxes of Halloween decorations sat unopened in the other room.

It was wrong, I know, but it felt so right.

Merry Christmas everyone!

First Grade

For six years I blogged about my son over on Scribbling in San Antonio, and as you all know, I gave it  up this summer before he went into first grade for fear of too-much-information. You also know I’ve struggled with not talking about him because, hell, I might be a writer, a wife, and a human being — but once I became a mother, those more exciting parts of myself shrank down considerably. So much so that I often need a magnifying glass just to see myself in the mirror. If I wear my heart on my sleeve, I wear my son squarely on my face. I see so much of myself in him and likewise, that I’m totally lost without him.

I don’t know why I thought first grade would bring some kind of eternal freedom. That out of sight would mean out of mind. That he would start elementary school, and we’d all live happily ever after.

Little did I know it would simply be the beginning of my own personal hell.

Days spent worrying and fighting the rabid butterflies in my stomach. Lunch times wasted going over to school just to make sure he’s OK. And the thing is, I think he’s handling school very well. It’s me who has the problem.

I keep telling myself that if it weren’t for these damn spelling tests, everything would be fine.

See, my son is a daydreamer with an artist’s spirit. He’s very bright and work comes easily to him, that is, when he wants to do it. Like myself, he often tunes things that he finds uninteresting out. He often talks to himself in class and doesn’t listen to the teacher. A spelling test he aces at the dinner table with me the night before, when taken for real, is perfect half way through and then at some point turns into hobbly gobbly. I understand this about my son and try and respect the beautiful, creative spirit that he is, but at the same time feel violently frustrated that he just can’t focus. I’m reading the books and talking to his GT teacher, but still, it’s hard to shut off that part of your brain that wants your child to succeed in the traditional sense of the word. For him to validate how smart you know he is.

So I’m learning. I’m learning to let go. Ultimately, raising a child who leaves home with his beautiful mind fully intact is the most important thing, not the D he got on a spelling test in the first grade. He is all the things that frustrate me about myself. He’s all the wonderful things, and more, but we are two peas in a pod, so his struggles are my own. I don’t want to lose him to school and homework and grades. I know that is not who he is no matter what the report card might tell me. Maybe I was naive to think public school could give him what he needs. Maybe he already has everything he needs and I need to back off and love him for what he is. Maybe it’s a combination of all these things.

Maybe it’s not that I need to be a better mother.

Maybe I need to be a better soul mate.

I’m trying.

To Suck or Not to Suck

Have you ever wondered if you just plain suck? I wonder this about… ummmm… I don’t know… five times a day. Six, maybe. The first time usually happens around five in the morning when I get up to go to the bathroom and can’t get back to sleep. In the dark, I lie in bed counting my flaws and saying… today is the day. Today is the first day of my new life NOT sucking. Today will be different. Somehow, magically, all the sucky cooties that surround me with miraculously lift off, and I’ll be infinitely less sucky. Then, I usually fall asleep for three minutes before the alarm goes off at six. Then I’ll wake up and start moving and feeling better, convincing myself that I don’t suck. That, in fact, I’m pretty awesome. That I can do anything.

I won’t have my second downer moment until about 9 or 10. It will last until around 11, at which point I’ll get a second wind and feel awesome, again. This will last until around 1 when I start to suck, again. Then I’ll feel good until I pick my son up from school, and then after we’ve been home for an hour or so, I’ll start feeling sucky.

You see where I’m going with this.

My question. How can you get rid of sucking for good? Is it a self esteem problem, or do I, in fact, truly suck. Does someone make a suck-o-meter that can measure true suck against perceived suck?

It would be nice, wouldn’t it?

I wonder if I can get a patent on that.

The Singing Lady

For the most part, I don’t worry about sharks when I’m in a swimming pool.

I grew up in a seaside town, and when I was far too young, I watched JAWS on network television. Censored and sanitized for prime time, but jarring to my wee mind none-the-less. However, for some strange reason, I never affiliated JAWS with the ocean. Swimming in South Carolina, the water is murky, so it was only when I was in a swimming pool and I could see under the water that my heart would race. I’d dive down and open my eyes and see some shadow move at the end of the pool. My mind would begin spinning the notes…. DUH NUH… DUH NUH… DuhNuhDuhNuhDuhNuhduhnuhduhnuhduhnuh… and the next thing you know, my butt was up out of the water, wrapped safely in a beach towel. This went on for years, and even today, it’s the reason why I don’t wear goggles in a swimming pool. I do laps with my head sticking out of the water. Like a nut.

Mornings at the gym, I am usually, at some point or another, sharing the pool with an elderly Chinese woman who floats on a blue noodle kicking her legs and singing. Badly.

At first I liked her. She gave a Twin Peak’s vibe to the morning with her off-key humming. I learned early never to smile at her because then she looks at you like you are the crazy one.

I used to like her, until her hums stopped sounding like ancient rhymes and more like the poorly-produced soundtrack of some  B horror movie involving, umm, I don’t know…. SHARKS. I’ve tried to get my mind off of it, but everytime she comes in the pool and begins her vocal-stylings, here come the sharks. JAWS I, II and III. The Deep, Open Water. The trailer for Shark Night 3-D.

Now, I secretly loathe her.

This morning, a grumpy older gentleman jumped into the pool and when he saw her, he yelled, NO SINGING. She stared at him for a second and seemed to ask “WHAT?” with her eyes, and he lifted his two index fingers up, crossed them and held them up to his face and again snorted NO SINGING. With that, the woman sang even louder, then took her noodle and proceeded to throw it at him. Then still singing… she swam over to the side of the pool and left.

The guy was kinda a jerk, but at the same time, he got her to leave.

And with her went the sharks.

But she left behind the woman from that 70s horror film who is swimming in that indoor pool, and when she comes up for air, the top of the pool is glassed over. Drowning her.

What’s the name of that movie?



Enjoying the rare morning when the Bub sleeps in. Been up since 5. Did my laps at the pool by 6:30. Now, on the couch drinking coffee and talking to strangers on Twitter, feels almost civilized in a weird 2000 and eleven kinda way. I don’t know about you, but I love the autonomy of the internet.

So, here I sit…

Awaiting the letter that will tell us who the Bub will spend the school year with.

Awaiting next week when I’ll have a whole 7 hours a weekday to call my own.

Thinking about all the wonderful things that I’ll have to say and do with my time.

Hoping I won’t waste a second of it.

Every moment is essential when you’re already dying, right?

The year before I turn 40 is gonna be when all the really awesome stuff happens.

I’m banking on it.


I am writing this morning because I actually got a comment today, and then felt guilty for always spending my time over there and even attempting to pretend I have a blog over here. But, alas. School begins in one week and having my mornings and early afternoons to myself again will right that wrong, I’m sure.

Though it seems as if we’ve hung the moon and more this summer, I feel hornswoggled as to where all the time went. Only seven more days until first grade. We better make them great.